Posts Tagged ‘niton’

Island Surf – British Style

Isle of Wight featured in issue number 4 of what is thought to be the one of the first ever British Surfing magazines. British Surfer magazine no1 came out in March 1969. Surfing UK magazine published by Lindsay Morgan in Porthcawl in Jan 1969 pipped it to the post by a few months to be […]


The Shutes

The Shutes are a four-piece from the Isle of Wight who make well-crafted indie-rock with psychedelic and surf flourishes. The Shutes are Chris Jones, Michael Champion, Dave Champion and Rob Potter.

“The most far our rock ‘n’ roll joyride to leave the Isle of Wight since August 31st 1970, when Hendrix’ trailer pulled out” – NME

The band grew up on the Isle of Wight and still live and record on the island, taking their name from a long, winding pathway known as ‘the Shute’ which runs down the cliff edge to the shore near their homes.

The band formed about 5 years a go when Mike, Chris and Rob got together for a jam having met through playing in other bands. Within a few months they were playing gigs in London and released their first cd soon. The band has toured Europe three times, playing in Hamburg, Berlin, Zurich, Vienna to name but a few. They have supported the likes of The Go! Team, The Bees, Alexander Ebert and Peter, Bjorn and John and will be supporting Level 42 at Northwood Park this Jubilee weekend.

In recent years The Shutes have headlined at the ‘Barfly’ and Koko in London and closer to home have played the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival for the last 4 years. In 2011/12 The Shutes recorded in London studios their latest release, ’Echo of Love’ which was released earlier this year.

Chris and Mike met through surfing on the Island. Mike grew up surfing around Niton while Chris’s local breaks were Compton and Freshwater Bay. It was a few years before they both realised they had a passion for music.

Mike was inspired by the likes of Raff with his retro style and Chris started surfing with people like Dougie Richards, Ian Pacey and friends.


Dave Gray wins the 1980 IOW Surf Club Contest

The 1980 Annual was finally wrapped up on 22 March. A meaty depression prowling round the mouth of the Channel produced totally maxed out Compton with onshore gales and waves breaking way out in the bay half way between the carpark and the most westerly visible point of the Tennyson Down. There was no alternative but to most the contest east of Niton to Hope, where it underway at midday.

A disappointment after the Saturday which was gutsy at 4-5 feet with very nice inside sections, the waves only managed to struggle up to 2 feet at most for the first heat. However, the six contestants in this heat made the most of a bad job, with Marcus Lloyd dominating to the accompaniment of raucous cheering from the kids on the cliff above and ‘Come on Marcus, give it some welly’ from his girlfriend. Mike Smith slid a few to the very inside, as did Dave Jacobs, but Simon Rolfe and Chris Hollis really needed bigger waves to show off their repertoire to its best advantage. Who didn’t?

Heat Two ripped, slashed and bogged out in similar waves – in fact there were a couple of reasonably-sized sets to break the monotony! Perennial champ Dave Gray adopted a ‘ride anything’ policy which paid off – he won his heat. Steve Williams and Mark Todd followed him through to the finals.

Yes, finals! As the tide dropped out, allowing the swell to break a bit bigger and more consistently, the six finalists paddled out for the decider. Keith slid from further out on a borrowed longboard (the right tool for the job?). Steve broke his fin off half way through a kick-out in the shore break and had to swap boards before many minutes of the final had passed. Dave and Marcus, being goofy, rode mainly lefts, the latter obeying his beach-callers instructions, giving it welly wherever possible, whereas the other four shared the remaining rights amongst them.

Final results were:1 Dave Gray, 2 Marcus Lloyd, 3 Keith Williams, 4 Steve Williams, 5 Mark Todd, 6 Dave Jacobs. Thanks to everyone who helped with the contest, in particular the judges Ann Macpherson and Dave Bottrell; Tony Macpherson for providing the duck-caller (modern technology!) and gallons of frothing tea; Steph for the coconut; especially our hallowed Hon Pres, Sir John, for traipsing from one side of the Island to the other with us, in search of waves – bless their cotton Damarts!

(taken from a 1980 issue of Wight Water Magazine)


Mart & Rob of Rapanui

Recently, Rapanui has been proud to support the Isle of Wight surf Club. The brand contribute to the club financially, making rash vests and giving away all the clubs prizes, and their web development guys made and maintain the clubs site. The Surf club was re-established after the lads started chatting to Matt Harwood, local hero, who came over to wish the boys good luck when he heard about Rapanui – back when the company was still run from a bedroom. Along with Oli Harvey and a bunch of other Island surfers, Rob and Mart are excited about the recent positive happenings on the island surf-wise – “the surf club, the beach cleans, and other projects like Wight Surf History celebrating the Island surf culture is not just interesting – it really contributes to what we do at weekends. More friendly line ups, more mates and more waves. Island surfing has given us so much and these kinds of projects really do give something back, so we’re stoked to be a part of it”


