***Little video with lovely music at the end of this post, scroll down for ‘im***
About three weeks ago I nipped off down west to Gwenvor beach (I’m mixing spellings for search engine optimisation), sitting as it does just north of Sennen Cove, sitting as it does just north of Land’s End. Gwenver as any of you who have visited it (or read about it in the Stormrider Guide) will know is something of a ‘swell magnet’ in that if it’s flat there, it’s flat everywhere. Or, if it’s 2ft in Newquay it’ll be 3ft at Gwenvor.
The other really great thing about Gwenver is that the water is incredibly clear. The sand is near-white, so the effect is a turquoise sea for you to splash about in. Sitting on your surfboard, ten feet of water underneath you and the sun reflecting dappled patterns on the sea floor, one is reminded of the best parts of New Zealand, or somewhere in the South Pacific, or Indo (let’s pretend for a second that we don’t travel to the last two for their insane reefs).
The water at Gwenvor is very cold though. Much colder than around ‘The Coast of Dreams – Where Bins Are Never Emptied’ (to quote the official tourism board tag line of Newquay), probably due to the same factors that mean it usually has bigger swell, and I’m guessing here, but I reckon that’s the closer proximity to the deeper, cooler waters off the continental shelf.
It didn’t take long for me to drive down to Gwenver, it was peak summer but the roads were oddly quiet. The surf wasn’t that busy either. My GoPro seized halfway through the session and I had to go in and find someone with a towel so I could dry my hands and take the battery out to force reset it. A bloke taking photos of his mate in the surf had that towel, he was visibly twitching as he snapped away longing to be out there on those fun, slightly onshore walls.
I got the GoPro going again, and about two waves later my leash snapped. Oh well, it wasn’t a big swell so I carried on, taking great pains to hold on to the board no matter what. Some people say that surfing without a leash sharpens you up as it makes you focus, that’s true, so long as you don’t let it get away from you to lodge itself in someone else’s eye.
These photos aren’t great surfing shots but then again I think we’ve all seen about all there is to see regarding what a GoPro mounted on the front of the board can offer us, at least until we put it into Narrow FOV which I am experimenting with (how grand) in advance of the upcoming North Islands trip.