If you only watch one film about surfing in Cornwall today, make it ‘End of the Land’. It focuses on Seb Smart, a free surfer from Sennen (on the Cornish tip). Seb is part of Vans Europe’s wave riding roster and is known for his explosive, heavy, hard-hitting and unpredictable surfing style; a style, it’s worth adding, that manages to be both raw and smooth.
To get to Sennen requires intrepid road tripping surfer types to truck on past popular destinations like Newquay and Padstow, past the idyllic and artsy St Ives, and right out into the drink along that curled Cornish forefinger. Nestled neatly behind the much more famous Land’s End, the village of Sennen is quite literally at the end of the land.
Viewed from above, it gives off that dreamy, borderline magnetic, aura you often associate with this part of England. When you zoom in though, it soon becomes clear that Sennen has the same rough and smooth edges of any remote, rural, community. To say Seb himself is the physical embodiment of the area’s spirit might be pushing it slightly but the parallels, if you look for them, are plain to see.
In ‘End of the Land’, a film by Sam Breeze, produced by Any Day Media and made with the backing of Surfdome, Seb takes us on a trip down memory lane. He recalls going wrecking, selling the salvaged contraband tobacco at school, and discusses how the unique geographical setting of the place he grew up in has shaped the community and, on a more personal level, the way he lives his life.
Give it a watch. It’s very, very, good.