Surfer Elsie Pinniger runs neon wetsuits from a little workshop in Newquay, designing and creating beautiful, seriously covetable bespoke neoprene suits in a rainbow of colours. She tells me about her love of the beach, seeing her wetsuits in Vogue and the joy of getting to surf daily in the name of work.
It’s allllllmost festival season! I know, I can’t wait either. In the meantime, check out my pick of festie essentials from surf/ski/style geniuses Surfdome. Mash up delicate bird prints with mint ice-cream wellingtons, trendy tipi tents and glow in the dark pegs and add a sizzling barbeque and a cheeky cider or two for the perfect summer of muddy musical love.
No matter where I live in the world, I’ll always have a huge soft spot for Spain. It’s a treasure trove of unspoilt beauty spots and offers an amazing range of outdoor activities to suit all seasons, from gentle walks in summer to extreme skiing in winter. Here’s my favourite destinations for a year of outdoor love.
Having to surf in the biting cold is pretty much inevitable for riders in the UK, where freezing green waves, menacing grey skies and frostbitten fingers are more of the surf scene than tropical sands and hibiscus flowers.
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.
I absolutely, utterly and completely love surfing. I should quickly make it clear that this does not mean I am GOOD at surfing: I spend most of my time flailing in the shallows or getting hit on the head by my board, but the utter rush of catching a wave makes pain, cold and wee in your wetsuit seem like very minor issues. Whilst I would love to surf the USA, Indo or Oz, living in Cardiff has meant I’ve been able to get out on the green waves of Wales, which offer some very decent surf.
Last weekend I headed to Rest Bay for a surfing session in the cold cold Welsh sea. Besides catching a few waves I also tested out my lovely stripy new pair of Keen Venice sandals (which cost £62.99 from the fab people at Web Togs). I’d worn them around town and on walks, but would they live up to their waterproof, non-slip claims?