Sunday saw the first big, clean swell of the season arrive in the south west, lighting up spots up and down the coastline.
Although the chart had been earmarked a few days out as ideal for the Cribbar, Newquay’s famous big wave bombie, initial spot checks were thwarted by a thick blanket of fog.
“We thought it was pumping, but because of the fog we had absolutely zero idea of what was going on out there.” said Newquay charger Josh Hughes. After weighing up their options Josh, along with an unusually large crew, including fellow Newquay boys Tom Butler and Johnny Fryer, set off through the fog from the rocks at Little Fistral.
To the delight of the assembled media circus and the surfers out in the line-up, the fog soon lifted, revealing clean 12 foot lines marching in and detonating on the craggy reef.
“Eventually the sun came out” continues Josh “and it turned into one of the best sessions I’ve ever had there. One of the biggest and cleanest days I’ve ever seen at Fistral before.”
“I was stoked to get back onto the water after a fair few months out.” added Tom Butler, who’s been on a long road to recovery since his wipeout during the WSL big wave event at Nazare last December.
“I was pumped to feel nice and confident out there. My board felt great and I felt fit and mentally confident; all the feelings I hoped I would have after working hard all summer to bounce back” he continued. By all accounts Tom indeed looked to be back to form, picking off both rights and lefts, and snagging a few of the waves of the day.
Hughesy had a little less luck, but when in big wave line-ups, it’s quality over quantity. “I only got one wave, but it was worth bobbing around for a few hours, and taking a set to the head that broke 100m outside of me.” he said of the experience. “And a big thanks to the RNLI North Fistral Lifeguards for looking out for us!”
Footage by Ornella Hawthorn Gardez
Cover photo: Helen Zervas