Chops Lascelles, legend, surfer, life and soul of any party. The big fella is going to be missed by many. Pic: Nicola Dann
It is with a very heavy heart that I have to report the passing of Chops Lascelles. In fact it seems somewhat surreal at the moment.
Being a brought up as a grom in “The Badlands” of Porthtowan and St Agnes my first memory of him was seeing him take off on a glorious low tide growler at Porthtowan, hang five on a what must have been a 5’10” fish, take the drop, bottom turn and pull into what was one of the biggest backhand barrels I had seen at that time. I didn’t know who he was but he was the best surfer I had ever seen. I soon found out his name. Chops was a pretty hard guy to miss.
As a youth, before he moved to Cornwall, he was a Queensland junior champ in 1965, but then on his travels with his lovely wife Mary he fell in love with Cornwall, setting up a home and later a business in St Agnes. As much as he travelled the world he always came back to the place he called home. Loud, fun, opinionated to the point where you often couldn’t get a word in, cheeky, belligerent, full of stories, and the life and soul of many a late night he was as much part of our surfing lives as The Beacon that over looks our local breaks. At heart he was a grom who wanted, and did, live life to the full. A father of three remarkable boys, guru to many others, I can not tell you how big a hole he will leave in the local community.
Outside of the village he will best known as one of Britain’s best, and most influential, surfers from his time shortboarding, making the British team, winning comps, and as one of the best tuberiders in the country. He then moved onto longboards and did pretty much exactly the same. He had power, class and as we all liked to call them ‘twinkle toes’. He was also one of the countries best board shapers, truly world class, and at the forefront of the British surfing industry helping develop it by importing brands like RipCurl, Billabong, Wavelength Wetsuits, and many others.
I’m not sure what else to say really. I think the best way to sum him up is to describe his last birthday. I think it was his sixtieth. He hired a marquee, bands, DJ’s, organised a bar and BBQ and then he went out and surfed all day in perfect waves. He was literally in there all day. Then he got out of the water and went straight up to the marquee to entertain the early arrivals. In the evening the place was packed with people of all ages who had flown in from Ireland, or driven the length of the country to be there. He then proceeded to own the dancefloor until gone six in the morning. He surfed all day and then he danced all night. A lover of fine wine, good food, good company and surfing. A friend to many, a legend to us all. Our thoughts are with Mary and the boys. It is a very sad day. RIP Chops…
Chops in his heyday. Photo Alex Williams