Here’s a documentary from 1973, lifted from the South West Film & Television Archive, featuring an in depth look at the developing surf scene in Newquay and St Ives in 1973.
While the hair styles and moustaches are seriously dated, many of the conversations and sentiments expressed feel timeless. The description of wave riding and its allures seems to have barely altered by a syllable in the 44 year interim, as well as conversations around leashes, the difference between posers and dedicated wave riders and the factors limiting the progression of British surfing, which all still seem very relevant today.
Around the midsection, the film takes a brief tangent to explore the emerging sport of sail-surfing. Although it looks undeniably fun, imagining a dual-hulled catamaran flying at you at 30mph is enough to make us grateful that this particular form of wave riding has been consigned to the history books, at least here in Cornwall.
The film also meets the team behind Newquay based mag ‘Surf Insight’ – which ran for four issues between 1972 and 73 before folding- providing an interesting insight into the working process of a surfing mag in the early 70s, which although is extremely different, seems to hold similar goals and face similar challenges to those seen today.
Catch a short excerpt from the film below, or click here to watch the full length documentary for free.