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Landlocked surfgirls meet up

By August 2, 2015 Love, Thoughts

I may not have been able to surf at the weekend but I did the next best thing by meeting up with my landlocked surf buddies Kelly and Sophia.

Making friends with people who share my passion for surfing has been a huge part of my journey. It’s one of the best things you can do as a landlocked surfer – finding likeminded people to share the stoke, the frustrations, life and adventures.

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California dreamin’

By July 30, 2015 Love, Thoughts
Dream trip! The iconic California coast road via wine coast country.com

Dream trip! The iconic California coast road via wine coast country.com

We all have that dream travel destination; the trip of a lifetime bucket list item. We have probably got a picture of it on our fridge, our phone or computer desktop and stare dreamily at it when we are having a bad day and need a bit of inspiration.

For me, it’s the USA.

I have been fascinated by America since I was a child which stems from my dad and his tales of his epic two month road trip across Canada and the States back in the 80’s. I grew up mesmerised by the USA and its culture, favouring American TV shows over our dull British offerings; everything over there seemed vibrant, colourful and cool by comparison. I spent hours pouring over the map, tracing dad’s journey and vowing one day that I would follow in his footsteps.

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Landlocked surfgirl gets a makeover!

By July 26, 2015 Love, Thoughts

High Res logo PNG Post banner

I have been wanting to change the look of my blog for a while now and I’m stoked to finally be sharing it with you!

Thanks to a new theme, some funky little plugins and a very patient and talented husband, the site has a new logo, some clever little features and a much easier to use navigation.

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10 awesome surf films

By February 8, 2015 Love

I love lists, especially favourites – books, films, albums, bands, you name it. On my surfing journey, I have discovered so many films that I love but have never documented them in one place. They are scattered around on shelves, at friend’s houses, on my Facebook page and in my browser bookmark list.

In my ‘10 ways to stay stoked‘ post, I mentioned watching surf films as a way of keeping the stoke. Fellow surfer Leah  (who runs a fab blog on her learner surfing journey) contacted me and asked for some tips on what kind of surf films are a good watch. It has inspired two things (thanks Leah!) – this post and more regular short posts that feature some of the beautiful and amazing surf films that are out there on the web.

To start with, here are my 10 favourite surf films and why you should check them out!

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Live like Sally

By February 1, 2015 Love

Sally

I love finding out about the pro surfers, especially the females – how they got into surfing, what keeps them motivated and with my increased interest in surf fitness, how they keep themselves in top form.

When I found out about Sally Fitzgibbons’ new book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! It’s not available yet in the UK so I had it shipped from Australia, signed by the lady herself!

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Surf in the city

By October 25, 2014 Escape, Love

Today has been a great day in landlockedsville and has reminded me that city life doesn’t always totally suck. Of course the one key ingredient that could result in a brilliant day in the hustle and bustle of Birmingham, is surfing.

TVSC, a new independent online retailer of surf, skate and snow inspired clothing launched today and to celebrate, the guys involved screened a series of films dedicated to British board culture at the Electric Cinema. TVSC is the brainchild of Paul, president of the Birmingham Surf Club and as a few of the members were going along, I was looking forward to meeting them.

I invited my fellow landlocked surf friend whose wedding I went to recently. We hadn’t seen each other since the wedding so it was a great opportunity to catch up, grab some food and talk surf.

There were a series of short films before the two full length features. Two of the shorts particularly grabbed my attention including the beautifully captured ‘Edges of Sanity‘ by cold water company Finisterre. The haunting narrative added real depth to the surfing scenes which gave me goose bumps all over. Shot around British waters in the colder season, it was a perfect film to watch as we head into Winter. It showed a real sense of unity amongst the surfers, particularly in the closing scene as they join together after a day’s surfing, surrounded by food, shelter and warmth.

The other short which I loved was a British skateboarding film which focussed on old school street skating. As a big fan of Lance Mountain from the famous Bones Brigade, I love to watch this style of skateboarding and see how skaters use their urban surroundings to grind on stair rails and ollie over the simplest of things like bags or rubbish and concrete pillars.

