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APRIL 2010_01 longboarding&freeride





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HANGING HEELS IN WEST PENWITH Sixties Hawaii-California transplant David Nuuhiwa mastered the Zen paradox of noseriding – apply weight, remain weightless. But it has been the Noughties generation spearheaded by Joel Tudor, and set-loose by Americans Alex Knost, CJ Nelson and Dane Peterson, who have taken the noseride to new extremes. Polished by fieldtrips to Noosa Heads, Sennen’s James Parry is tuned right in to the latest on-the-nose-poses. From kick fives to skinny jeans to hanging heels, ‘Pazza’ is our answer to Alex Knost.


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Photo: Greg Martin


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editors letter



herever the cool-water Atlantic greets our rugged coastline, sometimes with a kiss, mostly with a slap, there is now a thriving longboard culture. Why? It’s all about that unbeatable sense of trim - pure balance at maximum speed. To trim literally means to cut away, to get rid of superfluous activity for absolute lightness of being. But the great joy of longboarding is to paradoxically embroider around those minimalist moments of trim and to engineer trim through cross-stepping - walking the board and riding the nose. It’s all about designing the moment by bringing into balance moving feet on a moving board on a moving wave through a still mind. How many ‘sports’ offer that complexity in the moment? This stylish new supplement is a celebration of the new wave of trim plus walking the board - the meeting of simplicity and complexity, cutting back and working up. Welcome to Longboarding & Freeride. On the B-side to The Surfaris 1960s surf-guitar hit ‘Wipe-out’ is a cornball classic called ‘Surfer Joe’. Joe “went down to Huntington Beach one week / For the annual surfer’s convention meet / He was hangin’ five and walkin’ the nose / And when the meet was over / The trophy was Joe’s.” Nobody could match Joe’s noseriding. Half a century later, the longboarding constituency is still obsessed with mastering the noseride. It still wins World Titles, raises hoots and ultimate respect and keeps you stoked until another sunset melts into the horizon. It is surfing’s most enduring,

but also most elusive skill. On page 20, nine times British Longboard title holder Lee Ryan shows you how to get it under your belt. I was a crispy-nosed teenage shortboarder when I fell in love with noseriding. Oxbow asked charismatic Cornishmen Robert ‘Minnow’ Green to run a British Longboard contest at Fistral in the early 1990s. I was deeply inspired watching Jerseyman Noel Creavy and South Devon’s Rob Beiling working the rails to perfection, then hanging gracefully on the tip. Flamboyant Welshman Chris ‘Guts’ Griffiths brought another dimension and was the undisputed standout, cracking lips in a way I thought was impossible on a nine footer. After the event, my dad got hold of a radical, lightweight sparkling yellow 9’4”, second-hand from Chris Jones. It was a contemporary version of a 1960’s noserider, but with thin rails and a single six-ounce glass job. It was built for Jock Paterson, a Brighton skateboard phenomenon who became one of the best and most agile longboarders in the country. I ‘borrowed’ the board from my dad, got hooked and never gave it back. When Minnow started the British Longboard Union shortly after, Guts was a guiding light, dominating in Europe as a full time professional and scoring fifth place in the World Championships in big French surf, knocking out Joel Tudor en route. Slick Newquay trio Lee Ryan, Will Eastham and Nick Carter tied up the contest scene back home for a while, and turned heads with their freesurfing.

Watching them influenced me not just as a freesurfer, but as a serious competitor. Soon, Cardiff styler Elliot Dudley and Jersey-raised Ben Skinner would enter the stage, taking British longboarding to new heights, in turn pushing the latest wild bunch of hot talent like James Parry pictured on page 20. Ben Skinner’s mark of respect is that the very best in the world always fear coming up against him in a heat. We catch up with the blistering performer and potential World Champion on page 12. Elliot has also made his mark on the international scene and is a brilliant and widely travelled surfer. Elliot checks-in on page six But British longboarding has spawned creativity far beyond the realms of competition, and we will not restrict ourselves to the contest heroes and heroines. There are those for whom surfing is both anchor and well of sustenance and inspiration in their lives, who move easily from the board room to the longboard greenroom, or from the aesthetic of fashion to fashioning beauty and elegance on the waves. One of these is designer and longboard fanatic Maia Norman, featured on page 22.


