It feels like the European summer is in full swing doesn’t it? Hot air, red flesh and a distinct lack of ocean motion.
It’s the time of year when building up a bit of inspiration for something other than a hi-pro hop on your thruster is highly beneficial. There might even be days when you catch yourself actually looking jealously at owners of paddle propelled craft. But wait! Before you ask to borrow a SUP off one of your more-money-than-sense-mates, we suggest scanning this highly original list of things you can do to enjoy even the tiniest of waves:
1. Get A Log
Seems a bit bloody obvious doesn’t it? But the amount of Huntington-hopping still on display in knee high lineups across our fair continent would suggest many are still stuck in the pre-enlightenment stage of logging. You could even go one step further and get a glider, allowing you to paddle into virtually anything from miles out the back and glide repeatedly and joyously past the increasingly bitter pack.
2. Go For A Bellyboard
Wooden bellyboards were the go to one board quiver for most throughout the 50’s and although back then bouncing in the white wash all the way to the beach was the line of choice, it turns out these little fellas fly when faced with a bit of green wave too. They’re faster and knifier than a cumbersome performance sponge, and if scooped correctly, can offer a small but enduring barrel vision as soon as the lip is falling a few inches from the crest. Get one in your quiver, you won’t regret it.
3. Try Tandem Surfing
Here’s a curve ball for you. Bet you never thought of making your surfing experience infinitely more arduous by inviting your better half to come along and be hoisted above your head now did you? I’ve no idea if it’s fun, as like most normal people I’ve never done it. But if you’re desperate to change up your wave riding experience and fancy turning a few heads on your local beach you could give it a whirl. Alternatively inviting a pal to jump onto your board is a more hassle-free way of achieving similar levels of camaraderie, but will score you zero points according to The International Tandem Surfings Association’s catalogue of scoring lifts (real thing).
4. Go Finless
No matter how romantic Derek Hynd makes the whole thing sound, riding a board without fins is, for the most part, devilishly difficult, frustrating and impractical. However, if we understood Hynd’s lyrical analogies about the pastime correctly, that’s the beauty of it. Don’t just take Hynd’s word for it though, there’s also a bloke in our office who reckons taking off and doing spinners to the beach is about as much fun as you can have on a tiny wave. If you don’t fancy shelling out on a pricey channel bottommed soft-top, a sawn in half foamie will do the trick. Go ahead and make friction a thing of the past friends.
5. Surf Naked
The European coastline is full of nudist beaches, where surfing naked is presumably as encouraged as bending over and lathering leathery skin in suncream. Your window in Britain to comfortably surf naked is severely limited, but if the desire to feel the cool breeze tickle where the sun don’t usually shine burns deep within then get out there and give it a crack [pun intended]. Surfline recently did an article suggesting the best places to partake but it’s been mysteriously removed, possibly pending a law suit involving a nasty naked surfing injury. Accordingly we’re obliged to say practice this one at your own peril, or possibly in conjunction with no.4 to avoid life-altering injuries.
Cover photo: @lugarts