First off, massive thanks to Tony Plant for taking these shots. Over the years, Tony has become an ally, a compadre if you like, in our struggle against real work and striving for spending as much time as we can doing creative things that we like.
This is a place I’ve wanted to surf for years, I even got the board I used shaped up around six years ago. But other than paddling out there once or twice on half hearted days, I never truly felt ready to give it a proper crack until this year. There’s a heck of a lot of stuff going on out there that you need to watch out for and simply put, the fear factor, foot for foot, is greater here than any other wave I’ve surfed or kited before.
Certainly there are blokes out there that have paddled into this place at much bigger size, and there are the tow-teams that take it on when it’s simply massive, but at the risk of sounding pretentious, surfing is a personal journey, and if the biggest face you’ve dropped into before is 12ft, then an 18ft face seems pretty big!
What leaves me quite surprised is that waves of this size can be breaking at this spot when it would be probably half the size at Fistral or Watergate. The first people to ride here did so in the 60’s, but it’s fantastic to think that we have a spot like this within walking distance that goes largely unridden. I suppose people have their sites set on new, exciting waves further afield in Scotland and Ireland.
Kitesurfing at various places around Cornwall in larger swells is definitely a good preparation for paddling into bigger waves. When you’re kiting amongst large, moving peaks of water, there’s no let up or pause, and this makes you focus and make precise observations about the way larger waves behave. But more so, it prepares you for the speed and chop that you will encounter.
Right, well that’s it, till next time we get out there! Certainly the biggest waves I’ve paddled into anywhere, and I think that only the big waves we kited at Watergate in January 2009 (I’ll have to dig out the photos and put ’em up here later) matches it for size, but they didn’t come close to the power or the schocking noise that the waves at Fluffers have.