Sunday, 15 December 2013

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Sometimes you just gotta have the good stuff..

mark hollis
Mark Hollis.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Friday, 23 August 2013

ECHOES '78 - '80

Some sounds echo forever in my head.

I've waffled on at length before about Talk Talk, Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, Meat Puppets, Bentley Rhythym Ace, Tortoise, WOO, Gregory Isaacs & Rory Gallagher amongst others.

So here are just three of the albums that I heard between 1978 and 1980 that have remained as part of the soundtrack to my life ever since.

Q: Are we not men? A: We are DEVO! 1978.

Steel Pulse
Steel Pulse - Tribute to the Martyrs. 1979.

Talking Heads - Remain in light. 1980.

There may be more...

Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Phil & Pochi with the hand-made fin in the Ogasawara Islands (1000kms south of Tokyo) before it began its long journey to Cornwall.

Out of the blue a parcel arrived from my old friend Phil in Tokyo.

Inside was a letter, some photos and another well-wrapped package. Proper old-school, typed letter and prints on photographic paper. I was intrigued and already lovin it!

This is what the letter said:

Hey Sqz and Roisin

Hope this letter finds you and the kids well. While we were in the Ogasawara Islands, I met up with a local surfer called Pochi. He's 60 years old and has lived there for 30 years. He ALWAYS rides a single-fin and for 20 years he's been making his own fins.

He makes them using wood from a native tree that grows in abundance on the islands called the Tamana tree. He'll spend a week or so getting the fin right, then gives it three coats of resin. He also sells/displays them in a gallery space attached to a bar in 'town'. The owner of the bar could trace his family line all the way back to one of the original settler families in 1830.

I used to see Pochi most mornings there was surf and sometimes later at the bar which is called 'Yankeetown', built coincidentally around a massive Tamana tree. The reason for the name of the bar is that the area (Okumura) used to be known as Yankeetown when the islands were run by the Americans after the war - they only reverted back to Japanese control in 1968.

One night after Pochi showed me his latest fin, an addition to what could be called quite an experimental quiver of fins, I decided to make both him and hopefully you guys happy by linking up The Bonin Islands and deepest Cornwall. This fin may be mostly for you Sqz, but I'm sure Roisin will have a go and both of you will get a buzz from the look and feel of it anyway. (Actually, Sqz may well end up having to ask for his turn with it...)

Either way I hope you enjoy it. Pure and simple, I saw something in a place you'll probably never get to visit, that I really thought you'd love. Hope you do.

Phil & Miki

"Pochi said he'd tried the fin out & if you add a bit of insulating tape around the base it should stay solid in any fin box."

"Ishiura on the East coast where Pochi reckons there is always a bit of swell if it's offshore. No direct access. 45 minute walk down a steep jungle track to the main beach of Hatsuneura in the foreground, then a 20 minute paddle around the headland into Ishiura."

"In this photo you can just about make out small swell lines tickling Ishiura, which means Rock Inlet, Pochi's local break."

Apologies for picture quality. Photos snapped on crappy old mobile - no camera currently.

Monday, 17 June 2013


A quick evening mission to the beach for a splash...




Pics by Tyde.

Monday, 27 May 2013


Skateboarding in Afghanistan - pic courtesy of Skateistan.

Freedom is a skateboard.

Freedom to roll, freedom to defy gravity, freedom to both create and destroy.

A few years ago I made the decision to ease off skating and replace it with surfing - I could foresee that slower reflexes and older bones would limit my ability to be free on a skateboard. During my last year of serious skateboarding I felt the balance between freedom and fear slipping too heavily towards the latter. So I now spend any spare time I get surfing. It's just not the same...

Surfing is reliant on way too many factors to be truly free in the way that skateboarding is. There has to be the right conditions; tide, swell, wind and even daylight must be considered.

Suddenly get the overwhelming urge to bomb some hills at midnight - no problem. Fancy going for a surf after dark - good luck with that.

Surfing doesn't even feel particularly free either - not where I live anyway. Carparks and kooks are just two elements that clutter up the experience. The only way to avoid them is by living right on the beach or getting up really damn early.