Rapanui donate surf vests for the Frost Bite Series

Eco-clothing super brand Rapa Nui have put their hand into their pockets in these austere times and produced brand new competition vests for the Isle of Wight Surf Club. The club has had resurgence over the last year with a brand new committee and winter surf league.
“Rapa Nui have been such an enormous help to us this, by donating the coloured vests we are able to run smooth and effective competitions on a regular basis” said Matt Harwood (IOW Surf Club Chairman). He went on to say that “We are an ambitious club that want to offer Island surfers a competitive arena, coaching of all abilities, a social focal point and a voice for island surfers in regards to the environment and our beaches. Rapa Nui has been instrumental in helping us with our web-site. We’ve already used the vests in our Frostbite winter surf series. They were well received by competitors and looked fantastic”
Rob Drake-Knight (co-founder of Rapa Nui) says “We are all about local projects and surfing and the ocean is a big part of our lifestyles. Rapa Nui is only too pleased to help the surf club. It’s just awesome to see our vests being used already in the winter Frost-bite series”
If you want to know more about Rapa Nui or the Surf Club check out rapanuiclothing.com and iowsurfclub.com.


Q&A with Johnny Fryer

I always remember seeing Johnny down the fields at Compton surfing from dawn until dusk, and then in 1994 I think a few people began to notice his amazing talent as he became best cadet in the South Coast Surfing Championships at Niton. Johnny grew up surfing on the Island and last year became the first Isle of Wight surfer to become British Champion. I decided to put the questions out to the local schools and sports clubs to see if the youngsters would be interested in asking British Champion and Isle of Wight born Johnny Fryer any questions.

Davina age 7: What is your favourite surfboard?

Johnny: I have quite alot, and its hard to choose a favourite. I have one that I won the English championships and the British championships with, so thats probably my most precious. But its fun to have lots of different ones for different waves.

Abigail age 8: What is your biggest surfboard?

Johnny: My boards aren’t very big (not like the old school longboards). My biggest one is about 6’6ft long.

Will age 9: What was your very first surfboard?

Johnny: ha ha! it was a pink “pop out” board. with black paint splashes on. made by ‘circle one’ if anyone still has it i would love to get it back. It was so heavy and dangerous for me…I was only 6 years old.

Millie age 9: What is the biggest wave you have ever surfed?

Johnny: I’m not exactly sure, probably about 20ft. But surfers messure waves differently by about about half…so we would call it 10ft.

Alyssa age 7: How far away from land is the furthest break you have ever surfed?

Johnny: Some places in Indonesia you go out on a boat to the reef which can be about 1 mile out.

Saskia age 8: Do you have favourite food or any special diet when you are competing?

Johnny: Do you have favourite food or any special diet when you are competing? No special diet, but i just try to eat good, clean food, and lots of it so I’ve got a lot of energy. I love ice cream and chocolate as well though!

Becky (Gymnastics coach): Who initially taught you to surf?

Johnny: I never had lessons, I just always remember enjoying surfing even when I was about 3 years old. I wish I had lessons, it would’ve saved me making a lot of time mistakes in the early years.

Holly age 7: How fast can you go on your surfboard?

Johnny: I dont know. It depends how fast the waves can push you. alot of the time when you surf you try to slow yourself down to stay in the right place on the waves, so its not really about going as fast as possible. But maybe about 30 miles per hour in really big waves.

Emily age 5: What is your favourite manoeuvre?

Johnny: I love getting barrelled, where the waves breaks over you and you stand inside the tube. Its the best feeling in the world.

Bailey age 8: What is you favourite break on the Island and Worldwide and what is your favourite country and why?

Johnny: What is you favourite break on the Island and Worldwide and what is your favourite country and why? My favourite break on the Island is the far end of Compton towards Freshwater. This is where I spent most of my time learning. In the world my favourite waves are in scotland and the Islands north of Scotland, but it’s a bit cold sometimes!

Callum age 11: Who or what inspires you?

Johnny: Family and friends, and people who pursue their goals and get the most out of life.

Ed age 15: Where was the first place you ever surfed and how old were you?

Johnny: I think it was at Compton Bay. I used to surf on polystyrene surfboards when I was about 3 years old, but my first real board was when I was 6


Craig Sharp

Craig Sharp is an Isle of Wight born surfer and now businessman of Pocean Vacations, Surfing and Self Catering Holidays and in less than 3 years employs about 30 people. Pocean life offers a wide range of surfing hoidays alongside activity holidays in Portugal. Pocean Life is located in the cultural town of Ericeira, which boasts some of the best waves in Europe.

Craig’s business was recently featured in an article in the Telegraph ‘Business in Lisbon: opportunities for British companies in Portugal’.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/motoring/europa/7566879/Business-in-Lisbon-opportunities-for-British-companies-in-Portugal.html

During the early Nineties the surfer on the Island leading the way was Stu Jones who was starting doing airs and seeming to get amazing speed out of any wave he rode. But not far behind him was a young Craig Sharp was starting to turn heads.

