Carve Magazine Issue 185
New issue is in stores this week and available on the app now for you iPad folk. For next time how about letting the postie take the strain and subscribe?!
Getting up in the dark is no fun. Scraping ice off your windscreen isnít either, especially when youíve misplaced your gloves. Once the confusion settles over why the frozen shut car doors wonít open you can get on with firing boards and suits in the motor.
The car dash display smugly telling you the temperature is somewhere south of zero is no bother. You have a steaming travel mug of sweet black java, a few inches of windscreen to see through, full thermals on and an appointment with some waves.
Eventually the windscreen clears, miles pass, the first light worries the eastern sky. The trees are still, the few flags you pass listlessly try and wave the joyous news the wind is indeed a light kitten sneeze of an offshore. Miles pass. The froth builds.
Forecasts have gone from long-range magic 8-ball predictions to ‘this is happening’. No last minute weird outs or wind spins. No ghost swell. Once the spin of the earth reveals the sunrise it’ll be a bluebird sky. Frost paints the world in swirls, rivers and streams gently steam, all is still apart from the birds soundtracking the dawn. The benefit of being up in the dark is scoring a good parking spot on the day of the year, so far, hopefully. The hardcore crew already there in the dark confirm it’s solid. It could be an all time day.
You pace it. No point peaking too early. Especially when it’s effing freezing. Wait for the tide to get right. Figure out which board is the go to. Finish that coffee, wish you had another one, and maybe a bacon sandwich. Talk shit with the crew.
The ball of fire that rarely graces our British skies in the winter saunters above the horizon. A somewhat showy display of golden rays takes the chill out of the dawn world. It illuminates every breath of the crew that would rather be a bit cold, but be able to see the line-up, than hide in their vans. Feet stomp. Gloved hands are rubbed together. You curse your missing five-fingered friends. It’s all pleasing detail on crisp winter’s mornings.
The sets are elusive but pulsing. It is so on. Finally you can resist no more, the thankfully dry and warm wetsuit is on. Your strongest leash and a board with a bit of paddling meat under your arm. Days like this are rare. Days when everyone who craves tube time drops everything. Some years it might not happen at all so when it does you’ve got to be there.
From the second you hit the cold brine the day is yours. Memories seared into the grey matter. Waves ridden and missed, a front row seat to one of nature’s finest shows. Amusement at that misjudgment that left you knee deep on the reef with nowhere to go but cop a pasting to the delight of the onlookers on the cliff. You survive. Your fin doesn’t.
It’s days like these that make being a British surfer special. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. Even somewhere with warmth…
We’ve had some days like this already in 2018. Dive in to the mag to see home doing its thing. Enjoy.