Posts Tagged ‘English’

The Lost Art of Communication

After about an hour two other guys paddled out. One of them was a huge middle aged guy on a longboard and the other a kid on a shortboard. I could see the guy on the longboard was getting some good waves and after I’d had a long one I paddled back past him and introduced myself. It turned out he was an ex marine and now taught surfing on the north coast but this was his local break and to his mind it was better than what the north coast had to offer anyway. I asked him if it was always as empty as this and he told me that most people go to Praa Sands 20 minutes down the coast, they like to be seen. Ahh the herd mentality. I kept asking him about this little cove we had all to ourselves and he told me everything I needed to know about it. Best state of tide, rocks and where to go if it got too big to get out. We let each other have waves all afternoon. No hustling required! After the session we exchanged e.mails and I thanked him for his help. The next day it was maxing and try as I might I couldn’t get out. The guy had told me where at Praa I should go to avoid the crowds and a long walk. The private road he’d given me directions for brought me out at the other end of Praa sands. There was about half a dozen people out on perfect A frame peaks and when I looked right to the main beach about a mile away there was about 200 people out. The road he sent me down is no big secret but without him telling me I’d have probably ended up in Praa sands car park and been just another sheep in the herd. The art of communication at work!


‘Surf Trips & France’ by Pat Morrell

This is 1971 and Hutch and I are coming off Barricane beach in Woolacombe. By this time we were both living in England and found it more convenient to leave our wives together (after a year or two with children) in Hutch’s house in Southsea, and to go down to the west country for a weekend rather than to come to the Island. Woolacombe was much closer than Newquay so we would leave at around 6:00 or 6:30 on a Saturday morning, reckoning to be in the water by 10:00 and then return late Sunday afternoon. I’m carrying the board that the customs confiscated.

In 1972 we went back to Biarritz where there was quite a gang from the Island I remember the Isle of Wight contingent sitting on the sea wall outside the surf club at Cotes des Basques, Biarritz watching the then world champion (Corky Carroll).
From left (ignoring the little girls) is me, Rory Angus, an Australian chap that we hooked up with, Bob Ward (I think, he was certainly around), Trev, his girlfriend, an English bloke called Alan that was with the Aussie, and their two girlfriends one who was English the other Australian.

The “IW” campsite. Hutch in the middle, Rory on his right andTrev + girlfriend in the background.

Rory at Chambre d’Amour. The waves were very small but he insisted it was worth going in, we gave him flack about surfing on wet sand.

Hutch on the left, unknown on the right. This is on the sandy beach between Bidart and Guethary

Hutch at our campsite.

Chambre d’Amour. Trev’s girl, Trev and Rory with Hutch in the car. Hutch and I were a bit better organised that the rest of them and did most of the shopping. Each day we would go into the little supermarket in Guethary and buy a platter of peaches, about 4 baguettes, two cheeses and 7 or 8 litres of beer. The girls there thought it was only for us so we achieved a little notoriety for our diet, but it was really for the other guys as well.
Tony Macpherson may remember it as the year he spent a night in a French gaol! He was camping in his van on the beach at Bidart and I asked him to try to sell a board for me. Despite my suggestion that he didn’t advertise it, he put an “A Vendre” notice on the board. The police hauled him off for not paying import tax or something. The options were to pay a fine or forfeit the board, he chose the latter and I lost my board! Tony didn’t offer to recompense me.


France 1991

In 1991 I managed to persuade Stuart Jones and Richard Harvey to do a surf trip to the South of France. At that time Stuart and Ritchie in my opinion were among the best surfers on the Island…..

As is often the way the very next day the swell came up and it was cranking. We were all bleary eyed, very hung over and the waves coming through on the left were some of the best I had ever seen. When two guys started to paddle out we could see it was a good size too. We soon got ourselves together. This was what had come for, so we got into our wetsuits and paddled out…..

The swell lasted nearly all week and it was soon obvious that we were staying at one of the best set ups along the coast as one day a load of pros including Tom Curren, Lisa Anderson, Michael ‘Munga’ Barry, Paul Russell and others turned up with Maurice Cole and a few Surf Photographers to surf our left hander.