The start of 2019 has been excellent for the intrepid surfers of the muddy swirling mass that is the North Sea.
From Holland to Denmark across to Aberdeen and down to Norfolk, every corner of the coast has seen at least a little something this January.
When a big clean north swell adorns the east coast of Britain, it’s not only a treat for the regional standouts up north but also the miles and miles of coastline to the south, transforming usually dormant beaches into as-far-as-the-eye-can-see stretches of super fun two-foot peaks.
Thanks to a very quiet start to the year in the Atlantic, we headed up for the tail end of the swell with a small crew of Cornishmen.
After one particularly memorable session goose chase vet Oli Adams realised he’d locked his keys in his car, stranding us in a grassy area the roadside recovery bloke later informed us was a well known local dogging spot. How did he know? Because, as he eagerly told us the minute we got in his truck for a lift home, he was an avid dogger. He got into it by accident on evening, innocently parked up in a layby, when a women came and knocked on the window of his truck and invited him over to her car to watch her and her hubby get steamy. “Ten minutes later I was getting involved” he explained gleefully and since then he’s been hooked. It’s good to have a hobby.
It’s always fun to learn about the seedy exploits of your rescue truck driver, but perhaps our favourite tale from the swell, came from the fine folk at Secret Spot Surf Shop:
“Not many people know, but when the first Stormrider guides were published back in the 90’s we were asked to help with a few spots and keep a few sensitive spots under wraps,” they explained on their instagram. “We had a bit of fun and created one purely fictitious spot named Skeleton Reef.”
Here’s the original passage, as published in the Stormrider Guide:
“A recently discovered wave 8km south of Scarborough. An intense, heaving wave, popular with transvestites and cross-dressers. Watch out for the odd submerged motorbike. A local named Dennis rules the spot: don’t cross him. You have been warned”
“For years we’ve had people drop in-store and suggest they’d just surfed it with a nodding wink,” the crew continued in their recent post. “Yesterday we stumbled across Skeleton Reef but sadly, there was no sign of Dennis…”
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Anecdotes out the way, here’s a choice selection from the fleet of photographers who spend their days skirting around the edges of the North Sea:
Cover photo: @lugarts
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