With Covid’s most recent variant, Omicron, hanging over every planned social activity like the sword of Damocles, it was surprising and pleasing in equal measure to see a good number of our members drop down to the beach on Christmas Day morning for a surf, even if we could not gather for a sociable glass of wine, spirit or coffee to share the occasion post-surf. The waves were a fine festive gift for our surfers and the banner picture shows Otis, Harris and Caz arriving for the splash. Here are some of the other participants caught on camera – my apologies to any member who made the effort but was not found by my lens. We were grateful to be able to share the morning with friends in these troubled times and hope that we may see a safer outlook in the New Year and maybe a return to normality by the time we look to Christmas 2022.
Stay safe, everyone! Love and best wishes from Saints Boardriders.
On the last weekend of September, under balmy Autumn skies, we welcomed Minnow Green and his fellow longboarders to Tregenna Surf House. The club was honoured to host the Porthmeor Longboard Classic under the auspices of the British Longboard Union and offer a late season spectacular to the Porthmeor Beach crowd. Throughout a busy weekend of competition the surfers enjoyed pretty good waves and they treated us to some fine logging in the time-honoured manner. The largest entry was for the single-fin event – testament to the enduring pleasure of the style and elegance that good boardriding can offer.
There were a few of our local crew stepped up to have a go, and all performed very creditably against experienced longboard campaigners.
Travis and Matt were keen to ride the singlefins, while Teddy and Kaz joined in the U-16 boys. Eleanor was our sole girl competing on the weekend, giving a good account of herself in the U-18 girls.
The most successful Saints Boardriders was undoubtedly Teddy who battled through the rounds to the U-16 final, earning third place behind two of Britain’s most accomplished juniors. Well Done Teddy!
The junior girls finalists also demonstrated the full panoply of longboarding manoeuvres and it was noticeable and encouraging to see several of our local juniors trying some of those moves on their own boards a little way down from the competition area.
The outstanding performer of the weekend was Mike Lay, a West Cornwall longboarder. He is a familiar sight at Porthmeor and at Breakwater when it turns on, so he enjoyed vocal support from the local crew. He claimed both the Singlefin and the Mens Open titles on his return to competitive events after a long hiatus. And in accepting his trophy at the presentation he gave an elegant impromptu speech of affirmation of the camaraderie and bonhomie of the longboarding fraternity in this country and the British Longboarding Union itself in promoting the sport and the good fellowship of it’s practitioners. Saints Boardriders supports that philosophy and we hope we can share again with the British Longboard Union the buzz of a weekend of spirited competition in future seasons having thoroughly enjoyed the Porthmeor Longboard Classic first time around.
In closing Saints Boardriders and the British Longboard Union offer our thanks to the generosity of Down The Line, The Tregenna Castle Estate, St. Ives BID and Ocean And Earth for their sponsorship, and to Porthmeor Beach management for feeding the officials and organisers, and the Porthmeor RNLI lifeguards for their help in running a trouble-free event. Thanks too to the competitors for giving us a weekend of skilful competitive longboarding in the finest of sporting traditions. Let’s do it again!
That’s All Folks … was the farewell line as the cartoons finished on TV back in the day, and today’s blog signals the end of the Saturday Kids Club for another season. We left it in style with the largest attendance of the summer. While the younger groups worked with their coaches in polishing their techniques, the more advanced surfers had a chance to compete in a knockout under the professional judging rules and taste the experience of putting on the coloured rash vests and going head-to-head with their peers. Our first few pictures show some of those juniors working on their stances.
At the same time competition got underway for the seniors with the clubhouse balcony offering a fine view for our judges to score the waves in each heat.
Competition was fierce as the rounds progressed, and both the boys final and the girls required a close checking of the scores of our judges before the winners could be ascertained. In each case there were three surfers within a point of winning at the end of the contest.
Kaitlyn took the honours in the girls event, securing her first title after making the final on several occasions in the past. Our banner picture shows our newly-crowned champion receiving her trophy from the chairman. Teddy, likewise, took home the boys trophy, a well-earned result after some near-misses in the past.
We then repaired to the clubhouse to make the presentations and to celebrate the achievements of our youngsters this season. Each group awards accolades in three categories; Surfer of the Summer, Most Improved Surfer and Most Dedicated Surfer. There were more than a few damp eyes among coaches and parents as some of these presentations were made, and a real delight in everyone in the room to share in the joy of our young recipients.