Longboard supplements and specials have come and gone among UK magazines. We aim to grow this one from sapling to magnificent tree, nourished by you, our readers. Here is a rare opportunity to explore a new wave of length.

Photo: JS Callahan/Tropicalpix

Editor in Chief Tim Nunn Freelance Editor Sam Bleakley Managing Editor Greg Martin Advertising Consultant Mel Eden 01872 224030 Mobile: 07779271328 Photo Editor Ben Selway Art Editor/Design James Wilkinson


Published by Endless Summer Media Ltd. Suite 3, Kerns House Unit 11, Threemilestone Industrial Estate, Truro, TR4 9LD Directors Kevin McCormick, Nick Troop


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elliot dud ley WELSH STYLIST ELLIOT DUDLEY LAYS DOWN THE LAW FOR THE SURFBOARD SHAPING ROOM – KEEP IT SIMPLE! W O R DS S A M B L E A K L E Y PHO T O S BE N S E LWAY Elliot Dudley’s jitterbugging foot speed up and down the deck of a lightweight nine footer, to hang out on the nose then lever through a series of linked power-turns, is a stunning celebration of longboard surfing’s eras and styles. The 24-year-old year old Animal teamrider is a remarkably talented all-rounder, equally comfortable on SUPs, quads, snowboards and logs, or on the intellectual slopes of academic discourse. Elliot’s experimentation with a wide range of equipment in every conceivable condition is a reflection of longboarding’s rich heritage and open-mindedness. It also mirrors a hardworking family ethic, his dad’s deep interest in Californian surf culture and some solid inspiration from his Uncle Pete, who was an early pioneer in the longboard renaissance in Britain. The outcome is a multiple Welsh, British and European Champion who is also right-on track to graduate with a degree in Law and Politics from the University of Cardiff. Elliot’s first board was a 6’4” x 20” squash tail shaped by Wales’ late, great Paul Ryder in 1993. But Elliot soon found his dad’s Hobie 8” 6’ ‘Slug’ the ultimate


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board for summertime surf in west Wales. He rapidly progressed on to a growing collection of sparkling Hobie and Velzy single fins, learning style from iconic Bruce Brown flicks such as Barefoot Adventure and Surfing Hollow Days. These featured the radical hotdogging pioneer Phil Edwards, one of the best ever in the sport and the guy who never fell off. Inspired by the films, Elliot quickly figured out rapid cross-stepping, to lay a foundation for a unique style. Family holidays switched to Biarritz, spent surfing warm water waves with emerging talents such as Antoine Delpero. Surfing American manufactured single fins made for point breaks gave Elliot impeccable timing. He started competing at age 12. A year later, I distinctly remember him arriving on the UK contest scene with a flash of brilliance at a no-leash event organised by ‘Tiki’ Tim Heyland. The teenager confidently knee-paddled out in 6-8 foot heavy low-tide Croyde on a candy-red NinePlus Kevin Connelly, swung for a sand-dredging set, took six quick steps to the nose and hung the longest five I saw


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Elliot surfing hollow days in Mexico


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Left to right: Elliot navigating the nasal passage through Central America; Locking in, looking out – Elliot, Pascuales, Mexico

all day. It was a bright and brave start. At the Tiki ‘winner takes all’ event, fellow Welshman Chris ‘Guts’ Griffiths made the man-on-man final with visiting South African Craig Cuff. £1,000 was up for stake. Before they paddled out, Guts asked Craig if he’d agree to split the money 50/50 whatever the result. Craig refused to negotiate. Guts won the final. Following in Guts’ competitive footsteps, Elliot also became a regular finalist and winner at British events, and star in the Biarritz Surf Festival when it was the pinnacle of European longboarding. In 2007, he claimed his second consecutive European title in pitching rights at Anglet, beating arch-rivals Antoine Delpero and Ben Skinner in a showdown of future World Title contenders. For Elliot it was a fitting location, after spending seven