The surprise of the day for me was an amazing snowboarding movie called Hallucinate. I had preconceptions of it being set in the Alps or a typical resort location but I was totally wrong. Filmed in urban surroundings, the snowboarders used just about everything to grind and rebound off. It was like watching a street skateboarding film but with layers of snow over everything. Amazing! I’m not doing it justice here so if you like all things ‘board’, hit the play button above!

The final film was Rip Curl’s ‘Live the Search Europe‘ by Lyndon Wake and Jayce Robinson. It charted their search for waves during the winter of 2103-14 and showed them scoring some monsters from the remote Outer Hebrides to Hoessegor in France. They also travelled to giant big wave spot Nazare in Portugal where they joined UK big wave rider Andrew Cotton on his quest to ride the biggest wave. It was a feast of epic waves and loads of barrels, interspersed with thoughts from the locals at each location. Beautifully filmed in true Rip Curl style!

Drinks after the screening gave me the chance to meet some of the guys from the surf club, including, wouldn’t you know it, someone who lives about a mile from where I live! It was great to trade surf stories, trip photos and chat about potential trips to new surf spots.

It was a great day and a fantastic start to a week’s annual leave, which continues with a little surf trip :)

 

 

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Beyond Sight

By October 11, 2014 Love

Derek Rabelo is an amazing guy. He’s humble, loves people, has huge amounts of faith and is a great surfer.

Derek is also blind and has been since birth, but this hasn’t stopped from him from pursuing his dream of surfing the legendary Pipeline.

Life changing stories

When I found out that Derek was presenting his film ‘Beyond Sight’ which charts his journey at only four locations in the UK, I snapped up a pair of tickets straight away. I love surf documentaries, especially those which focus on an individual. I love to hear their stories, how they got into surfing and how, like me, surfing has changed their lives.

But it’s those stories, where individuals have triumphed over adversity, or achieved their goals regardless of setbacks and challenges in life that really grab my attention and Derek’s story was no exception.

Derek’s journey

The film begins with Derek’s birth, blindness and childhood growing up in Brazil and it’s an emotional rollercoaster from the start. From the heart wrenching confession of Derek’s mother, who almost had an abortion when falling pregnant with Derek, to seeing Derek standing on a surfboard for the first time, right through to the hilarious moments which show Derek’s sheer determination which include his insistence of riding a skateboard. He does it all – even tow-in surfing!

The Q&A session at the end of the film with Derek Rabelo

The Q&A session at the end of the film with Derek Rabelo

Meeting the legends

Through his journey, Derek meets, surfs with and gets advice and encouragement from some of the sport’s legends – Rob Macahdo, Laird Hamilton, Kelly Slater and even Eddie Rothman of Hawaii’s legendary Da Hui, a former surf gang who protested when contest surfers began forcing the locals out of their favourite surf breaks. Eddie even enforces the closure of Pipeline, to enable Derek to surf safely without the crowds. Derek also meets Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a shark when surfing at the age of 13. Like Derek, Bethany is very religious and put her faith in God to triumph over adversity.

Leap of faith

Faith is the overarching theme of the film and the clear message is that the best journeys in life are walked by faith and not by sight. Derek relies on his other senses to surf and when asked in the film how he knows when to duck dive and when to pop up, he replies that he hears and feels the ocean. But what really amazed me was when asked by a member of the audience at the end of the film to explain what he fears, he simply responded, “I don’t have a relationship with fear, I have a relationship with faith.”

It’s this belief that will undoubtedly carry Derek to his next mission where he is aiming even higher…to surf the notorious Jaws!

Good luck Derek! I will be watching your story with interest!

 

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Stephanie in the Water

By August 17, 2014 Love
Steph Gilmore in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2010.  Image by surfglassy via Flickr, CC BY SA

Steph Gilmore in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2010. Image by surfglassy via Flickr, CC BY SA

Last night I watched the long-awaited documentary about five-time ASP world champion Stephanie Gilmore. I didn’t know a great deal about Steph before watching the film, so I was looking forward to getting an insight into her life on and off tour.

