Russell Winter has blasted the British surf comp scene for lack of ambition and drive after the North East Open was cancelled after being put to a vote. Posting on Facebook Russ, voted as “Britains Greatest ever surfer” said; 

” I want everyone to see this!!! The North East Open contest just got cancelled by vote of the majority of SURFERS… bar one…ME. I would I just like to say I think it is PATHETIC that our future surfers lack any drive what so ever!
You are here to do a job and that is to surf weather it is 15ft or 1ft.  It is your job and that’s why you are paid to surf! I’m disappointed! I am 37 years old and I still have the same drive I did when I was 12. The whole point in competing is to want to win. If you don’t have that drive you are not going to go far I’m afraid, hence this is why British surfing is in a state. I have achieved what I have through pure want and ability! Unfortunately I don’t see any of that, bar one or two of you….. And this is WHY we won’t ever have another surfer winning the Europeans, WQS or making it on to the WCT at least for a very long time. Sorry but this has to be said!!!

The post received a lot of support from former European, British, English, Welsh and Irish champions, former UKPST Pro tour surfers, filmers and industry bods all voicing very strong opinions.

The British Championships and UKPST Awards take place this weekend at Fistral, Newquay.

What do you think? Read the comments and have your say below.

Spencer Hargraves Spot on !!!!!

Simon Tucker When most of the so called advanced surf coaches around the UK actually tell the kids the truth that they are not good enough or lack the commitment (shown above) then we will never have another on the tour. It is with sadness I look at the Europeans now dominating surfing and not one Brit in it to win it. Big fish small pond springs to mind. Russ don’t think you can worry about seeing another Brit on the tour none have anywhere near your determination or ever will

Darren Manson; When I filmed the Eurosurf 93 (fiasco) I captured a brief shot of Danny Wall , then aged 14, running along the reef at Brimms to leap into a nasty wave rolling round the point and then paddle out for even more bone crunching waves. I’ve seen Ross Ireland surf Thurso in a blizzard. Today most of our locals just want to slide along a glassy barrel on a sunny day with locals only. Even our self-appointed surf ambassador doesn’t want others here while he rarely goes out. Hard work and experience is the way to winning but too many just want to look cool.

Tim Boydell Well said mate, no idea what the waves are doing but youve hit a nail on the head there. i hope some kids take it on board .

Steve Winter Av it Russ.They have not got the heart that we had.

Kirstin Prisk fucken spoilt posers.

Chris Bertish Well said Russel, behind you all the way.. The boys on tour are getting soft these days, they need to man up, they are paid to surf, wow, a dream come true for anyone that surfs.. Big or small it’s what you do!

Matt Stephen; It’s not the dream tour – we are in the uk – we surf shit waves – win here , move on to Europe and the wqs – surf better waves – but still grovel in the shit – then earn the right to get paid properly and surf great waves – great waves sells on webcasts and magazines which is why they put them on in the best locations etc. Down at uk level running the event having winners and something to write about is what sells, nothing to sell no tour. I’m as guilty of anyone of not wanting to surf shit waves in contests back in the day- but today’s sponsored and salaried surfers should know what it’s all about. That is why Russell was the best then and twenty years later is still the best.
There is a lot of talent in the uk – surf companies have all had to cut marketing budgets worldwide – but there is still money for top uk surfers. Contests are not everything – but it’s harder without them – the rest of the game is marketing yourself. I personally feel the whole uk scene needs to look at itself and create something the surfers want to be in and the non competitors want to take notice of. What is disappointing is hearing that the surfers decided to cancel the event. It should not be their decision to make unless it involves safety.

Richard Dodd Well Russ… I think this has been coming for a long time my bru!! Some people don’t get paid and will surf anything. There needs to be a big change as some people go to represent their country in worlds with not even a T-shirt with GB on it!!!!! Things have changed big time here- let’s get it on track again people!! Shaka Russ

Roger Knight Well said Russ, we never got to choose, we were put in any old crap. If you want to be the best you have to surf 1ft to 10ft! We have so many talented surfers out there. Dave Reed and J Owen and all the judges are the only ones keeping G.B surfing going. With out these guys we have nothing!! I never got the chance to surf for a living, born too early,you guys dont know how good you really have it, so get your f###ing slack  arses in the sea and rip up that 1ft slop!!

Ronan Oertzen I would do anything to get payed to surf those events!! Lucky feckers !

Steve Anderson Your right Russ,things need a kick up the ass in UK pro surfing cause they starting to fall behind and playing catch up to get someone like you back on the wqs or CT. Think your the best man for the job to get the old shits out and bring UK surfers back into world surfing.

James Carden Some good comments, best surfers in our tiny Island of Jersey had one thing in common SURFED THEIR ASSES OFF AS GROMS, rain or shine…… even my bruv at 38 years of age was putting in 13 hours in one February weekend cos it was offshore and pumping, aint a suprise that he was British Masters champ, no one gets there without effort. Currently one super talented kid here is slack and always on the piss. Bye bye any real chance he had. Simon Tucker comment about coaches…….. HOW TRUE, we have many here that can barely surf to an average standard, you wouldn’t take your kid for guitar lessons if the guy was shit would ya!

Charley Charlesworth Well said. UK pro surfing is totally on its arse. Case in point, this years Boardmasters, bad enough it went from a 5 star QS to a UKPST. Then 3 low ranked QS guys cotton on to an easy pay day before France, come here and thrash everyone in their own backyard. It shows how far behind the UK is, theres not even anyone at QS level. Russ you are very likely to remain the only UK surfer to ever surf on the CT forever!

Morgo Williams fukn well said Russ you can be kings in your own little culdisacks but when you hit the real strip none of that counts a shit un less you really got the will and the shit to make it happen im sure theres alot of young groms up north that would have been stoked to fuk to see the tour boys aving it even if it was 1 ft big at their local

Gareth Llewellyn Fuckin tell em russ. Av it on tour. Yeww. The beast is back.

Luke Hart It’s the grit to NEED the win which no one seems to have in uk surfing wise. TalentIt’s the grit to NEED the win which no one seems to have in uk surfing wise. Talent is there is there though. But mental attitude is 90 % of any sort of sports competition you will never beat anyone who wants it more than you. Fact. Stoked you said it Russ coz it means fuck all coming from me but would love to see our boys shake it up in Europe as so many guys have the talent. As for the comp, if it’s flat what can u do? No one wants to see good surfers groveling in knee high waves it’s bad for the sport what with all the media to showcase the comps. Thurso looked epic and all the coverage it has got is really positive the opposite can happen if you do the same video in ankle slappers. Doesn’t have to be pumping to be good fun to watch just contestable. That way it’s good for the tour in gaining followers…