Come See England’s New Big Wave

Tom Vaughan

by on

Updated 90d ago

Discovering new waves is in our DNA, it's a surfer's bread and butter. What makes that fickle pursuit even sweeter though, is when you finally surf a locale you've seen from a tucked away headland – a potential reef out to sea in the depths of the UK's Cornwall and a wave with some size to boot. Welcome to The Stones.

In the age of Instagram, Internet and social media, it's surprising that a thing like this has gone untapped for a number of years. Enter Tom Butler; UK big wave hell cat who cut his teeth at the likes of Nazare and Mullaghmore. With MSW on board to help forecast this thing and a rare winter at home for Tommy Butts, it was time to take a closer look at this thing.

"It's pretty mutant," said Tom Butler. "I reckon it's got a few different faces and we've only seen a couple of them.

"It's nowhere near as big as Nazare or Mully but it's definitely got its dangers. It's well up there for a risk factor because of the huge rocks that protrude out of the water and strong currents."

Discussing the wave at stupid o'clock in the morning - probably as cold as it looks.

Discussing the wave at stupid o'clock in the morning - probably as cold as it looks.

So what's the story? How exactly has a new 'big wave' been discovered in Cornwall?

"Adam Griffiths (UK longboarder, slash, restaurant owner) sent me a photo of this thing around two-to-three years ago. It was a huge A-frame with a grinding left - quite a bit bigger than when we surfed it.

"Last winter we had a big Cribbar session and I was seeing a lot of out-to-sea slabs and reefs breaking in the Newquay area. I knew I was going to be staying in the UK this winter with my boy being young so I was really interested to see what else we had down here."

Any nerves about stepping into the unknown? "I was a bit, yeah," said Tom. "The hotel room didn't help, it was about 40 degrees. And then I just started thinking about the five big rocks and working out if I ended up there then, which way was I going to swim?

All smiles. Tom Butler and Adam Griffiths.

All smiles. Tom Butler and Adam Griffiths.

"I was also told that the reef is rammed with UK shark species and a big breeding ground for porbeagles and mako sharks so that was something else to think about.

Yes, this is the UK.

Yes, this is the UK.

"Once I got out there and got more of a feel for it, it felt a bit more spaced out and organised. But, I know on a massive day - because I know it will break bigger than when we surfed it - it's going to become chaotic on that inside.

Again, the UK.

Again, the UK.

Discussing the wave at stupid o'clock in the morning - probably as cold as it looks.

Discussing the wave at stupid o'clock in the morning - probably as cold as it looks.

"There's been times at the start of my career where just two of us would go out on a ski and that would be it, which is probably quite reckless but that's what you do when you're younger and hungry for it.

"But I don't really have anything to prove anymore. So I'm really only going to go out there when the team is setup and everything is there for worst case scenario.

Calm before the chaos.

Calm before the chaos.

"I don't want to encourage anyone to go out there. Obviously it's a free world but what we've stressed in the show is all the safety measurements we took for this project - It was probably the most professional that I've gone out in the water with.

"It's going to be interesting to keep an eye on this wave for next winter."

Tom with Director Mike Cunliffe. This project looks to be a success from their faces.

Tom with Director Mike Cunliffe. This project looks to be a success from their faces.

Interesting indeed. Here's to England's new big wave The Stones.