Loco Surfing Reports On The SUP Punks East Coast Social
Born out of frustration with a national series exclusively run at beach breaks in the South West, the concept of forecast-driven competitive paddle surfing series had been bounded around by a few of the Northern-based riders over the colder winter months.
With a dismal forecast predicted for the first BSUPA date at Saunton Sands which was ultimately cancelled it seemed logical to offer an alternative arena for competitive paddlers to come and pit their skills in. Despite a lot of talk, the last minute timings and Easter holidays meant interest simply wasn’t sufficient to justify running a comp.
That said with a promising Northerly swell, limited wind and sunshine set to make an appearance we would have been mad to not do something. Needless to say a plan was hatched with more of a social vibe being the focus and we all drooled over Magic Seaweed until the weekend presented itself.
Joe & Simon from SUP North rocked up on the Friday evening hopeful of finding some large lumps to test their resolve but sadly the wind was still on it. That said some of the set waves coming through at this particular spot were big enough to test anyone’s resolve. There was also a lot of current moving around and it became an exercise in balancing rather than being the big wave nirvana they’d both dreamt of. After a couple of hours or taking beating on the inside and catching very little they both relented and headed off to Simon’s for some much needed food and a couple of beers to help get off to sleep ahead of a very early start!
The following day seemed like a different day with warm sunshine and the unhelpful seemed to have relented so after a quick breakfast, vans were loaded and we were off to ‘the spot’ to meet up with whoever fancied a super early start on a Sunday as the reef was set to switch off just before lunchtime.
One of the North East’s upcoming ladies Georgie Sowman had made the pilgrimage all the way down from Newcastle but was out trumped by ‘the Laddimans’ who’d come across from North Wales. There was also local SUP charger Steve Bulmer to make up the six. There were a few other texts that came in late so apologies to anyone who was keen to paddle with us in the morning and didn’t have the location info. You snooze you lose!
Anyway the spot looked great when we got there with only a couple of paddlers and a few travelling surfers to deal with. There were certainly enough waves to go around once everyone had paddled the 1000m over to the slab. The tide wasn’t ideal and could have been a bit lower really which meant it could be a bit of a lottery whether you scratched into a fat one where you got one turn or the wave actually stood up and you could attack it gangnam style!
Ollie, Steve, Georgie and Steve B seemed to have the best of it with Joe & Simon still feeling the effects of the night before and offering up their photo/filming skills to keep everyone happy and hopefully give everyone that all important new action selfie ha!
The time soon past but everyone got their fill of half decent waves so it was time for break, refuel and then off to the next spot to scope out where we could shred on the push. After a leisurely lunch the Punks headed North having a look at Saltburn on their way to Redcar which both looked a bit messier than what everyone had got used to on the morning. The wait ensued and we even went for a look at another special spot known to produce the goods but literally as we got the boards out of the vans and started to wax them up an unpredicted sea breeze kicked in scuppering our best made plans.
Sadly a few of us had commitments so had to call it around 3pm but we’re informed the Laddimans managed to find some much needed shelter for another teatime reef session and Dunton spawned upon a heavy slab that was firing unexpectedly although even by his own admission he only felt confident ‘shoulder hopping’ due to the size and shape of this angry looking pit.
So to sum up, definitely not ‘all time’ by East Coast standards but sunny with half decent waves and we didn’t have to drive 1000 miles to a flat Devon to compete in one foot wonderland. The general feedback was very positive about the series and we hope others are tempted by the snaps and video and get involved in our first upcoming competition.