As new web clips featuring British surfers pour out online with greater frequency than ever before, we thought it was time to look back and rediscover some forgotten gems from years gone by. So for the last few weeks here at Wavelength HQ we’ve been trawling through the archives, watching as many web clips featuring British surfers as we could find and have decided to bring you our 10 favourites. So, here goes, in no particular order, our 10 favourite British Surf Edits, for your nostalgic viewing pleasure.
Just as we were finalising our list, 19 year old Harry Timson’s new edit from his winter spent in Indo dropped into our Inbox and it didn’t take long to decide it was very much deserving of a place. With expert camera work from Gudi Ferrer and explosive and well rounded surfing from mr Timson, this is the perfect clip to launch our celebration of British Surfing talent.
#1 Harry Timson- There’s something about Harry
#2 Oli Adams: From Here To There
The second clip in the series comes courtesy of Protest’s from Here to There series, with the film and edit by Tim Boydell.
In 2008 Oli Adams set off on a mission, searching the British and Irish coastlines for new, previously un-surfed and undocumented spots. This short web clip tells the story of Oli’s favourite discovery, which he named Beefcakes. Tim Boydell’s cinematography and overall production is world class, capturing both the action and the place in a way that leaves the viewer with a palpable sense of adventure and allows us to share in the thrill of making new discoveries along the frigid British coastline.
#3 StRaNGe Beautiful LIFE – Episode 10: Maghreb Dreaming
The third clip in the our Favourite British Clips series comes courtesy of Alan Stokes and Tim Davies’ online series ‘Strange Beautiful Life‘
In the winter of 2013 Stokesy and filmer Tim Davies bailed to Morrocco in search of variety, quality and culture and by the looks of this edit, the Western Sahara delivered all 3. As with the whole Strange Beautiful Life series both the surfing and the production are second to none, however we chose this episode over the others because of the amazing array of surfing on display, with everything from text book on rail gouges to super progressive airs, including one of the best back side rotators we’ve ever seen from a British surfer (at 4.40). Davies’ documentation of the place, culture and people is also nothing short of masterful and in our opinion this clips is up there with some of the feature length surf films of the day.
#4 In Winters Arms
The fourth clip in the our Favourite British Clips series documents Tom Lowe’s paddle in exploits over one incredible Irish Winter, with Mickey Smith on the edit.
Tom Lowe is undoubtedly one of the biggest chargers England has ever produced. Hailing originally from the small Cornish town of St Ives, he burst into the international surf media’s conscious in the winter of 2008, along with Fergal Smith and photographer Mickey Smith, with a constant stream of amazing shots and clips which opened the surfing worlds eyes to the potential on offer along the Irish coastline.
This edit, shot over the course of one such winter in Ireland, stands as testament to his incredible skill and fearlessness and has an incomparably timeless quality to it, making it just as impressive today as when it came out 2 years ago.
Filmed by: Mickey Smith, Alan Wilson, Kevin Smith, James Skerritt and Greg Browning.
#5 Sea Fever – Tim Davies
The next clip in our series is an arty little number courtesy of Tim Davies productions.
Winner of multiple awards including Best Short at the London Film Festival 2013, Sea Fever provides a beautifully evocative look at a time spent chasing swells around the coldest corners of the UK. With a poem as its audio back drop and equally lyrical visuals to match you’d struggle to find an online surf clip with more poignance than this.
#6 Ben Skinner, Longboarding, 2012
The next clip in the series documents a year of logging around the British Isles with Ben Skinner.
This edit goes a long way to demonstrating the expansive repertoire of the UK’s most successful competitive surfer. Filmed in 2012, the year Ben won his 10th European Longboard title, the clip is comprised solely of footage captured during his travels around the UK. What it lacks in super slick production values and HD slow mo montages it more than makes up for in raw surfing talent and is one of the only ones in our series which features Cornwall in all its glory, so gets a special nod for that.
#7 Reubyn Ash 2011
Our next clips comes courtesy of Reubyn Ash, featuring footage of him shredding around Indo in 2011.
There is a very strong case to be made that Reubyn Ash it the most progressive surfer Britain has ever produced and this clip acts as a rather good visual aid for said case. Released in 2011 when Reubyn’s board was still covered in stickers, it displays his surfing in all its explosive glory. When formulating this list it was a real toss up between this and Reubyn’s recently released clip shot in Indo, which, rather than coming from a year of trips with a filmer, was cobbled together from the odd clip captured by his mates. Based on this we can assert with some confidence that Reubyn is even better now than he was when this clip was made, which leads us to ask the same question as pretty much everyone else is the surf media… why have no companies snapped Reubyn up since he parted ways with those listed in the title of this clip? How about we all pledge to buy a tee from whichever company decides to pull their finger out first.
#8 The Last Swell
The next clip in our series features surfers Mitch Corbett Tom Butler, Mark Harris, Josh Hughes and Tom Lowe and documents a trip up north in search of undiscovered spots, with Tim Boydell behind the lens.
Back in 2012 a group of intrepid British surfers along with videographers Tim Boydell and Will Bailey set off in search of as yet unsurfed and undocumented spots along the British coastline. ‘We spent 6 weeks searching every nook and headland for new waves. We only scored 2 days of swell and the reward was absolutely breathtaking’ said Boydell of the trip and his clip certainly conveys as much. Particularly poignant as missions in the British surf isles have seemingly fallen out of fashion a little, quite possibly because of dwindling industry funds- this clip immortalises an important period in the history of British Surf culture.
#9 Fergal Smith & Tom Lowe- Coldpro Festival 2011.
The penultimate clip features Tom Lowe and Fergal Smith charging their Irish discoveries back in 2011
Tom Lowe and Fergal Smith were, and still are, two of the most exciting things to happen to Surfing in the British Isles. Over a few winters they notched up an incomparable amount of accolades; discovering spots, pushing limits of what was possible- both paddline and towing- and pumping out more good clips and shots (usually courtesy of Mickey Smith) than almost anyone else. This video, from 2011, sums up perfectly what made the lads so iconic: style, skill and an incredible fearlessness in the face of some of the heaviest waves in the world.
#10 Alan Stokes – The Truth
Back in 2008 Johno Verity went behind the scenes to learn more about Alan Stokes
The final clip on our list features Newquay’s Alan Stokes revealing the methods behind his success and acclaim. Funny, innovative and ahead of its time, we’ve got to give props to both the crew who put this together and Stokesy for not taking himself too seriously. We love a good sincere surf clip but we’d also love to see more stuff like this nowadays, wouldn’t you?