As we move into September and the Kids Club season edges toward the grand finale, it’s time to gauge how we are progressing. Our Nemos and Dorys, under-8’s and needing adult help and a push to get into the wave, are demonstrating high levels of skill in popping-up and then riding the board with control. There promises to be a rich crop of junior talent to be seen at Porthmeor in the near future. Our older members have shown where the next level of performance is, with good wave selection and an ability to execute more advanced manoeuvres like bottom turns and re-entries to get the best out of a wave. In between these two groups is a cadre of surfers who are making strides from novice to accomplished surfers, moving from swellboard to shortboard and tackling that difficult transition with determination.Here’s some of the action from Saturday!
There was an Autumnal feel to the air for Kids Club this week. A chilly Westerly and some chunkier waves out back brought a challenge to our more advanced surfers, while the Nemos and Dorys kept to the inside, smaller waves to continue their own concentration on techniques required for pop-ups, trimming and turning. There was a chance before the session began to gather our volunteer coaches and some of the other members who make Kids Club happen – here’s a photo tribute to you guys!
And there are others who were busy on check-in duties and other ancillary stuff who didn’t make this photo call but also deserve our thanks for their contributions to the Saturday morning vibe!
When we got down to the surfing business, there were three elements of the session that are manifest in the picture gallery below. CONCENTRATION, LEARNING and FUN. We had a great time, coaches and surfers all. And that is what a club is about!
At Kids Club last Saturday it mattered not whether you were surfing, coaching or just taking the pictures – you got a soaking! With that horizontal mizzle that is peculiar to Porthmeor, we spent a couple of hours practising angled pop-ups and trimming in surf that was middling to strong for our junior chargers. Here’s a flavour of what we saw from them;
The Kids Club season to date had been a diet of small friendly waves under a burning sun. This week brought a very different challenge as strong winds accompanied showers and the larger waves were further complicated by rippy conditions in the shallows. Many of our youngest and newest members had never experienced such conditions before but demonstrated bravery and determination in meeting the task. There were great rewards for those who could get to their feet and set a line with some long rides on some meaty waves. There were also some clattering wipe-outs witnessed! Well done to both coaches and surfers in stepping up to this newest challenge.
Here’s John Bennett of Inner Visions surf company dropping in on Kids Club for the first time this week to initiate a partnership with saints boardriders. St. Ives boy John is keen to support our local surf club and can use good industry connections to help us with merchandise, surf boards and all surfing paraphernalia. The first manifestation of his involvement with us is the new club T-shirt, as worn by Steve Hewlett and John Navin in the picture. The T-shirt is available now in all sizes, priced at £15 for junior sizes and £20 for adult sizes. All sale proceeds go directly to the club. John also brought some custom-made surfboards which are designed as a step-up between the Swellboard and a first hard board for our young surfers as they progress their surfing. These boards will be available through the club with your group coach on hand to guide your choice of that vital first board purchase.
On behalf of saints boardriders, can I welcome John to our club and hope that Saturday was the first day of a fruitful collaboration with Inner Visions!
Flavio and Luciana here with their new Swell surfboard. At the Swellboard Shootout a couple of weeks ago, the manufacturer generously offered a prize for the person whose efforts for the surf club most deserve to be acknowledged. We were delighted to get a double bang for our bucks by awarding it jointly to our Husband and wife / treasurer and membership secretary team of Flavio and Luciana Favero. Enjoy your new board guys – you richly deserve it! And saints boardriders offers heartfelt thanks to Swell Surfboards for their generosity in donating this prize. You have our assurance that it has found a good home!
The fine summer continued throughout the end of school term and we again found ourselves with balmy weather and a small wave for the club on 14th July. It was a further opportunity to work with the coaches on trimming along the wave and on speeding up and slowing down.
The following week saw the first break in the weather with a cold, wet start to the 9 o’clock session. Harris led the Nemos with an exposition of how to finish a wave as the section closes out. It was a tall order for some of those little tackers to take on, but they gamely gave it a go. There’s another skill to practise in the school holidays! The pictures below are from that most recent session.
Videographer, Greg Dennis was also on hand shooting a couple of interviews with some of our members for a video section to support the club’s fundraising effort on the JustGiving website. You can donate, or just check it out here. All help is gratefully received!
As the exceptional spell of high pressure and warm weather has brought us successive weekends of small but rippable surf for our junior surfers, we have maintained those high attendances and kept the stoke going. The friendly conditions have enabled us to introduce our newest members to the elements of surfing technique needed to both speed up the board and to slow down, as well as trim frontside and backside. It’s such a joy to see them practising and honing these basic skills. Here’s a gallery of shots from those most recent sessions;
Once the judges had seen the teams in their finery, it was off round the town on the traditional parade. Through the Digey, along Fore Street, down Lifeboat Hill, along the harbour and back to Porthmeor for the surfing element to commence. With only ankle-biter waves, and few even of those, it didn’t present the spectacle that previous editions have offered, although the contestants gamely tried the reverse take-offs, switch foot manoeuvres and headstands which have become the currency of progressive teams in the Shootout story.
Here’s a gallery of the day as it developed:
Somewhere in the middle of proceedings we managed to take a break while England won a World Cup football game, before running the final in the smallest, glassiest wave of the day. And then it was all round to The Balcony to wrap up the day with the prizegiving and to get our rocks off to the sweet soul sounds of our favourites, The Sandy Acres Seven. Here’s the gallery that brings the day to a conclusion.
Our thanks are due to Harris and the crew of St. Ives Surf School for another fabulous edition of the Swellboard Shootout. Thanks also to Porthmeor Beach for hosting the event and feeding the participants. Thanks to our volunteer lifeguards, our judges and Pete for bringing an element of order to the day. A big thank you to Maurice Symons of The Sloop Inn for the £200 prize for the Fancy Dress winners, and to Swell for the gift of a swellboard which was awarded to Luciana and Flavio for their selfless contribution to the running of saints boardriders. Thanks to Red Bull for their continuing support of our event, and thanks to the Sandy Acres Seven for bringing the whole day to a rocking finale! We love it!
An all-star super group of Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Iggy Pop and The Artist Formerly Known As Giacomo performed at Porthmeor Beach in the seventh edition of our annual Swellboard Shootout – but were they the stand-out act? There was glorious Sunday sunshine, but only the suggestion of a wave, as we gathered before the judges to parade the teams and process through St. Ives for the wider appreciation of the town before getting down to the semi-serious business of fancy-dress surfing. Have a look at our teams in the gallery below and choose your favourite fancy dress. You’ll learn of our judges’ decision later.
Stay tuned for the next instalment of the 2018 Swellboard Shootout extravaganza!