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a magazine for surfing females


Welcome to the first Slideshow issue of 2014

here are a few stories to inspire you all to go out and look for more sliding adventures this year. This is the view from where I write this. A beautiful winter afternoon and the north coast of Cornwall is big, windy and blown out, but there’s a dribble of a wave off Gylly reef here on the south coast- a fairly rare sight. We also hope this issue will do something to inspire you to send in more of your great stories and photos to fuel another year of issues. Happy New Year!

generation game / UPPING STICKS / BOARD MATTERS


Photo: Gemma Chalmers.


Generation Game This summer we rummaged for the wooden bellyboards in the garden shed and in the cool of the evening headed off to the ocean. It had been a beautiful day, the sun was just going down and the tide was low. So there we were...aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, sisters and brothers. Auntie Pam (who died in her eighties) had taught the generations how to catch waves, but for me, many moons had passes since those childhood days.

The oldies and those not yet wrinkled whooshing and gulping, launching bodies of all shapes and sizes on to near breaking waves and being carried towards the shoreline. What fun we had just laughing and laughing... The best of days and the happiest of family memories. Liz Taylor, Truro


Photos: Ellie Woodward.


UPPING STICKS

There are times in our lives when we must not only dream our dreams but take steps to make them real. Ironically though, they say there are no real dreams. Getting hooked on surfing should be a life changing influence that moves your whole being onto a positive track. Discovering the ocean and learning how we fit into it can change your life. Surfing found me back in the summer of 1996 when a fine young man called James Blythe, aka Bob, lost his life in the ocean at Polzeath.


I went to college with Bob and we became firm friends. Unbeknown to us both back then, he was going to change my direction for ever. I had never surfed until we lost Bob. I had no idea what had motivated this guy to leave his Somerset home and move down to Cornwall to follow his dream. So shortly after his death, some friends and I ventured down to Polzeath, rented some board’s from TJ’s surf shop where he had been working and paddled out on a small, glassy day. None of us had surfed before but we found ourselves all standing up on our first wave looking into each others smiling faces and whooping with stoke. I felt Bob was there helping me catch my first wave. Surfing became my new focus and it was not long before I had bought an old camper and was travelling up and down the coast of the South West trying, with intermittent success, to recreate that first wave. It took me many years to gain enough skills to say I was a surfer. Up until that point I was a swimmer or a salt water pain merchant - but not a surfer. I took my camper on extended road trips around the Western coasts of Europe, having adventures and meeting new friends. These were good days. Salt water was getting into my bloodstream. I spent weekends with friends on the M5 or A361 driving flat out to the surf. We were so motivated we would leave at 4am and fly down to the sea. Getting in before anyone who lived locally was up. We didn’t care if it was big or small, messy or clean. We surfed storms and perfect swells and if it was flat we paddled around headlands. Life though is both ying and yang. Where there is great joy there also has to be hardship. My job at the time was working for a large construction company. We had recently won contracts in Dublin and I was chosen to spend time there managing them. I had driven out there and spent a few weeks getting the projects under way, a mobile phone pressed Photos: Courtesy of Lucas Craze.


UPPING STICKS

Photos: Courtesy of Lucas Craze.

up to my head most of the time. Busy people with stress and strain. It was hard going. I was at that point though where I felt I should forge a career and earn some money. We cant fool around in the ocean forever. On my return ferry crossing I was feeling rough from my time away and feverish with a virus. I went up on deck in the middle of the night for some air and peered over the rail of the ship into the darkness. The large Irish sea swell was breaking against the bow sending spray flying high up into the air. I could taste the salt. It was here I had my epiphany. What on earth was I doing? I wanted to be a surfer not a workaholic.


I was struck with such shock from this moment Its hard to put it into words. Maybe it was Bob. Maybe it was my soul. I drove through the dawn and arrived at the office at 9am. I quit there and then. It was a tough decision to make the move down to the sea. I had thought it would be hard to make a living and the long deso-

UPPING STICKS

late winters would be too isolated. But I followed my heart and moved to the Atlantic coast of Devon. Being able to surf every swell and exploring the coast is a real pleasure. Living beside the sea you have time to enjoy its moods and its changes. It’s so close you can feel it. I was lucky and found a house to rent close to the beach. On stormy nights you could hear

On the roa


ad: a friend, asleep on his board bag in a layby.

Photos: Courtesy of Lucas Craze.


the waves breaking in the distance. I always felt the energy from waves doesn’t end on the shoreline – it carries on some way inland. Magical waves of invisible energy soothing you as they pass through your body and mind. Maybe this is why so many people choose to live close to the sea? Making a living can be hard at times but you will be fine. If your heart called you to the sea’s shore then there will be everything you need there too. Live simply and you need less. The ocean is open

UPPING STICKS


to all and is free. When you follow your heart and choose a life that makes you happy instead of rich, good things happen. You chose this life because you wanted it more than anything. There was no outside pressure. There was no obligation. No duty or responsibility. It was your inner voice and you not only heard it but you heeded its advice. The more you do this, the louder the voice gets and the closer you listen. One day you wake up and realise that your life is so good, and you made it so.

Its just like surfing. You scan the horizon for a wave that calls to you. Your inner voice whispers to you ‘This one...take it’. You either paddle into it with total belief and commitment or your brain says ‘It’s too big, too scary’ or ‘someone else deserves it more’ and you watch it go by saying afterwards; ‘I should have paddled for that one’. So if you hear a calling from the ocean. You should go. You have to go. Bob is there today and the waves are perfect... Lucas Craze, Devon.

Photos: Courtesy of Lucas Craze.


B o a r d Matters


Photo: Stephanie Jenkins

After getting a new board I was desperate to get in the water. I arrived at Bigbury early, the ground was frosty and the beach - near empty. After having one of those ‘what am I doing?’ moments whilst standing in my pants in the middle of a freezing car park, I hurried down to the beach. Conditions were far from perfect with 4ft of mushy onshore slop, but the wind had died down and I was eager to try out my new toy. Not being very proficient and still being very much a novice I was worried I had taken too much of a step down in size and that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the reduced volume. After getting in the water I needn’t have worried, the board was stable and responsive and after a few epic nose dives I got used the reduced length. Stoked! New Year’s challenge - trim comfortably going both right and left and surf 10 new spots. Bring on 2014. Hanna Richardson, Devon, UK.


STORM ON THE COBB

I’ve always loved waves.

I spent my teenage years trying to paint them, take pictures of them and swim in them. Strangely I didn’t try to learn to surf until I was 30 and I am still definitely a learner now. The problem is I’ve realised I like the really big ones and I’m definitely not ready for them yet. So the recent storms drew me to the beach in Lyme Regis on Christmas eve to watch the storm swell slamming into the Cobb wall. There were few people about and my family were gathering for Christ-


Photos: Bryony Stokes.

mas. Whilst dodging the spray and trying to take pictures I giggled to myself at my brothers email to bring surf boards for some rare action on the south coast. What a difference a day makes. Christmas day saw my brother get straight in with his board, though he warned me and my sister off. My family stood on the Cobb wall surrounded by others muttering what a nutter he must be. When the waters calmed even more my sister got in for a lovely dusk ride. How I wished I’d taken my wetsuit after all! Bryony Stokes, Devon.


OPENS 22ND MARCH


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The Slideshow magazine. Issue 15.  

a magazine for surfing females.

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