If it wasn’t apparent from the headline, 23-year-old Logan Nicol loves surfing, like, really loves it. So much so in fact, he managed a total of 512 sessions in 2022 and is aiming to smash that number with a strong start to 2023.
“I’ve had seven sessions this week already,” says the Cardiff born legend.
Live Cam: Porthcawl
So, what’s the secret here? “As a kid, I was living in Cardiff which was about 40 minutes from the beach so wasn’t super close,” said Logan. “I would only surf on the weekends which I think got me more frothing than most people, distance made the heart grow fonder.
“All I wanted to do was surf and I think that’s just carried on into my adult life. Back then it was a case of, if my parents are going to drive me 40 minutes to the beach then I would have to go in otherwise they wouldn’t take me home so I would just get in no matter the conditions.”
“I started working at the Porthcawl Surf School when I was 17/18 and I wasn’t a very good surfer at that time. I wasn’t good as a junior and I never won a contest but I was just obsessed with it and determined to get better at it in the hopes that one day surfing would become my job.”
And then, Logan decided to tally up how much he was surfing. “I was interested to see if I would average one surf a day for the year because I was certain I did but wanted to know exactly how much. I compete as well as working at the surf school so I thought I must surf a lot, and it turns out I do.”
In fact, the inspiration came from Jamie Bateman (our UK forecaster) who has been tallying up his sessions for years.
“I have a journal where I write thoughts and motivations before a heat for example, and in that I had a section for 2022 surfs and how many surfs I did per month.”
By this time last year, Logan had already surfed 50 times, thanks in part to a two-and-a-half week stint in Portugal with fellow Welshman Patrick Langdon-Dark.
“Surfed 29 times in those two weeks,” said Logan.
What is it that defines a ‘surf’? It’s something Logan spent a lot of time thinking about. “I must have had 20 conversations with people about how I define a surf,” he said. “I was speaking with Tom Anderson (Welsh surfer and author) who also counts his surfs and he reckons if he comes out and takes on sustenance and eats a banana or whatever and then gets back in, that’s two surfs. Jumps in his car, drives to another beach, that’s another surf.
“But the way I did it was if I physically got out of my suit, that’s a surf. With my 23 heats, I did over 500 surfs but I didn’t really count them as they were only 20 minutes.
“Some people say if you catch three waves then that’s a surf and I definitely managed that every time.”
With a first-time trip to Israel as well as travels to California and Morocco, Logan had sessions all over the world. But surprisingly enough, there’s no place like home to get your biggest number of surfs in of a calendar year.
“Trips abroad are always fun but I’ll literally surf anything. I’m the biggest frother. With the lack of quality waves we get, if you’re having fun, you’re frothing.
Surf Guide: Wales
“There’s a super strong surf scene in Wales and it’s definitely a growing one and really friendly. I was speaking to one of the boys in the water the other day discussing how everyone is super welcoming wherever you go around here as long as you’re respectful which is awesome.
But there’s method in the madness. “I just like improving and if I’ve got stuff to work on I’m amped to get in and practice,” Logan says of his reasoning. “I try not to make many excuses for myself not to get in and then maybe I’ll earn that coffee afterwards.
“My goal this year is to try and do every QS and do the best I can with that and in the British team. It’s going to be pretty contest driven this year but I definitely want to get into some better waves.” If you’re thinking of tallying up your surfs, Logan offers some advice. “Try and set a goal for the year,” he added. “A realistic one and just stick to it. My dad’s goal is to do 50 which is attainable. If you count, you’re making yourself accountable which is good.”
And what’s the plan for 2023?
“501 surfs, I think.”
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