The mantra that “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun” is common lore amongst surfers, and whilst this might sound pretty unbelievable to a surf virgin attempting to paddle out from the shore, surrounded by wet-suited muscle men whipping over the waves on tiny, slick boards, it’s true, and it’s a fundamental belief in the sport.
Surfing can look pretty intimidating – you need special kit, there’s a whole secret vocabulary (any grommets fancy a gnarly barrel, tiki style?) and it looks, frankly, impossible. But surfing is actually a very easy, friendly activity to get into, and one of the more extreme sports that isn’t dangerous for beginners, as the worst that can really happen is that you fall into the sea.
Plus, it’s impossible not to love it once you’ve tried it – as well as getting a massive rush from your first wave; it’s easy to love the chilled-out vibe that’s as much a second skin to a seasoned surfer as their wetsuit is. The social side of the sport is second to none – the surf trips I’ve been on have involved as much drinking, fancy-dress partying and midnight skinny dipping as they have time in the water. The waves may be green and the sky may be grey, in contrast to the brilliant blue of sexier surf destinations, but from the crazy hilarity of Newquay to the beautiful, empty beaches of Pembrokeshire, the UK’s coast is dotted with amazing places to surf.
Finally, I have to share my obsession with cult surf product Mr Zog’s Sex Wax (£1.79 from www.magicseaweed.com). The easiest (and cheapest) way to look like you’ve been doing it for years is to carry one of these babies around in your board bag. Sex Wax is a Californian cult product for adding grip, but has the bonus of smelling like strawberry pina colada. It’s so good you’ll want to rub it on yourself as well as your board.