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consecutive summers with his family in France. He was, in fact, the first and only Brit to grace the famous Biarritz Surf Festival poster (in 2003) and his first cover shot was on Surf Session France, pulling neatly into a tube in the Maldives. Elliot’s impressive early career successes rewarded a great dedication to the sport - a calculated exploration of boards and breaks and focused study of designs and materials. His travel schedule is a painstakingly planned mix of working photo-shoots with noteworthy lensmen and free surfing training across the widest range of wave types. Samoa, California, Australia, Taiwan, South Africa and Indonesia merely scratch the surface of the growing travel list. Not a fan of one board for everything, Elliot is a

consummate experimenter for different conditions. Thanks to paying some heavy dues through hold-down-time at explosive spots like Puerto Escondido, Elliot is now a seriously good tube rider - stalling deeply and threading out cleanly by following his leading arm. Longboarders know that sophisticated tuberiding is one of the hardest things to master because it is so easy to catch a rail or get sucked up the face unless positioning and speed are perfectly in synch. Between tackling an academic essay entitled ‘The law is an ineffective tool to deal with climate change’ and a trip to the Catalan Pyrenees, I caught up with the stylemaster in Newport, Wales. Having ridden so many great boards by so many different shapers, who

would you say is, or was, the world’s best longboard shaper? My dad would probably say Dale Velzy or Phil Edwards, but I’d have to say Donald Takayama. The boards he was making in the mid 1960’s for David Nuuhiwa were pretty much the starting point of the modern longboard. That time was the perfect era of pure longboarding in my opinion. It was the peak of noseriding. I still think noseriding is the most important thing in longboarding and although I love riding performance boards as well, for all the logs those mid 1960’s Nuuhiwa templates are what everyone is still imitating. What makes a magic board? Subtlety. The simple, less complicated boards always seem to go the best. My favourite boards have never had a huge


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just make sure you’re having fun and anything extra that you can get is a bonus

amount of concave, sharp angles or chimed rails – they have been real simple, with soft rails and edge just in the tail, with rounded outlines. I think some of the best boards are the ones where nothing jumps out at you – everything is really subtle, nicely blended and rounded. Describe your most recent board. It’s a 9’6” Bing Pintail Lightweight with a sick floral cloth bottom. I got it from Trim Surfboards in Cornwall. They import Bings from the States. It’s such a fast board. I love riding it in the winter. It’s so hard to longboard well with all the wetsuit gear on, but with that board you just point and go. I also have a really nice new South African styrofoam board shaped by Dave Stubbs. He works with Matthew ‘Mouse’ Moir (twice ISA World Longboard Champion). All his boards seem to be

really light, but super strong, and they have really good, consistent rocker templates. I’d like to get more of these. After finishing College you spent a few years fully devoted to professional surfing. Then you went back to University, despite the chance to stick purely with the sport. What tips would you give wannabe pro longboarders in the UK? Don’t try too hard, just make sure you’re having fun and anything extra that you can get is a bonus. You’re never going to make any money purely competing, so just travel as much as possible and take the rough with the smooth when it comes to competition. UK longboarding has such a tight knit group and everyone gets on so well, which is really positive. But there is so little support for any kind of contest


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UK long boarding has such a tight knit group and everyone gets on so well, which is really positive

Elliot taking the tube to work in the Pacific

scene and big sponsorship. It has almost regressed over the last few years, even though the standard has gone through the roof. I reckon to be a full time professional longboarder and to do it comfortably you would need at least £20,000. That would cover rent, living and travel, but even then you’d probably always be broke. That’s why I went back to Uni. You really need something else to fall back on. I suppose my greatest hope for the future is that I can keep surfing well, enjoy it and find a good balance between earning a living and making the most of life and surfing. A friend said he called by your place the other day and you were training like crazy on your rowing machine in the front room! Why the fitness routine and what does it involve? Since I started Uni I don’t get to surf as much as I used to and I guess I just wanted to keep fit. So I train most days during the winter and when I’m not away surfing. I train at Splott Boxing Club in Cardiff three nights a week and have a


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Concept II rower and a spinning bike at home. I also have some kettle bells and use a Swiss ball a lot. I tend to do high intensity circuits with the kettle bells or interval training. Ironically, I’m probably fitter now than I’ve ever been. I think once you start training it does become a bit addictive. Winning the 20-mile race at the Brighton Paddle Round the Pier last year was a pretty good culmination of a lot of training. You’ve made it into your final year at University. How’s it all going? I’m on track for a 2:1, which I’m pretty happy with. There’s definitely a lot more work this year. I usually have about ten hours of reading to do per week, on top of lectures and other work and surfing. The amount of reading can be boring. But I’m really enjoying Environmental Law this year as it is very much applicable to everyday life and gives you more of an idea of how the world actually functions. In Criminal Law last year it was interesting learning how the Criminal Justice system works. It’s good to understand the EU

