Thursday, November 23, 2006

Surfing Industry - An Oxymoron?

Are you local? (If you clicked on that link you might never have gotten back to this point - but just in case...)

Yes, today it's stuff on Beach Bum's own stretch of coast that's exercising me. This is the day I buy the West Briton. I flick to the sports section and note that the editor of Wavelength magazine, Tim Nunn, is penning a new surfing column called TubeTales. Lots of shaggy bleached blonde hair and competition results. There's prize winners for every feckin company, age, aerial manoeuvre and nationality imaginable. Feckity, feck - I'm missing out, me thinks.

Tim points out in his column that Cornwall's "surfing industry" is worth around 21 million pounds to the county. He then also mentions that 99% of the surfing community never enter a surfing competition in their surfing life."Surfing Industry" - an oxymoron? Discuss.

(Glad to see that seagull proof bins and seaweed recycling are some of the ideas being bandied around by Perranzabuloe beach committee in an attempt to improve the state of Perranporth beach. How about recycling seagulls, would that work?)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Boards For Beginners - Pumped Up Pop Outs

I wonder if you, like me, ever made the connection between the ubiquitous BIC pen and surfing? Up until recently, I didn't realise there was one. Then a mate, landlocked in London, asked me for some advice about boards for beginners. This is when I discovered that the French company that makes the pen also makes Bic Surfboards.  There's a useful little "Go Surfing" essentials guide that the Bic blokes offer up on their site that's aimed at newbies.

Along with NSP (New Surf Project), these two manufacturers must have well-oiled (should that be waxed?) marketing departments since ads for their boards pop up (pun intended) on any Google search that combines "beginner" with "surfboard".

There's a host of on-line shops out there happy to deliver boards like these to your door. The is running a promotion at the moment that includes free delivery, board bag, leash and a block of wax.

Here in Cornwall, the guys at Piran Surf will set you up with a good beginner's board. Being able to walk into a shop where the staff all surf is a bonus when you're buying your first stick plus there's the opportunity for a trade in when you want to graduate to something fancier.

My first board was a chunky Circle One with lots of flotation but which needed a forklift to get it on the roof-rack after a days' action. They've come a long way since then - and they're tougher too - as this little video shows.

The term "pop out" was used to describe the early mass produced surf boards that "popped out" of aluminium moulds. These boards are indeed mass produced but using epoxy resins, crafty laminating and finishing techniques, they're a good place for the beginner to start.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Superior Surf Posters


All together now - "we're not worthy!". Like sharing that secret break, Beach Bum likes to offer up the occasional gem from Neptune's chest - and here's one for your delectation and delight.

A recent visitor to Beach Bum's shack stood staring at a poster on my wall. "Great poster", he said. "Yup" I said. He was referring to one of a series of artworks produced by one Barry Britton of Rossnowlagh, Co.Donegal.

These posters will appeal to anyone with a touch of the Celt in them. Simply beautifully drawn surfing & musical posters from a wave rebel of the old school. Check out the Quicksilver tale (pictured below) ... one man's stand against corporate surfdom.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Normal Service Will Be Resumed ASAP

It has been pointed out to me by the select few who bother to read this stuff that they have been experiencing "technical problems". Most common is a glitch with Internet Explorer - the first few posts start to load and the rest of the page hangs, effectively crashing the browser. I strongly suspect that this may be related to Google's recent tweaks of the Blogger platform I'm signed up with. I've noticed some alignment weirdness and some earlier posts being re-sent when corrected - which really shouldn't happen. I've made some tweaks of my own and from my side all seems hunkey dory now. I'd really appreciate you letting me know if the same applies from where you're sitting.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Aloha Trash Vortex!

© Greenpeace / Alex Hofford

As pilgrims travel to their shrines, so the wave rider dreams of making their own personal Hajj to experience the Hawaiian surf. When my regular mail shot from Greenpeace Ocean Defenders popped up this morning with the header "Greenpeace arrives in Hawaii and exposes World's Largest Garbage Dump", I clicked on the link immediately. Depressing, eh?

The article bangs home the message with the grisly picture below that shows the contents of an albatross chick's stomach. I think back to that bit of beach cleaning that the SAS organised at the tail end of summer. The cynics will equate these stunts with micturation in a Force 10 but the state of the planet leaves the individual with two options - to be overwhelmed into apathy or energized into action. I choose action - even if this starts with binning some bozo's beer can on the beach.

Final rant for today: given the convergence of Greenpeace and SAS on many issues, I do wish their respective websites would make some effort to link up.

© Greenpeace    /    David Liittschwager & Susan Middleton