It's rare that politicians do something to help the humble surfer, but this week that's exactly what Boy George the Coalition Chancellor did, by dropping the price of diesel by a whopping 1p per litre. This means it only costs £99.50 to fill up the van instead of a £100. So, feeling pretty flush with the extra 50p in my pocket, I loaded up the new SUP and drove in search of some surf.
Bournemouth's beaches have been flat for weeks. So flat I fear the sea might 'set' like curing epoxy if it goes on much longer. The mighty Kimmeridge was mighty flat. But the west country has been getting some small swell all week, with more to come this week. Normally three hours each way seems too far to drive for a surf, but I reminded myself that crazy people like Timo and Steve Thorp wouldn't think twice about driving three hours for a surf, or even for a pint of milk. Also I've got the new paddleboard and have been itching to see what it's like in waves rather than ripples. And then with the super cheap diesel thing now...
So Woolacombe seemed like the closest option. Seemed to time it nicely. Small, occasionally medium sized waves. Light offshore winds and fourteen million surfers. Where do they all come from? We get spoiled here when a good day on the ledges will have a few people out at most, many of whom will be paddleboarders. The west country is rammed with T5s with alloy wheels and middle aged guys with minimals. There must have been a million at least in the carpark and that's not exaggerating. Funny thing is though, not a single other paddleboarder except me.
Anyway, the new board is great. You can't (well I can't) surf it for hours like with the bigger one, as once you get tired you start to fall in more, which rapidly makes you more tired, meaning you fall in even more. And so on. But got about two hours of some smaller peeling waves, and bigger closing outs, a few of which held up enough to get a couple of turns on. No pics, except this that I shot from the carpark before doing some more driving.
All in all worth the driving, thanks George!