Jayce Robinson and Lyndon Wake continue their southbound voyage through Europe. This fragment of the trip sees them explore the United Kingdom and happen upon a stack of cold, classy waves along those often underestimated shores.
Words by Lyndon Wake.
The United kingdom; a island small in size but mighty nonetheless. We are often recognised for our unique history and culture, however, rarely do surfers refer to the UK when speaking of quality waves. It is only when people spend time on these shores, and start to see past our Royal Family, Captain Cook, Cornish pasties and the phenomenally bad weather, that they recognise there is a real surf scene, and some world class waves on all of our coasts.
Like anywhere in the world, intrepid exploration is needed if you want to find the gold. Put in the miles and effort and you may just score the waves of your life in the UK. We Started our adventure in the Hebrides, we had both never been there before and didn't know what we would find on the baron, but beautiful Islands.
With no guide or local knowledge, we started with just a simple map, well aware that it would be hard to find the right spot at the right tide, wind, swell etc. Luckily after a day of driving around the Island, we bumped into a very friendly guy who was working on the roads in the torrential rain and gale force winds, it didn't seem to bother him, i think he must of been used to it. He took interest in the van & ski and wondered what we were up to. He sent us in the direction of a local surfer who new his stuff.
We chatted over a cup of tea, he told us some crazy stories from when he went searching for waves in huge swells in his sailing boat. I gritted my teeth with deep respect for the guy. Good on him I thought, no cameras or photographers, just pure passion and love for the adventure and excitement of finding new waves. He marked out a couple of spots on our £1.50 tourist map and off we went.
The amount of driving and searching you can do is pretty minimal at this time of year in the Hebrides, as it's dark by 3pm. It was like a race against time. We surfed a couple of fun waves on our own and camped out in some sheltered coves, filled with golden sand, water like you would see in the Caribbean, crystal clear, turquoise, but bitterly cold. We really enjoyed visiting the Islands, hopefully next time with a bit more knowledge and time, we can hunt down some hidden secrets and finish what we started.
As we sat in our hostel in the Hebrides we saw one of the finer north swells come marching down the channel so we changed our course and shot back across the inner seas and descended down the North Eastern coast.
After a few years of going up there and a variety of successful and unsuccessful missions, we had a few spots in mind of where we wanted to be. This time as we feasted our eyes on a glorious northern sunrise.
It looked like we were about to have one of those unsuccessful missions with wobble all through the line up and wash through sets. We started to check the maps and seek out any nooks and crannies that may host a good wave given the current conditions. As luck would have it after 5 minutes on the road we stumbled across one of the best waves we've ever seen up there.
We watched It churning down the reef for 200 metres, spitting several times on each wave, and soon had our equipment and gear gathered. Unfortunately, being a new spot we didn't know what the wave was going to do as it dropped through lower stages of the tide, and this time the wave deteriorated, closing slightly and dredging onto a near dry slab. Nonetheless it goes down as a memorable session and lined us up nicely to head back down south and enjoy some time at home surfing around our local coasts.
As more and more of those gigantic swells hit the UK it left my travel companion, Mr Robinson, at reeling Porthmeor, while I headed up the coast to surf one of my favourite waves, a long left point. Both of us got our local fill, catching up with friends and family before the festivities. After Indulging in fine food and drink, sure enough we were ready to go again. South we go, let the search continue.