The past few weeks in the UK's south west have reminded surfers what it means to be a part of this crazy little surfing world. Back-to-back days of incredible waves, some with not a drop of water out of place. Car park conversations are echos of; 'same again tomorrow?', 'it might be a bit smaller, but super fun though', 'the banks are insane right now', and 'let's hope it never ends'.
Reports from all across Devon and Cornwall are the same; spring is here. The sandbars that help sculpt waves into 200 metre runners down the beach have been holding – especially in places like Croyde, Fistral and spots far out in West Cornwall.
Live cam: Fistral
It's now week two of the swell run (see last week, HERE) and from Monday right the way through to today the swell tirade hasn't stopped. There's more tomorrow, too and the next day. And the next day. When we launched a couple of these teaser pics on social, a few people weren't ready for the colour of the water.
Here's a little-known fact about Cornwall; it actually has a sub-tropical climate, thanks to its location on the eastern-edge of the gulf stream. Kernowfornia, is what people say, referring to the Cornish spelling of Cornwall, Kernow. But when there's weeks like this, there really is no place like home.
“It's been super nice to get some solid north coast waves after a winter of south coast days,” says young Sennen ripper, George Carpenter. “When the right swells and banks align, there's nothing like scoring awesome waves at home. Makes it worth setting your alarm for 6am – getting up for first light and there's the chance of scoring some tubes.”
“The last few weeks have been all-time in Cornwall, from a wild and wooly spell to see out the winter at the start of March to some of the most beautifully lined up days I’ve ever seen at Fistral this week just gone,” said primo UK snapper Luke Gartside. “Everywhere, shoulders are aching, cheeks are rosy and hoods are coming down. Here’s hoping for plenty more.”
Breaking this down, UK forecaster Jamie Bateman said: "This week began with a modest but fun swell moving into the exposed beaches across the UK's South West. The surf wasn’t big anywhere but swell magnets saw head-high surf Sunday.
"The low responsible deepened to the north west of the Azores through Friday, March 18 as a strong, 1050 mb high pressure expanded over Scandinavia. This high pressure was all important in keeping the jet stream directed away from the UK and setting up favourable, offshore east wind across the southern half of the country.
"Another compact low formed to the south/south west of Nova Scotia through the weekend on March 20, 21 and moved slowly to the east. By Tuesday it was solid, 3ft plus overhead surf showing late in the day at the more exposed beaches in Cornwall.
"Wind came up a little strong on Tuesday as the low squeezed up against that strong high pressure -- but there were still some good conditions in Cornwall’s sheltered corners. The wind eased through Wednesday and Thursday as the high drifted west, eventually centring over the North Sea setting up AAA conditions across the South West UK. The surf very slowly eased but Wednesday and Thursday were all-time at exposed beaches with summer like blue sky conditions. Epic? Sure was."
Keep an eye on your local forecast for the weekend too, because this thing isn't done yet.