WATCH: Welcome, Spring
By Jason Lock on
Spring! The long clutches of a European winter are finally done – and if this past weekend's anything to go by, the Old Continent's got a few stellar months ahead of it.
Down in the UK's south west, the country's longboard scene has been thriving, particularly in the warmer months. Izzy Henshall, 19, Lola Bleakley, 15 and Sylvie Puddiphatt, 14 are some of the top rising talent out of the furthest western region of Cornwall. Here, they welcome in spring across one long day of surfing. Hit play above. And below, the trio talk through what the upcoming months mean for them and how the longboard culture is looking.
Live cam: Fistral
March is one of my favourite times of year for surfing Cornwall. The mornings can be bright and clear and heading out to a colourful sunrise always makes me happy to be getting in the water.
When the birds have just started to sing, you know you’re likely to get some waves all to yourself. After a while, local faces appear and it’s great to surf with the regular bunch of characters and hear their whoops and calls as they catch waves. Sometimes, we’ll be lucky enough to be joined by a nosy seal or even a few cheeky dolphins dropping in and stealing the wave.
Ditching the hood and boots is a great feeling and although the water is still cold, with the spring air, it’s sometimes warmer in the sea than out. The worst is the numb hands carrying the boards up the hill at the end of the session.
Winter can be long in Cornwall and a good spring surf or two can really make you feel like you’re coming out of the end of the winter tunnel. The best thing is looking forward to a summer and autumn of long, clean beautiful waves.
The Spring and summer are such special times because we can surf earlier and later and the whole place comes alive with friends visiting and hanging out at the beach. It’s also so much nicer not needing to surf in wetsuit boots
The UK longboard scene is really exciting. There are a lot more women coming through now and so much talent in the juniors such as Arthur Randall, Blake Jones and Ted Pearson. It’s been really nice learning with Sylvie and we’ve been inspired by my niece Izzy Henshall and Sennen surfer Maisie Marshall.
There have also been so many world class longboarders from the UK from before my dad's generation, his generation and since [Lola's pops is Sam Bleakley, longboarder, traveller, writer]. We’ve had a lot of European Champions and Ben Skinner is so close to winning a world title.
We have really stylish longboarders locally like dad, Mike Lay and James Parry who are some of the best in the world. And Ben is such an inspiration. Using his shaped boards is amazing and he was so incredible coaching the English junior Team last summer when Arthur won gold and I won a silver. I’m really excited about the future of UK longboarding. Loads of us are going to the Mexi Log Fest in April and Izzy just won a big contest in Australia.
Logging at home just makes sense to me because we’ve got so many options. If the swell’s tiny (often what it’s like over the summer) we can make the most of it. And if it’s huge there’s always a sheltered cove that you can log at.
Summer at home tends to be pretty hectic with the crowds but it’s always fun. Even so, you’ll always end up coming across someone you know on the beach or in the sea. Spring and Autumn have got to be my favourites.
Want to see what spring is like around Europe? Check the cams Croyde | Supertubos | Nazare | Mundaka