November 19-20th 1994 was the South Coast Championships and it was being held on the Isle of Wight. Stuart Jones was the last Islander to win it in 1991 and it was all set to be a great event. The event was held at Niton in good size waves helped by a force 5-6 south west wind. The final was between Stuart Jones, Craig Sharp, Ross Williams and Paul Blackley. Paul and Ross didn’t get a look in as Craig and Stuart battled to become champion. It was very close but the young Craig came out on top to become the 1994 South Coast Champion.

I managed to get hold of Craig a few weeks a go and this is what he had to say;

I have just sat down to think about the IOW surf scene and what it all meant to me growing up on the island. So here we go:

I remember skateboarding at Shanklin pier around 1990… At this time just a few of the boys surfed liked Edd Thompson , Dave Grey and Paul Wilson. They were the Shankers boys and I watched them from the pier end where we all used to skate.. To be honest at that time I preferred the skate scene as I just thought the surf looked kind of slow.. However after a little persuasion from Edd Thompson I managed to have a session down at Wight Waters on the foamies.. Well of course one wave was all it took for me to be totally hooked. I then asked my mum to buy me a board sooo she did and it was from Raf .. A 6.8 critical section., thanks Rick !! So I surfed everyday until dark and on all conditions.. I would call Edd every day about the surf and we became the shakers groms hahaha..

I really grew into the surf when I started to go to Niton.. I think the wave made me a better surfer as it allowed me to do turns which I always watched in movies from the likes of Kelly Slater, Luke Egan and Shane Dorian… They were the guys for me.. But I must say Stu Jones had an influence over me to perform, he was a radical surfer and I looked up to him for that, so I really wanted to beat him in a competition which came about in the south coast championships.. I was so pleased to win the event on the island it was a special surf scene for all of us at the time.. What a great day !!

After that I journeyed onto some amazing surf trips with Blackley, having surfed some of the best waves in NZ and growing up mentally as a surfer, I was now ready for the surfers path. Since The IOW I have competed in competitions around the Globe which have provided me with a lot of fun and at times financial rewards but the main thing for me today is that surfing is a lifestyle and without the Isle of Wight none of this would be possible. Thank you to all the surf breaks on the Island and all my friends who were of my life. Now I am in Portugal still surfing and making my life from the surf so come on boys lets do an IOW surf session in Coxos..


Saturday 8th January 2011

them to finish our walk at The Buddle and so managed a look at Niton. I only had my phone with me but here is a short clip from Niton (best viewed large).On passing Freshwater Bay coming home late afternoon it looked really nice so I grabbed the camera and just got a few images before dark that I have put onto a slideshow here and a little bit of movie footage below.


The Surf Cub is formed by Keith Williams

Sue came up & introduced herself and I remember her asking my girlfriend if she wanted to become a full member or just a ‘beach bunny’. That was the start of the best period of the Surf Club for me. In a matter of weeks the membership had grown to 90+ due in no small part to the CP ad. Friday night was the highlight of the week, with Clare Cottage bursting at the seams for the club meetings. Very soon there were movies being shown, mostly taken on 8mm by Dave Bottrell, and skateboarding down Spring Hill. I well remember Sid remarking that Merry Hughes (a quite well endowed young lady) had done a 6 point landing having fallen off her board halfway down. Hands,knees & boobs for those with no imagination. Also, a decision was taken as to where the club would be surfing at the weekend. Bear in mind that the majority of members had no board & were reliant on the good will of the established members, mainly the Ventnor crew, to borrow boards, thus meaning that everyone had to turn up at the same place at the same time. My belated thanks to Rog & Sue, John Ainsworth, Rusty Long & Colin Burgess.


‘The start of surfing on the Island’ by Pat Morrell

‘The start of surfing on the Island’ by Pat Morrell Hutch and I started body boarding at Compton in 1955. My parents rented one of the huts that were out there then. The boards were just flat plywood sheets – the “posh” people had boards with curved up noses but ours were home made. We […]


1970’s IOW Surf Club Movie

Isle of Wight Surf Club movie made in the very early 1970’s by Annie Macpherson

Footage from Compton, Niton and Freshwater Bay starring Roger Cooper, Dave Salero, Roger Backhouse, Dougie Saunders, Sid Pitman, Keith Williams, Tony Macpherson, Pete Brown, Magic ‘Cosmic’ Surf, Dave Jacobs, Brian Hill and others.


The Girls were there too…..!

During the early sixties it wasn’t just the boys enjoying the waves, there were some pretty hardcore girls surfing on the Island with no wetsuits or leashes too.


A Surf Club is born

During the early 1960’s a group of friends had started to hang out on the cliff tops between Ventnor beach and Steephill Cove. These bored teenagers soon began to focus their attention on the ocean. The Island at that time still had many unexplored pockets of coastline or so it felt to this group of friends. The ocean soon became their playground.


Niton video – Feb 6th 2010

In the water… Steve New, Matt Harwood, Scott Gardener and Manni.