and what it does to benefit us as surfers. I’ve also learnt a lot about why British people are the way they are, both good and bad sides. But Politics is so much more enjoyable than Law as you can’t really be wrong - it’s all about putting across a strong, yet balanced argument, so it’s a nice change from Law. I’ve never had too much of an ambition to become a hot shot Lawyer. I guess I just thought both subjects seemed interesting and I wanted to do a degree that would give me a wide knowledge and open up as many career paths as possible. At the moment I am planning on doing my Legal Practice Course next year, which will then make me a solicitor. But I don’t know whether I will go straight into practice. I’m not in any rush!

Post script: Elliot will be paddling across the English Channel on an SUP in June to help raise money for Surfers Against Sewage


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Ben froze his toes off to get this majestic hang ten shot in the dark depths of winter Photo: Ben Selway



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Even before his teens Ben Skinner was already surfing like a hellraising 18-yearold – bodacious and balls-to-the-wall. We were out together on a huge day at Lacanau just as he was switching into riding long as well as shortboards. Up the beach Nathan Phillips, Alan Stokes, Jon Buchorski and Shaun Skilton were competing in the Pro Junior shortboard expression session. We were cheering them on between sets, before pulling into close-out barrels only to get nailed on the sand. Ben had a grit and determination that I had rarely seen before. Watching the action up the beach from outback he was also a massive supporter of his friends and peers competing in a heat. During that session I noticed three qualities in Ben that he has never lost - no fear, an electric competitive streak and a tireless promoter of his teammates. I used to love the annual battles with Ben and Lee Ryan at the English Championships. At first, Lee and I would nudge him out, but year by year, Ben got faster, stronger, better on the nose, more radical from the tail, more eloquent through walking, trimming and noseriding and has now emerged as Britain’s best ever bet for a world title. Through shortboarding, he had gained torque, speed and an ability to get at the core of the wave’s energy and exploit this through radical turns in the pocket. On a longboard, he learned to improvise brilliantly around the bottom turn and cut back and started working at the edges of the wave, pulling its energy ragged, avoiding the pocket to ride the lip, launching outlandish aerials and making floaters stick as if at the eye of a storm. “I was 15 when I competed in my first ASP World Longboard Title in Brazil,” says Ben. “Ever since I watched Beau Young win that contest I’ve been really ambitious to win a World Title. But the real turning point was the Biarritz Surf Festival when I was 17. I made the quarterfinals with Joel Tudor. He went on to win the World Title, but I managed to

Perranporth resident perched on the edge at Praa Sands corner Photo: Ben Selway

Ben had a grit and determination that I had rarely seen before keep up with Joel and get high 9 point scores. To get 9s at that level really gave me the belief that I can win a World Title. I’ve wanted one ever since.” Ben developed an approach that displaced the grace and elegance of the likes of Joel Tudor for pure energy and risk. And it paid off. Ben has one of the most explosive styles in modern longboarding. While most elite surfers are not very focused on the non-prize money ISA World Title, for Ben, it is just as important as an ASP World Title. It’s a great reflection of Ben’s character. “The ISA is all about surfing for your country – like the Olympics,” says Ben. “It offers an amazing sense of pride. The ASP is individual. It’s for you. In the public eye the ASP is probably more prestigious and is gonna really help to keep making a living from surfing alive. But they are both equally important titles to have, and you have to beat the best in the World to get them – people like Taylor Jensen, Harley Ingleby, Phil Rajzman and Ned Snow.” Ben is not just brawn. In recent years, he has added deep reflection about shapes and materials, design and hulls, lines and turns, to become a tactician through knowledge. He has become studious and focused before heats, eyeing the rips, checking the tides. And when it becomes hollow, Ben is actually thinking about how long he can stay in the barrel, rather than – like the rest of us - whether he will make it out unscathed. Big wave riding is also a

Ben being interviewed after beating Hawaiian Bonga Perkins on the World Longboard Tour Photo: Sylvain Cazenave/Oxbow



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Power turn on Ben’s latest ‘Hydroflex Skindog model’ which uses a pressure system, valve and pump for flex and strength Photo: Selway

sharing cutting edge board design with fellow shapers and blowing up during freesurfs...



