The Day I Surfed Badlands

1) Badlands – “Stretches from St.Ives to Crantock”

2) “Often referred to as the Badlands for a number of reasons, not least because of the insultarity and intensity of local spirit here, which can be challenging to outsiders” (Surf Nation, A.Wade)

On my last days work experience with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) I arrived at the the HQ to be met by Andy (the campaign director) asking if I wanted to go for a team surf. Of course my answer was yes, so I chucked my stuff in his car and we set off.

On my way there he told me we were going to surf the most well known Badlands beach where tales of hardcore localism are legendary (including the tale of a lifeguard writing “fuck off” on a non-locals windscreen in surf wax) so understandably I was wondering if I’d get hassle there, not being local and being on a bodyboard.

Once we got there I was introduced to Hugo (the director of SAS) and we all suited up and headed down the almost empty break.

I was impressed by the quality of the surf, 3-4ft, fairly glassy, warmish waters and no wind but the SAS guys said it wasn’t anywhere near good, guess they must be spoilt by good breaks and not be used to surfing a blown out, choppy Cayton Bay.

Once in the water another SAS team member was already out and everyone just started to pick off the odd wave, they were all surfing really well so obviously I tried to up my game going for big waves and cutting it as fine as I could, all in all I had a very good surf, catching good waves and watching the guys I’d been working with get some good rides.

The only incident of hostility was one rather obnoxious longboarder who nearly took Andy out, and didn’t apologise for his near miss. Other than that the Badlands definitely wasn’t as scary as I’d imagined. However I was surfing it with a group of locals and the SAS’s reputation in the Badlands is one that is respected for the work they do.

See also:

http://www.surfnation.co.uk/about.html – Alex Wade’s blog (author of Surf Nation)

http://www.sas.org.uk/ – SAS website

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One Response

  1. Photos or it didnt happen!

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