6 Reasons Why You Should Be Proud To Be A British Surfer

We don't get put off by a bit of ice floating on the surface

Andrew Cotton getting barrelled. Photo: Tim Nunn
British legend Andrew Cotton getting barrelled in Scotland. He doesn’t mind the cold. Photo: Tim Nunn

Us British surfers are a rare breed. The fact that there are still people abroad who will say to us: “There’s surf in England?!” like they’ve just discovered chickens poop Kinder Eggs goes to prove it.

After all, there aren’t many people who will willingly get up at 5am to dive into the ice cold North Atlantic before work.

Here are a few pointers, in case you need reminding why British surfers are arguably the most awesome beings on earth…

Cold water? What cold water?

Baltic temperatures mean nothing to you.

You’ve got Celtic blood running through your veins. Your ancestors lived in snow-covered huts in the Highlands and fished for trout with their bare hands, for pete’s sake.

Only pansies would be put off by a bit of ice on the water’s surface.

We are men. We drink tea. Photo: fdscene.com
Ancestor to the hardy British surfer – complete with a proper cup of tea. Photo: fdscene.com

You look awesome in a wetsuit

Wetsuits are just a fact of life, like taxes and the shrinking size of Creme Eggs.

So when it comes to suiting up in rubber, you’ve got it nailed. Alana Blanchard and Kelly Slater ain’t got nothing on you when it comes to doing the awkward wetsuit tug at the end of a freezing cold session – and emerging looking like a boss.

Plus come winter, you’re thanking your lucky stars you didn’t live in the ’60s when woolly jumpers and shorts were order of the day.

You don’t fit the surfer cliche

All surfers are pot-smoking, dread head, ripped, hippy drop-outs that drive VW campers and listen to Bob Marley, right?

In fact, it’s far more likely that – as a British surfer – you are pasty, slightly chubby, have a 9 to 5 job, listen to Radio 2 and haven’t touched pot since your Uncle Tony slipped you a spliff behind a hedge at your cousin’s wedding five years ago.

Surf's up, Spicoli! Photo: Fast Times At Ridgemont High
Sorry to disappoint Spicoli, but you’re definitely not a Brit. Photo: Fast Times At Ridgemont High

British surfers are never too old

Following on from our point about the hardy cold water types that we are, Brit surfers never give up.

No, seriously. Never. Just check out the legend that is Gwyn Haslock. She’s 70-years-old and still surfs two or three times a week.

So every time you consider tugging the duvet back on instead of climbing out of bed for a 5am dawnie, think what would Gwyn do? You already know the answer.

Agatha Christie surfing in the 1920s. What a ledge! Photo: Agatha Christie Archive Trust
Agatha Christie surfing in the 1920s. What a ledge! Photo: Agatha Christie Archive Trust

Everyone from Prince Charles to Agatha Christie does it

Even the hoi polloi of British society are happy to dunk their head in the freezing Atlantic once in a while.

Legendary thriller writer Agatha Christie started surfing after discovering the sport on a round-the-world tour in the 1920s. Prince Charles was papped surfing at Constantine Bay, Cornwall in the 1980s. Props to that.

A British plumber riding one of the biggest waves ever recorded. No big deal. Photo: Billabong
A British plumber riding one of the biggest waves ever recorded. No big deal. Photo: Billabong

Andrew Cotton. ’Nuff said.

In a country with inconsistent swell and an average of 4ft high waves, we’ve somehow managed to produce one of the greatest big wave surfers on the planet.

This plumber from Devon surfed one of the biggest waves in the world back in February. Andrew Cotton, we tip our hat to you, sir.

Read our exclusive interview with the man himself here.

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