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09/03/2010 11:13:00

Pasta Point bottom turn, competing in the Indian Ocean Photo: Sylvain Cazenave/Oxbow

natural for Ben, combining the adrenaline rush in outrunning monsters at speed with developing appropriate arcs - sweeping turns on a huge canvas to leave minimalist lines. And to balance time in the waves, he has been a business entrepreneur, setting up both a surfboard company and surfing school. In Europe Ben is often the heart and soul of any event, sharing cutting edge board design with fellow shapers and blowing up during freesurfs. He is such a firm favourite at every event that things have moved beyond a fear of drawing him in a heat, to a buzz just to surf with him and be inspired by his performance. Approaching the end of the 2009 season, he had already won the ASP Europe title in Spain and the ESF EuroSurf title in Jersey. Up-and-coming Sennen star Mike Lay was on-hand - both competing in and reporting for the final event of the European Tour of Longboard in Portugal. As Ben was going for the treble, Mike sent in this report: “Going into the last event of the ETL any one of six different surfers could still mathematically take the title, but there were three surfers for whom mathematical hypotheses were not necessary - Antoine Delpero, his younger brother Edouard and Ben Skinner. They had been the three dominant forces of 2009, with a win apiece in the previous three ETL events. The first day was held at the primary site of Sao Pedro, Estoril, Lisbon - a normally reeling right-hand point, but with strong onshore winds, vicious rain showers and a strong swell - now a major challenge just to paddle out, let alone ride. A definite stand-out was Bantham’s Ben Howey, who looked completely at home on his way to beating 2008 French European Champion Remi Arauzo. Sections were linked with occult foresight as Ben Howey weaved his way first left and then right from the end of the point all the way to the beach. After round one was completed, the event was called off for the day with a huge

swell predicted and two words on everyone’s lips - ‘Santo Amaro’. When the contestants reconvened at Sao Pedro on Sunday they were greeted with 8-10 feet offshore closeouts. The decision was then made by the hugely knowledgeable local organisers and the competitors themselves to move the contest to the infamous reef slab of Santo Amaro. Surfers who had attended the year before talked of waist high water, dry reef and dangerous barrels. The hero of the quarterfinals was local Miguel Ruivo, whose affinity with the wave was remarkable. He let set after set go whilst others in his heat struggled. Then his patience was rewarded as his first ride was a clean, three seconds barrel, scoring 8.50. Whilst others’ seemed reserved in riding an unfamiliar new wave, Miguel was instinctive, proving that there is no substitute for local knowledge and experience - unless, of course, your name is Ben Skinner. His fearless approach saw him floating and rising above not only the various lips and sections but also his opponents. But not all were so easily conquered. The brothers Delpero worked their usual magic - making hanging ten on a four foot wave over one foot of water, then transferring their grace and flow to the fast and steep ledges, look like a walk in the park. Due to a seeding idiosyncracy, all three of the favourites met in the first four man semi-final. It meant someone’s title ambitions would have to wait for another year. The stakes were huge and this was reflected in the heat scores, which were uncharacteristically low, each surfer focusing more on getting through such a heat of consequence than taking the risks to post big figures. After a tense 25 minutes it was current ISA World Champion, Antoine Delpero, who lost out to his younger brother and old adversary Ben Skinner. This meant that the first man-on-man semi would decide the European Tour of Longboard Champion for 2009 - either 17-year-old young pretender and surprise package, Edouard Delpero, or Ben Skinner, the ever present LONGBOARDING MAGAZINE

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Trailing the multi-fin ‘Transformer Skindog model’ hybrid board at Porthleven Photo: Tim Nunn


and already two-times European champion, gunning to make it an unprecedented triplet of ASP, ESF and ETL titles. The wave at Santo Amaro is a natural amphitheatre and the right-hander was breaking into a vortex of electric energy. The surfers traded waves like gladiators exchanging blows in the coliseum. Edouard valiantly defied both his years and short stature to remain in touch with Ben throughout the heat, tearing up the wave with stylish poise and control. But where Edouard was posting 7’s and 8’s, Ben was getting 8’s and 9’s. Where Edouard was hitting the lip, Ben was destroying the lip and tattering the wave face. And where Edouard was bottom turning around a section, Ben was floating over it with confidence and style. Ben once said to me that winning a heat is 60% psychological. On this occasion his belief from already holding two European titles manifested itself in incredible surfing. Needless to say, he won the heat and along with it the title of 2009 ETL Champion. After triumphantly leaving the water, a grin implanted itself on Ben’s face that lasted through signing numerous autographs, posing for photo’s, completing TV interviews, all the way