The last picture shows Teddy receiving his trophy from our chairman to the general acclaim of the room.
In closing, I must offer the heartfelt thanks of Saints Boardriders to St. Ives Surf School for hosting those Saturday sessions, coaching our youngsters and for organising a splendid end-of-season competition yet again. Thanks also to our judges and to the morning admin desk and photographer for keeping the day in focus. Wood Paper Scissors made the wonderful medals which our participants were awarded on the day, and these greatly enriched the experience of our young chargers and help us celebrate our membership of the club. Porthmeor Beach have fed us and welcomed us warmly this year and many previous years, our gratitude to them is deep. The contribution of the parents is also a factor in building the spirit of the club and we are blessed with some great support in that department.
We look forward to re-convening around the beginning of June 2022 to welcome everyone back for another season of Kids Club and another summer of Saturday surfing!
As we reached the penultimate session for the season, it was felt that we should get a team photo as we were ready early for the surf. Of course, there are quite a few members missing, as any Saturday in the holiday season presents; but our banner picture has a fair few of the class of 2021.
The surfing itself was very good on the day – sweet little waves that allowed most kids to stroke themselves in with time to get up on the board. Our Sharks may have felt deprived of the bigger stuff that they prefer, but i did see some of them practicing cross-stepping and tandem riding and generally enjoying a longboard kind of vibe, so I’d say that all tastes were catered for on the morning.
Heavy rain and a strong North wind greeted our coaches and helpers as we set up on Saturday morning for an 8.30 start. That wind was creating short choppy conditions for our surfers, and a very difficult paddle out for our advanced chargers. We had pre-warned all groups the previous evening that this session would be unlike any experienced so far this season, but attendance was still hearteningly high and we hit the water on time with that can-do attitude that is the foundation of achievement in any sporting life.
I offer some pictures of our endeavours, apologising for the absence of any action from the Sharks, who were out beyond the breakers and invisible from my position at the waters’ edge. Rain and poor light were also hampering photography, so I’m selecting from far fewer shots this week.
School holidays have arrived and we are forging ahead with our Kids Club season. Conditions for our seventh session were friendly and there was a large turnout of young surfers, all keen to show their chops. Just like learning to ride a bike, repetition and practise is beginning to pay off as our young chargers are developing confident pop-ups and more assured balance on the board. Hopefully the holidays will offer plenty of beach days and waves to develop those burgeoning skills over the next few weeks!
Our sequence of favourable Saturday morning sea conditions continues as we enjoyed pretty perfect surfing conditions for the sixth Kids Club of the season. A gently dropping tide on a warm day brought out our largest attendance so far and our young rippers were keen to take advantage of nature’s bounty. The camera captured some of the fun …
The fifth week of Kids Club met with waves sized ‘nothing to not very much’. Disappointing for the Sharks, Dolphins and our hardboard riders but a chance to shine for the tiny tots and the younger groups who can fashion a ride from the gentlest push. Well, they gave us a show with some delightful rides, and there was even time for a little rafting fun mid-session! Here are some of the scenes we witnessed as the Nemos and Dorys found their feet. And a dolphin headstand demonstrates that the right board can deliver a ride in the smallest of waves. Cheers!
Arriving for our fourth session of the season we were confronted with a tricky challenge. The water was barely back off the high tide bank after a spring tide and there was the remnant of a Northerly swell pushing some lumpy waves into the beach. It promised a difficult paddle to get out back for our more accomplished surfers and some battles on the inside with breaking waves for our younger participants and their helpers. To everyone’s great credit these challenges were met head on, resulting in some fine surfing and with a growing confidence in all groups that we can be comfortable and find suitable waves even in a moody Porthmeor swell. We had a full gamut from the chest-to-head-high waves that the Sharks tackled to the running ankle-slappers on the inside that the Dory and Nemo groups shared. Some of the action is shown below:
The third session of the season saw the largest turnout to date and enjoyed pretty perfect Kids Club conditions at Porthmeor. The waves were friendly enough for the Nemos and Dorys, yet also offered some peaks and faces for the Sharks to lay down some turns and polish their small wave skills. Our newer instructors are beginning to appreciate the talents of their young charges and are helping them push their techniques to higher levels. All in all, a perfect morning’s surfing for Saints Boardriders! The party wave in the banner picture sums up the relaxed vibe of the day.