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January, 2015

10 ways to stay stoked (landlocked surfer style)

By January 18, 2015 Surf more, Thoughts

Let’s face it, January and February are crap months. It’s cold, grey and dark, everyone is skint after Christmas, motivation levels are low and the summer seems like ages away. If you are a surfer, it can be the worst time of year for trying to keep the stoke, especially if you are landlocked. The thought of surfing in the winter may be off-putting, you can’t get to the coast for whatever reason or, the winter storms put paid to that long awaited weekend getaway.

Being landlocked doesn’t mean we have to feel disconnected from it all

But being landlocked doesn’t mean we have to feel disconnected from it all. Here are some things that help me to keep the stoke during the winter when I’m miles away from the sea:

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Just doing it in Cornwall

By January 11, 2015 Escape
Post-surf drinks at Praa Sands

Post-surf drinks at Praa Sands

After 2 great surfs in Devon, it was time to head to Cornwall to meet up with my landlocked surf friend Kelly, who had very kindly invited us to stay with her and her husband for the last night of their holiday. I was really looking forward to surfing with Kelly, and hooking up with Pete from Kingsurf to get some pointers on how to work on my pop-up and build my confidence.

The conditions were still very messy and with all the beaches on the north coast around Newquay being blown out, at Pete’s suggestion, we headed south to Praa Sands which I was stoked about. I love checking out new spots and finding out how and when they work best.

Paddle power

When we arrived, we weighed up whether to go in. The tide was high and there was no white water to practise in, just a shore dump, which inevitably meant getting out back. We had driven an hour to get to Praa, it was clean and a beautiful sunny day and ‘just do it’ mode kicked in. Without the safety of the white water it would force me to break out of my comfort zone.

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Just doing it in Devon

By January 7, 2015 Escape
My 2015 mantra!

My 2015 mantra!

My mantra for 2015 is shamefully stolen from Nike, but there’s something about their ‘just do it’ slogan that is just so positive, forceful and purposeful – it means business! I have literally got the t-shirt but putting the words into action by not making excuses or procrastinating over things in 2015 is my main focus.

With this in mind, on new year’s eve, me and my other half travelled to Croyde to see in the new year in style.

It was cold, we were tired after the journey and it was a dull day. The last thing we really wanted to do was chuck ourselves in the sea but with the conditions looking to get progressively messier throughout the week, I made the decision to ‘just do it’ and I’m so glad I did!

Just do it! Surfing at Putsborough on New Year's Eve

Just do it! Surfing at Putsborough on New Year’s Eve


Actions speak louder than words

We sought shelter at Putsborough, which we have only surfed at once before, and had a great session! The pop-up still eluded me but the core work I have been doing in the gym really paid off. I was turning and trimming across the wave and was amazed that the board was actually going where I wanted it to go. The key was to look where I was going (thanks Amy – that advice has stuck with me!) and almost throw my body round and use my arms to propel the movement. (I think secretly I was trying to mimic some of the girls on the ASP world tour – shame I haven’t been taking pop-up notes!).

My stamina has improved heaps thanks to all the cardio work I have been putting in and if it wasn’t for my weak arms, I could have lasted a lot longer. I had so much fun during the session and I was stoked with the progress!

I even bumped into an Instagram friend – I knew she was going to be in the Croyde area and recognised her instantly by her surfboard. I admit to hesitating before I approached her, but decided to ‘just do it’ and we had a lovely chat about surfing and our love of North Devon.

We ended 2014 on a high from the surfing, a lovely meal in the Blue Groove followed by a midnight walk on the beach.

Chickening out

Motivated by the previous day’s progress and feeling super positive on the first day of the year, we headed to Croyde beach to do a 2 minute beach clean – this is something I do on every surf trip and its my way of giving back when I am by the coast. We then headed into the village and who should be sitting outside Redwood Surf Shop? Local surf legend and Billabong XXL big wave award nominee Andrew Cotton! I had been wanting to meet for him for a while, say hi and tell him how awesome he is for riding giant waves.  But, instead of ‘just doing it’, I hesitated, and assumed he wouldn’t want to be harassed by some kook surfer. By the time I plucked up the courage, he was in his car and driving away. I kicked myself for the rest of the day. Gutted!

Putsborough collage2

Back on track

In the afternoon, we headed back to Putsborough for a new year’s day surf. It was messier than the previous day, much colder and I was knackered from a disturbed night’s sleep, but I knew I would regret not surfing. So, I suited up and headed in.

Glad again that I did! It wasnt quite as good as the previous day but the consistency was still there as was the turning and the trimming. We hadn’t been in long and it started to rain – neither of us had ever surfed in the rain before and it was a bit of a wish of ours. There was something so exhilarating and refreshing about it – totally surrounded by water.

I had a fantastic time in Devon and it was a brilliant way to spend the new year. It was only a very short stay but it wasn’t over – we still had an overnight stay in Cornwall to look forward to!

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