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Looking back: a week in Lee Bay, North Devon…

Our week in Lee Bay was a great success. The (surf)riders re-grouped last weekend to make the annual trip down to North Devon for a little surfing, camping a few beers and a who lotta fun. Our week was characterised by lots of hot, sunny weather, small, but clean surf and plenty of time spent in the water and on the beach.

This year we hit Croyde, Woolacombe and Saunton again, the 4 riders with their quiver of boards. The first day had the biggest swell, which gave us a few fun rides on the 6’4 and 8’2, but no pits or barrels though 🙂

I think the best day must have been the 3rd day in. After surfing 11 hours on two consecutive days, I hit day 3 feeling a little tired, but still up for it. The difference this time, was that I decided to take it back to where it all began, the 8’2 Mitch. Trying to catch a 2ft wave with a 6’4 board is nobody’s idea of fun, so I went big, went retro, and took it back to the old skool with the 8’2.

It was like bonding with an old friend again. I must have got 50 waves that day, if not more, rights, lefts, grabbing the railing, walking along the deck etc. I spent so much time up at the nose that I may as well have picthed my tent there. Hang time with 5 toes over became commonplace and I was digging it big style.

Another thing I noticed this year, apart from the summer crowds and surf school foamy crews, was that the water was warm, maybe in the 20 degree range, which meant that I could surf (for the first time ever) in just board shorts. Granted, when the breeze picked up, the shivers set in, (after spending 3 consecutive hours in the water) but apart from that it was pretty toasty.

I must mention though, that although it is great seeing more people take up surfing and getting out in the water and trying things, that surf schools need to educate people more about etiquette, as I lost count of the number of times a foamy rider dropped in on me, when I had clearly been on the wave for at least 20 seconds. They need to do something about this, as it i just plain dangerous when you are riding a 8’2 board. I took a few people out on the way, as did Lukey on his bodyboard, but hey it is all part of the fun I guess. This time around we only have a few scars and dings to our boards, but it could have been worse.
All in all a good trip, we have a little footage, not enough for a DVD, but I might edit a short sequence together.

I now look forward to hopefully getting in some late summer/autumn/winter waves at Runton, as hopefully the swells become more consistent and bigger as we approach the latter half of the year. I should also have a little crew to go up there with, as I found out that an old school mate, Steven Sell now surfs, all good.
Onwards and upwards!

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