through the final against Frenchman Alexis Daniel. Ben won that, and 1000 Euros first prize, comfortably. It was the third time that the competition had been held in Estoril and the third time that Ben had won it. The Portuguese had nicknamed him ‘The Viking’ and in 2009, with a combination of fearless ambition, belief and surfing prowess, Ben has well and truly conquered Europe.” So, following Mike’s lead – will Ben now move on to world domination? I put the question to Ben – what will it take to win your first World Title? “A lot of hard work and determination,” answers Ben. “It takes a lot out of you financially and travelling away from the family - to do all the events. You have to put everything you have into it. I got so close at the ISAs in California in 2007, losing to Matthew ‘Mouse’ Moir by 0.34. Ouch! Even though I got second in the World that memory will always hurt until I win one. This year I’m training hard, and starting my preparation early. I have a personal trainer to bring my fitness level right up. When you are surfing man-onman heats, to get outback first in a paddle race is really important. If you are really fit and strong it also helps with your mental edge. It’s half the battle, especially

if your competitors don’t know how fit and strong you are feeling. It would mean so much to be a World Champion. I’m fighting for it, and want it so badly.” If you could select three breaks for a World Longboard Tour that you would feel most comfortable in, where would you choose? “For me personally, Estoril in Portugal would be amazing. I love that place. There is such a good selection of waves depending on conditions – the right point at Sao Pedro, the reef next to it, the slab at Santo Amaro down the road if it’s huge, and the beach at Guincho up the coast if it’s small. It’s a perfect, versatile contest venue, and the local organisers know exactly where to be and when. Pasta Point in the Maldives was unbelievable in 2009. I hope this year we can compete there again. It’s a great performance wave. Jeffery’s Bay in South Africa again (like 2001) would be insane for the final.”

Skinner styling to success in the Oxbow World Tour Photo: Sylvain Cazenave/Oxbow

Oxbow have signed with the ASP to host three World Longboard Tour events in 2010. There is talk of Japan, the Maldives, Hawaii, even Sri Lanka and Oman. It’s all under wraps until licences are finalised, but rest assured, Ben Skinner will be in the hunt for the crown to be Britain’s first surfing World Champion. Good luck.


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Sennen styler James Parry shows the way

Look down the line and aim the board with your toes to the next section

HANG TEN IN 2010 Time stands still when you’re hanging loose over the tip of your longboard. But noseriding is a hard art to master. Here’s a helping hand W O R DS



Newquay raised Lee Ryan is now based in New Zealand, where he is Head Judge on the national Pro Longboard Tour. He has recently joined the coveted panel of ASP World Longboard Tour judges, a great achievement for British surfing. Lee has written an excellent online book called A Shortcut to Longboarding which draws on his extensive experience of competition and freesurfing. Here’s how Lee approaches how to Hang Ten.

STEP 1: The setup • Hold on to your bottom turn a little longer than usual by applying weight to your back foot, or stalling the board and leaning slightly on the inside edge. • Aim the nose up the face to put the board in the top third of the wave. • How much you stall the board, or draw out the bottom turn, depends on how far away the breaking wave is from the back of the board and how many steps you are going to take to get to the nose. • When you feel the wave catching up 020



to the tail of the board, it is time to start walking up the board.

STEP 2: The walk • Use the stringer of your board as a centre line with your feet across it. Keep your hands outstretched at shoulder height to balance yourself and don’t look down at your feet. By looking down you are dropping your front shoulder, which puts excess weight over your front rails and may cause them to catch, meaning you will fall down right where you are looking. • Initiate each step by lifting your front arm and shoulder, and keeping them parallel to the face of the wave. As you put your front foot down toes first, start to lift your back foot up to keep a smooth transition, similar to when you are using the clutch and accelerator to change gears in a car. • Always look ahead, down the leading arm in the direction of travel. Use your shoulders, arms and open palms to help balance. • As you cross step, the board slowly



returns back to the trim position, following the stall or bottom turn. Imagine you are walking up a see saw - by the time you reach the nose, the wave will be breaking over the tail of the board, locking it in the wave and lifting up the nose.

