Thursday, 30 August 2012


sandymouth surf
Sandymouth Oct 2005

This shot was taken on a beautiful Autumn day in October 2005 from the clifftop high above Sandymouth near Bude. The surf was perfect and it was HUGE!

I was there with my friend Spex who was an entrant in the longboard division of the Roktober Surf Comp, conditions were challenging to say the least. At first glance this may look ideal, but believe me, when it's 10ft on the sets on an exposed beachbreak it's far from easy.

They did end up running the comp anyway - most were happy to just score a few inside waves. Paddling out the back was virtually impossible and the shorebreak and whitewater were relentless.

After Spex's heat we headed up to Hartland Quay where a headland offered some shelter. It looked do-able so we went for it. A rip running along the old wall provided an easy paddle out - but that sense of security quickly evaporated once out in the bay. The huge swell was causing massive water movement and even though the surf was relatively clean beneath the shelter of the cliffs, the currents were swirling through the bay like a rapid. It was a constant struggle to maintain position, any relaxation and the conveyor belt rip would carry me out and north into no mans land. At one point I was on the verge of panic when after 20 mins of concentrated paddling I was still drifting dangerously close to the exposed rocks of the north side.

Luckily I managed to catch my only wave of that session on the next set which took me back into the relative safety of the cove and I decided that maybe a pint and a pasty at the pub would be the better option.

Spex had to get back for the longboard finals at Sandymouth in the afternoon - which again were limited to battling the shorebreak for anything that resembled a wave (he got third). But we were both dissatisfied with our attempts at trying to get waves that day, so we made a dash back into Bude, hoping to maybe score something more reasonable at Summerleaze.

We got there at dusk and although it was still big, there were rideable waves. So we paddled out again, me for my second surf, Spex for the 4th time that day! We did manage to get a few finally, but the constant paddling was starting to take its toll. I noticed that Spex was getting sucked out and around the seapool by the rip. Then lo and behold I also got caught in the same rip and ended up being dragged around to Crooklets. As darkness fell and we stumbled back up the beach, thoroughly exhausted but equally stoked, we knew it was finally time to call it a day.

Friday, 17 August 2012


Vans switchback suede
Hi-tops for a change...

Wednesday, 15 August 2012



Picked up a new slider from Gavin of Traditional Surfing Co last night - looking forward to her maiden voyage - should be fun!



Friday, 10 August 2012


old snugg wetsuit

It's hot, finally it's Summer sizzlin' hot at last.

A good excuse to pull the ancient SNUGG out of retirement. It's ripped and it's ragged - only about 1mm thick nowadays, virtually useless as an incubator. More holes than a Swiss cheese. Just perfect for some summer fun.


Can I get another year out of it before it finally just falls apart..?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


This offer has now ended.
Kernowkalling has teamed up with Gav from Finshack to bring you an exclusive offer of 15% off any fin!

finshack offer

I do love a bargain and Finshack have kindly agreed to give a discount to friends of kernowkalling for all orders made during the month of August. Finshack is a small Cornish business providing top quality longboard fins and accessories and a really great, friendly service. So if you are thinking of buying a new fin, and you want to save money, why not visit Finshack and check out their range, if you see something you like just type in the code 'seasick' (lower case) at the checkout and you'll automatically get your kernowkalling discount.

Note: kernowkalling will NOT benefit financially in any way at all from this promotion, it is a straightforward offer to visitors to the blog. Put simply; I give a local business a shout out - you get a deal.

Offer applies to product only, P&P is standard. Can be used more than once but orders must be made before Aug 31st 2012 when offer expires.

Monday, 6 August 2012


Steve Croft in the shaping bay.

Steve Croft grew up surfing in the North East of England and started shaping as a teenager. Together with Mark Dickinson he founded Fluid Concept in Scarborough. A number of years ago he made the move to Cornwall and continued to develop as a surfboard shaper and designer. He is currently producing beautifully crafted and unique boards under his own Empire label. Here he shares some of his thoughts on the design process and how it is affected by creativity both in the waves and in the shaping room.

Where did you grow up?
In Scarborough. In terms of surfing it still feels like home.

When did you start surfing and what got you interested in it?

I started surfing as a young teenager but growing up by the sea it was always a part of my life.

So what prompted you to start shaping surfboards?

Because I couldn't get the shapes that I wanted off the rack and couldn't afford to pay someone else to shape them for me. Most surfers where riding narrow, high rockered tri fin short boards and that style of surfing just didn't interest me.

Did you learn or apprentice with anyone as a shaper?

I was self taught. I bought a blank, some glass and some resin and built a board. My first board I shaped in a fisherman’s net loft and glassed in my grandparents garage. It was rideable, not great but rideable. The second one I shaped and glassed in a tent in my parents garden. From there I teamed up with a friend (Mark Dickinson) and built boards in his basement. We eventually got set up with a workshop. That was over 15 years ago. Since then I've been very lucky to work with many experienced shapers and have learnt something from each of them.

Can you tell us a bit about the origins of Empire Surfboards? 

Empire started as a way of getting back to the reasons that I started shaping, the style of boards I love to ride and the connection with the surfers that I shape for. At the time I was a joint owner of Laminations, one of the UK's largest factories and production shaping for several labels including Beach Beat. I was shaping boards for surfers that I never met or worse, shaping stock boards for an imagined, generic, average surfer. I'd also been riding standard tri fin shortboards for a couple of years and was becoming frustrated with my surfing. On too many days there just wasn't the power in the waves to get the most out of the boards that I was riding.

I was also increasingly dissatisfied with the detachment between shaper and surfer. I wanted to get back to building the alternative boards that I had started out shaping. Shapes that I strongly believe are more enjoyable to ride for your average surfer in everyday conditions. I had the basics of a collection of shapes, outlines and rockers that I had been working on since I first started shaping and the Empire brand was set up to bring these designs together along with everything that I had learnt since and re-establish that connection between shaper and surfer. It allowed me to experiment with designs in a way that I felt unable to do under someone else’s brand.

Steve, coming off the top with speed and style.