Skating is both singular and plural. If you wanna just cruise on your own, then grab your stick, walk out your door and go skate - simple. If you want to be social, that's fine too, skaters are incredibly friendly and inclusive. Surfing doesn't really give you the choice. Catching a solitary wave is wishful thinking mainly. Surfing by its nature is exclusive. Making friends in the line-up, sharing waves, taking turns, spreading the stoke - all fine in theory but in reality it's every man, woman and child for themselves.

I'm the same in all honesty, even though I try and be as mellow as possible in the line-up I can all too easily become a rabid wave-hunter seeing my fellow humans as obstacles rather than compadres. To me that doesn't feel like freedom, it feels too much like all the other shite that I tried to leave back in the carpark.

Freedom is a choice, freedom is a state of mind - I need to remember that.

Saturday, 25 May 2013


yelo 8'6
The Slide Projector 8'6 x 23".

I've loved this board since even before the day I got it.

Partly because it was conceived at least a year before the day I collected it from Jolly Roger. I spent hours sketching shapes and researching outlines and rockers and tail shapes before I finally bit the bullet and handed it over to Roger to bring to life. He did a great job and from the very first surf it felt good under my feet.

But I've realised it is very hard to have one board that can ever be an all-rounder. The broad, slightly hully lines are great in certain conditions yet not so much in others. So I mix it up with a very traditional 9'4 single-fin noserider (which I also then try and ride in anything, often when it really isn't suitable)...

I've had this board (which I call 'Yelo' although officially labelled 'The Slide Projector') for a few years now and it's served me really well, I've had some great waves on it. I wanted a wide, high-volume board with low rocker, which has worked a treat in getting me into waves early. And the sharp-railed diamond tail fitted with a 7" 4a Greenough flex tip fin gives surprisingly good manoeuvrability too.

Having said all that I'm considering heading back up to Bude to ask Roger to make v2.0. Get everything tweaked a bit. Take it down from 8'6 to 8'4 or maybe even 8'0, slim it down a bit too and increase nose rocker by an inch or so. Definitely won't make it an all-rounder (they don't exist) but it will make it a little slicker in the drop, a little quicker off the bottom and maybe push my surfing a little harder too.

It'll still be yellow though!

Friday, 10 May 2013


A true story.

Admittedly my phone pic is poor quality, but the colours in this garden are genuine HD!

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Clean but a tad too much offshore.

A nice sesh today at Gwith, but the wave count would have been through the roof if the offshore had eased back a bit...

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Friday, 1 March 2013

Saturday, 16 February 2013


night of the hunter
Can't have one...

... without the other.

Been paying a bit of attention to the opposites lately - a perfect moment is perfect purely because so many others aren't. Fun feels good precisely because not having fun doesn't. Night has to follow day.

Spexism* states that: You can't have one without the other.

When R and I got married we bought our wedding rings from a jeweller in Sydney called 'Love & Hate' - always thought that was cool.

*Wisdom from the Tao of Spex.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Winter fuel allowance.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Sunday, 27 January 2013


chapel whitewater
Chapel Porth looking heavy in the corner.

Flat rock.

Looking south, now that's a lot of whitewater...

Saturday, 12 January 2013


greenough 4a 7
Green, purple, yellow!

I've been itching to try out this new Greenough 4a 7" that I got from Finshack.

Got a chance today in some clean chest high waves - instantly felt good, really smooth underfoot, easy to draw out turns yet nice and snappy on quick directional change. I'm a happy chappy!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Friday, 4 January 2013


FluidJuice signature
Another work of art from the hand of Adrian Phillips.

Adrian Phillips is one of the nicest guys you could meet, he's also one of the best surfboard shapers in the country. Combining a huge wealth of experience and knowledge with a grommet's enthusiasm he continually produces top-quality boards for his Fluid Juice label. He very kindly took a break from the shaping bay to answer a few questions...

Where did you grow up?
South coast of Cornwall.

When did you start surfing and what got you interested in it?
12 yrs old and my school had a surf club.

I know you trained as an electrician, so what prompted you to start shaping surfboards?
I started repairing my own and my friends boards and it was a natural progression.

Did you learn or apprentice with anyone as a shaper?
Back then you just had to have a go and learn from everywhere you could. Shaping methods were closely guarded secrets.

Can you tell us a bit about the origins of Fluid Juice?
Initially I just shaped my own boards and then friends starting asking for boards and the circle got wider and wider.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Godrevy lifeguard hut
Push the button.