• Stand upright to spread your bodyweight. Keep your arms at your sides, shoulder width apart. Lean forward to keep momentum, making slight adjustments to maintain balance. Whoa! You’re hanging ten!

STEP 4: The recovery STEP 3: The noseride • Extend your front leg and roll all fives toes over the nose. Keep your knees slightly bent for control and try to focus your weight towards your heels and back foot. • Look down the line and aim the board with your toes to the next section. Toe control really helps here. This is why noseriding is a lot less enjoyable during the winter in booties! Use the noseriding foot to feel when the tail locks in really tight. Then it’s time to try to get all ten of those toes over. • Keep looking forward watching what the wave is going to do. Pull both feet parallel to the stringer with all your toes over the nose of the board and your weight through the middle of your feet.

• As soon as you feel the board beginning to slip out, or sink, or if you see the wave slow down ahead, or become too steep, it’s time to back off the nose. • Keep your head up and your arms out to your side at shoulder height for balance, and once again, remember not to look down at your feet. • Release the hang five foot, and place one foot behind the other, cross stepping until you are back to your normal stance, always looking ahead. • The key is to feel the whole sequence of movement in your body, looking ahead at the wave and not at your feet. Practice, practice, practice! And study the masters. For more info and tips check out Lee Ryan’s


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I have always been deeply fascinated by surf culture

Maia NoRman Californian Maia Norman is an acclaimed clothes designer, devoted mother of three boys, partner with the globe’s most adventurous visual artist, Damien Hirst and committed longboard stylist and traveller. She has made North Devon her home and Croyde her local break W O R DS




wish everyone had something like surfing in their lives,” says Maia. “A place you can go to clear your slate. I feel like a million bucks when I come out of the water – especially in the cold.” Maia was a fearless bodysurfer at the infamously heavy Newport Wedge before she moved to the UK, after a “European walkabout” when all her friends disappeared to art school. “I love Biarritz – so much varied surf, and the food, architecture and general way of life are all so delicious. I was also lucky enough to surf Nihiwatu last year – that’s one colossal break.” “I have always been deeply fascinated by surf culture - the legends, the meteorology, the camaraderie. Surfboards are such irresistible objects. As ladies have shoe collections I have surfboards




… we used to go up to Santa Barbara and stay with the Yaters – so I bought the replica Yater Spoon. I’ve also got one of Julian Schnabel’s Blind Girl Series – Herbie Fletcher made it with me in mind. Herbie has also made me one of his Thriller epoxy longboards – it flies!” Ever since her rockabilly days managing an aerobics-wear shop next to Jane Fonda’s Workout in Beverly Hills, to being art director for a record company, Maia has skirted the fault lines between the fashion, music and art worlds. “Artists are such fun to be around. They’re smart and not afraid to have a good time. I just took a whole crew of friends to see The Jim Jones Revue. They were scorching – imagine Little Richard on crystal meth! I also co-manage a new band called The Rotten Hill Gang. Mick Jones from The




Clash plays with them on and off. They’ll be playing at Glastonbury this year... cannot wait.” “It’s people who make the world go round. And travelling is a brilliant way to test your people skills. Tom Wegener is one of the most inspiring characters in surfing at the moment – he’s so full of life, so innovative, like a really chirpy George Greenough. I love people who are going forward in a curious, inspired way. Recently I’ve been working with the charity SurfAble. They introduce autistic kids to surfing with incredible results. We’re planning a Thames paddle this summer to raise awareness. I’m also hoping to sponsor a showing of The End Of The Line here in North Devon. It’s a film about sustainable fishing, although it will entail a certain diplomacy amongst the

fishing community.” Maia’s clothing company, Mother of Pearl, is currently the third best selling label at Liberty of London. “We’ve been doing collaborations with artists – they’ve been designing prints for us. This season we are working in conjunction with the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation, whose mission is to preserve coral reefs through science and education.” With such a pressing schedule, it is no surprise that Maia cherishes every second in the surf. “Sometimes when I’m out sitting on my board, I see the sheep scattered over the rolling green hills and think to myself this is what California used to look like. With a barbeque roasting at my beach hut at Saunton with the kids and the dogs, watching the sun go down, then I feel like I’ve really got the life I was looking for.”


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