It’s March 2017 and I have only just finally finished watching John John Florence and his buddies travel the world and perform moves I can barely attempt in my dreams. A View from a Blue Moon, one of the most expensive and flashy surfing movies ever made was worth the wait. It was more like a BBC nature documentary than a surf movie. It’s the first full length surf movie I watched in years, these days I just watch the endless amounts of 3 minute edits coming out daily on the internet like everyone else.
The movie got me thinking about surfing, travel, adventure and perfect waves. I traveled to a few places when I was younger and after a surf trip to California when I was 22, I ended up moving from the UK to Orange County. Surf trips became less and less important as I aged, partly due to my adult responsibilities and partly because surfing became so easy living in Southern California. Surfing lost a lot of the adventure. A surf trip these days means checking the Surline app, getting in the car, driving to Starbucks, pulling up at the beach, paying the meter and paddling out with 50 other guys and gals.
I identify as a surfer among other things but, I’m pretty average! Don’t get me wrong, when my surfing clicks on a good day, I can put together some decent turns and put my board where I want it, but I am not John John by any means. In fact, I ride fun boards, fishes and logs. I’ve never owned a conventional short board in my life. Surfing for me is always about fun, style and grace. My current quiver consists of a 6’0 twin fin, a 9’4 log and a 6’6 McTavish Sumo.
So where does someone like me go for perfect waves and adventure. What is a perfect wave and is it as important as the adventure? With that in mind and the inspiration of John John, I’ve decided to start travelling again. I am on a mission to find waves, find adventure, improve my fitness and improve my surfing. So I started a travel blog http://averagesurfer.blogspot.com/ and Instagram @an_average_surfer to document the whole debacle. I plan to travel to as many spots as I can over the next 2 years culminating in some perfect waves. The plan is to spin the globe and see where we end up. Be it paradise or not. Let’s see what an average surfer can do out there. So, where to first?
I cut my teeth surfing in South West England, a pretty rural area of the UK not unlike parts of Ireland with its Celtic folklore and baron green scenery. The roads are narrow, beaches vast and shorelines rocky. It’s a beautiful place with mediocre surf, indeed, most of the time it’s a windblown mess of gray skies and 3ft storm surf. More like the Endless Winter than the Endless Summer.
So naturally, it’s the perfect place to restart my surfing adventures. Why? Because of the adventure. It’s the type of place where local knowledge is more important than the forecast app, where it promises to be better around the next hidden cove. The type of place where the locals in the village pub will tell you “you should have been here yesterday” or “the 50 year storm is coming”. It’s a place where secret spots still actually exist but you need to be shown and best of all, not a Starbucks in sight. Well not until you hit Plymouth.
So let this be the first trip of the year and see where we go from there. March in England is unpredictable at best. We begin on March 9th.