Spoiler alert – don’t read on if you’re planning on watching!

Stephanie in the Water’ charts Steph’s meteoric rise to success starting in 2007 when she won the world title on her rookie year aged just 17…and she didn’t stop there. Steph dominated women’s surfing for the next consecutive three years until a shocking event in 2011 called a halt to her winning streak.

I had no idea about what had happened to Steph, and was truly shocked to learn that she was attacked outside her home. As well as the psychological effect this must have had on her, it also unfortunately had an impact on her surfing and the 2011 world title passed to Carissa Moore.

What I liked about the documentary was the no-holds barred view, especially seeing Steph struggle to hand over the title to Carissa, looking downright peeved at a press conference and refusing to do yet another interview. Yet behind this is a determination to win no matter what, because winning is all Steph has known since the age of 17.

I didn’t enjoy the documentary as much as ‘From Zero to 100’ as I don’t think Steph’s personality came across as much as I expected. However, as it focussed on serious subject matters in parts, it was never going to show someone having heaps of fun.

There’s no doubt about it, Steph Gilmore is one hell of a determined lady and I admire her strength and fighting spirit. Her winning streak is far from over, and although I’m a die hard Lakey Peterson fan, I will be rooting for Steph to rival surf legend Layne Beachley’s 7 ASP world titles!

Stephanie in the Water is available to stream or download now!

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Blue book review

By July 25, 2014 Love
Blue by Lisa Glass

Blue by Lisa Glass

I was so excited to hear about this book in a recent copy of Surfgirl magazine. I have been on the look out for a while for a surf fiction book – thanks Lisa Glass for filling a much needed gap in the market!

Set against the backdrop of Fistral Beach in Cornwall, one of my favourite surf spots, Blue follows the story of Iris, a 16 year old surfer girl who meets chilled-out, gorgeous surf dude Zeke. But is Iris over her ex boyfriend Daniel and what is the story behind Zeke’s trip to Newquay? Queue a plot involving relationships, friendships and of course, plenty of surfing!

It’s an ideal book for reading on holiday and chilling out with post-surf. Its available on kindle and in paperback.

Loved it so much that I have read it twice in 2 weeks!

 

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From Zero to 100

By July 25, 2013 Love

Sometimes, I think this is what I try to do….go from zero to 100 in a relatively short space of time! And when it comes to surfing, being restricted to a once a month trip makes it difficult to practice and nail that technique in just a few months. But I have to be patient – my time will come!

I have just finished watching the documentary ‘From Zero to100’ which has inspired this blog

post. The film charts the progress of pro US surfer Lakey Peterson who, having discovered surfing at the age of 12 went onto qualify for the ASP World Tour just five years later – an amazing achievement considering that many of the fellow pros on the tour surfed from a much younger age than her.

What really struck me about Lakey’s journey was that she never gave up. During the film, she was beaten numerous times by the likes of Carissa Moore and Steph Gilmore – two of the best pro women’s surfers on the circuit. Yet despite the tears and frustrations (and at one point declaring ‘I can’t surf’), she dug deep, drew inspiration from those less fortunate than her and went on to win the 2012 Vans US Open of Surfing. All that determination and will to succeed paid off and I take my hat off to her.
It was also quite humbling to see her tears and frustrations and realise that the pro’s have off days and at times must feel like quitting. But, as the saying goes, a quitter never wins and I was reminded during the film of Andy Murray’s repeated quest to win the Wimbledon grand slam tennis title this year. Many of the UK population, me included I hate to admit, had given up on Andy ever winning Wimbledon, but most importantly, Andy never gave up on himself and proved many of us wrong.

So, when I head into the surf next week for my private surf lesson and the subsequent sessions following (and during any off days), I will have Lakey and Andy very much in my mind, and intend to go out there with a ‘can do’, winning attitude!

Lakey Peterson is currently going for her second US Open of Surfing title and I am keeping up-to-date with her progress with keen interest. Good luck Lakey – I hope you defend your well-deserved title!

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