UK’s best shortboarder takes a load off at Woolacombe
“Just one of the great aspects of the Spring Classic Invitational was having the chance to surf and hang out with all the best British surfers from all the divisions,” said Luke Dillon. “There were the best UK male and female competitive longboarders, a load of us short boarders, and then just great all-rounders like Mike Lay and Blair Conklin, all in the water together. To my knowledge, that hadn’t happened before.”
Dillon is a 27-year-old surfer from Newquay, Cornwall. The 4x British Champion has been the UK’s best performer on the WSL’s Qualifying Series for the better part of the last decade. In 2021 he finished 25th at the World ISA Games, narrowly missing out on qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Yet while the competitive fire still burns bright, Dillon has matured into a more mentoring role.
“I’m on a mission to take British surfing mainstream for the next generation,” he said. “The goal is to put on more events for young adults to experience surfing and its unparalleled benefits for mental and physical wellbeing. You could see from the Spring Classic Invitational just how much positive energy was created.”
Dillon had travelled up in his van, in a convoy that included fellow invitee Harry Timson and his girlfriend. On-site, they hooked up with a posse of Newquay skaters, who had been hitting the cliff side ramp all weekend. Like the rest of the festival-goers, their campsites had sweeping views of the green-swathed Devon coast, which, almost miraculously, was framed by powder-blue cloudless skies and floodlit by warm sunshine.
“We surfed all day, then had some dinner, watched some live music, and downed some cold White Claws as the sun set almost underneath us,” Dillon, said, almost misty-eyed at the memory. “Then we hit the dance tent. It just felt like the start of what should be a great summer.”
There to make sure the surfers had the best day possible at the surf, skate, music, and ride festival was White Claw. Building on their established relationships with the US community, White Claw wanted to also connect in the UK. A like-minded partnership was born with Spring Classic that champions and celebrates the crowd of adventure seekers, with White Claw on hand to deliver ice-cold refreshments to festival-goers. A quick scan of the salt-washed crowd drinking their hard seltzers as the sun sunk into the Atlantic, soundtracked by Porij playing on the main stage, indicated it was the perfect partnership.
The hard seltzer’s campaign to celebrate surfing doesn’t just stop at Spring Classic – White Claw is on a global mission to celebrate all board sports, from surfing and skiing to wakeboarding, skateboarding, or even sandboarding.
Most recently, White Claw collaborated with leading surfboard maker, Swiss board brand LT Shapes, to create a bespoke White Claw surfboard. Stateside, White Claw teamed up with pro surfers Ivy Miller, Hunter Jones, and Blair Conklin on a ‘Surf Tour Series’ which saw the trio prove it’s possible to surf on all terrains from snowy hills and sand dunes to canals and rivers.
“Surfing is at the very heart of White Claw and is weaved into the fabric of our brand – even down to the wave in our logo! It was important for us that we showed up at Spring Classic to connect to the surf community,” said Michael Dean, Head Of Marketing at White Claw. “Surfers represent everything we stand for. They’re bold, optimistic and embrace the freedom that the outdoor brings. White Claw lovers are confident enough to take on the biggest waves, and we’re excited to share that journey with them.”
White Claw’s new film, titled ‘Bring the Wave’, starring Caio Vaz, directed by award-winning London-based director Sam Brown, and featuring original music from Melody Gardot, chimed in with the vibe that permeated the Spring Classic. It aimed to celebrate those who seek opportunity rather than the challenges in the world.
“I was in a heat with Mike Lay and Blair, and those two were cross-stepping and carving and I could hardly even turn my three-inch-thick, one-tonne log,” laughed Dillon. “Paddling back out having gone straight, Mike styled towards me on a wave. When you are out surfing in Devon on a Saturday afternoon, having the time of your life, well, it’s big, isn’t it?”