If you’ve been living on the East Coast of the UK over the last few weeks it’s been a pretty sorry state of affairs when it’s comes to swell. Endless offshore wind, torrential rain and pitiful one foot wonderland has become the norm, thanks jet stream!
Unsurprisingly at the first sign of pulse Loco boss Joe was cross tabulating swell direction with wind and which way certain spots faced to try and hunt down some long overdue brine time. The forecast had promised much but it wouldn’t be the first time magic had to turned to tragic seaweed. The days came and went and still no sign of this 6′ swell…what the actual fuck?!
It all got too much Monday afternoon, drastic measures needed to be taken. There was zero swell showing locally but MSW hinted at a 2-3′ bump at 10 secs allegedly landing early evening that day! Phone calls made to mate looking for some van/SUP time from Dunbar and to new grom Will Haslam, a plan was indeed afoot!
After some less than scientific carb-loading Joe jumped in his 260bph whip stacked floor to ceiling with all the latest nose riding, traditional and new school wave toys and made is way up to Northumberland. The onset of rain wasn’t exactly encouraging with the promise of good light and sunshine but hey it was now shit of bust!
An hour or so later he was there and popped straight to Bamburgh half expecting mate Will to be out amongst it but he was still in his van. Having a quick look out to sea it looked a bit small so Joe wasn’t exactly rushing to get his kit on either! Will was keen to scope out the new 8’7” Aztec so out it came, fins fitted and wax applied. It was certainly a sexy looking beast so as the sun started to set we decided to throw wave height snobbery to the wind and get in.
Carrying it down to the beach (some 400m) it certainly felt super light for a 150L but at 31″ wide Joe was unconvinced it would turn unless you were a Fijian 7’s player! Both SUPers stroked out with minimum fuss and started to catch a few. It was soon apparent that the new modifications to the Aztec were a real triumph, the board went in 2′, was rocket ship fast down the line and once you’re at the back it smacked, floated and carved like aboard 30L smaller. The swell was building as the sun went down so the session just got better and better! Just as they were about to call time something amazing happened, an inquisitive baby dolphin came over to say hello. It doesn’t get anymore magical than paddling with dolphins with a pink sky backdrop and Bamburgh Castle in the background, just epic in fact!
With the swell set to pick up and a forecast for glorious sunshine it was an early night for both boys. The Loco van felt a bit chilly without the Mrs and pooch must have been the clear skies. Joe woke up super early (4.20am) to see the sun just coming up over the horizon so thought he’d roll over for another hour. This turned out to be an epic fail as when he awoke next it was like scene from the fog, he just needed a pirates hook and some jetskiers to murder ha! The sea fret was that dense it just wasn’t safe to head out so it was over to Che Will for some delicious eggy bread and a cheeky brew. Protein and carbs in the grom was on, frothing to get in (just how they should be!)
Bang on 9am the fret started burning off thanks to the uncharacteristically hot sunshine which coincided nicely with the wind dropping and the swell being at it’s best! Joe ventured out first keen to try the Aztec in some bigger waves, the conditions were a bit dumpy with it being low tide but there was plenty size on the briney slabs pushing through. It was going to be a race the line and smack training day…cue the beatings! No one cared the sun was out, the castle looked resplendent in the background and every Loco loves smacking a lip.
Young shaver Will was soon in on the action too, rocking his 7’2” El Diablo. Joe hadn’t seen Will paddle surf for a couple of months but he was certainly much improved from their last shared session. Some of the waves he paddled for would indicate he’s ready for Watergate (even at it’s worst) later in the year. It wasn’t really a day for losing the fins or styled out roundhouse cutbacks, more survival and who can take the steepest drop.
That said there was the occasional open face on some of the smaller sets where both riders could dial in ‘an actual turn’ and both Joe and Will took advantage of this before the wind became problematic. Needless to say the mission paid off, they both got their swell fix, Joe managed to test the new big boy’s Aztec and the holiday makers got to see what proper sup surfing looks like. Until the next time….Locos out!
Thanks to Will Kirkham for the snaps.