I was first taken surfing before I was even a teenager back in the early Eighties, and even now can remember the first wave I caught in the Corner at Porth Neigwl/Hells Mouth on the Llyn Peninsular. I was lying on my stomach whilst wearing a wetsuit that was so big on me I had to roll the sleeves and legs back on themselves so they would not flop about on the end of my limbs. The water was cold and murky because of all the boulder clay in the soil, which is a remnant of Snowdonia’s glaciated past. Despite all this catching and riding the surge of the wave towards the shore was a massive rush of excitement and I couldn’t believe how amazing the sensation was. I was hooked on this ‘stoke’ straight away and have loved going to the beach ever since, improving a bit as I have gone along for good measure. I adore going surfing and will happily get up before dawn in the middle of winter to get the morning glass to myself, before the convection currents over the coast kick in. I particularly love surfing monster waves because the adrenalin coursing through your veins as you paddle out towards a mountain of water coming your way is intoxicating, but love surfing small fun waves with your friends too and even enjoy the wipe outs when I fall.
North Wales isn’t known for its legendary surf conditions but on its day, like almost every other beach on the planet, it can be absolutely firing. However since I was a teenager I have been looking at surf magazines dreaming of surfing in board shorts the warm crystal clear predictable peeling waves that every article seemed to be about. Sadly not many of these breaks can be found close to where I grew up or indeed even close to the UK. The reality is that you need the wherewithal to plan such a trip, the money to pay for it and have the time available to take advantage of the opportunity. To date with just the limited combinations of these things I have had at any point I have still managed to surf all the way down the West coast of Europe from the UK down through France, Spain, and Portugal, and onto the West Coast of Africa. Additional surf trips have also got me in the water in South Africa, Florida, the Canary Islands and a few waves in the North Sea (including one memorable session getting changed in a snow drift on the seafront at Scarborough.)
I have lived in London for the last twelve years working in banking and IT but like everybody else have been feeling the pinch from the aftermath of the credit crunch. There have been and still are very limited employment opportunities so I decided to get rid of the mortgage mill stone which has been around my neck and move on. I would have actually left the big bad city beforehand but had stuck around for the 2012 Olympic Games which I always knew would be awesome.
I was lucky enough to land a part in the Opening Ceremony that led to roles in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Paralympic Games, all of which were wonderful experiences. However that Olympic fun and the feast of sport that went with it was going to be impossible to top, so I wasn’t too upset for it to be my London swan song when I was informed that my latest project management contract was finishing just before the games started.
My flat sold quickly leaving me with no financial commitments and a few pennies in the bank so my focus moved to the horizon. I decided to take full advantage of the wonderful opportunity I had been given before I settle down with somebody or have any children. I would visit all the breaks I have been dreaming about for over twenty years, and attempt as many of them as possible whilst I am young-ish enough to have a go at some of the more challenging breaks. I would always have regretted not surfing these breaks, and visiting them as an armchair tourist in my retirement just wouldn’t be the same. As a result the plan is to sit out the next twelve months of the recession on a surfboard, catching waves on at least 80 different breaks around the planet, whilst taking in some of the other opportunities that are on offer in the countries that I visit along the way. I will update this site as often as I have anything to report and have access to the World Wide Web. If you have got this far, I hope you will enjoy reading about the rest of my adventures.