It’s a brave New Year, promising fresh beginnings and self-renewal. While your newsfeed might be a chorus of cute self-denial hashtags, or even abstinence from the newsfeed itself, let us instead explore a different tack, and encourage the indulgence of more.
More surfing. Much more. Surf more often, catch more waves when you do.
For there are many uncertainties in life. But one 100% given is that when, upon your death bed (hopefully, at least in the fairly distant future) of the many regrets and laments that may present themselves, at no point will you look back, waxy skinned and breathless, a cold, lonely tear running down a sunken cheek, thinking, ‘I wish I’d surfed less in 2019’.
1) North Devon
Water Temp: Freezing
Devon? You say. Winter?
Listen, seasons are fluid now, winter a movable feast. Spot a wave and weather window, and a quick hit to England’s SW can deliver vital stoke relief even in the deepest, darkest.
Sure, it’s gonna be, at best, invigorating. And yeah, the sea tends towards the brown/grey colour palette and bottoms out in single digit degrees, but the waves can be hella fun. One of the southwest’s very finest beach breaks is found at Croyde, a wicked swell-puller on smaller days, with tubes at low tide when things really come together. There are boulder pointbreaks to the east of the county on huge swells and SW gales, there are mellow, beginner waves at Saunton and Woolacombe to welcome the less accomplished.
“A quick hit to England’s SW can deliver vital stoke relief even in the deepest, darkest”
California has Pacific Coast Highway 1, affectionately known as ‘PCH’. Victoria has the ‘Surf Coast Highway’, Hawaii has the Kamehameha.
“We’ve got the A361” says North Devon’s very own big wave lord Andrew Cotton. “There are loads of good reasons to do a trip to N Devon” Cotty told Mpora, with trademark dry humour. “I just can’t think of any right now.”
If you are making a roadie down from ‘up the line’, well there’s always the chance to indulge in some Motorway services fetish, with couple of note on this portion of the M5. Gordano Services near Portishead is oft-overlooked, while niche services fans might fancy Bridgwater, which actually has the smallest footprint of any services on the UK motorway network. And if you happen to be travelling down from the Midlands or the NW, that means a chance to stop at the legendary Gloucester Services, aka ‘The Miracle of the M5’.
6ft and offshore all day, everyday.