Photographs taken 2006
Surfing and Cornwall
The Surfing Capital of Cornwall (perhaps Cornwall is also the surfing capital of the UK?), is of course Newquay. But hey! ...they surf at Porthtowan as well, and at many other beaches in Cornwall. Great to do, for those that do, and great to watch for those that, well, like to watch on a cold windy day!
Surfing originated, so history has dictated, in ancient Polynesian culture, where the tribal chief was also the most skilled in "Wave Riding". The early boards were made from local trees, and as the best chiefs had the best trees and the best beaches, they also had the best boards and were of course the best Wave Riders. Boards were also used for bringing in the catch by fisherman, as an efficient way of getting through the surf. For more detailed information on the history and origins of surfing, check out the Surfing for Life website.
Surfing as a sport was revived by the Hawaiians at Waikiki around the early 1900s. As well as Hawaii, the sport spread to California and Australia, and only in the 1960s did it show signs of really becoming popular. A "beach culture" developed, the Beach Boys sang a lot, and by the 1980s the sport had spread far and wide. Surfing in Newquay had its origins in the mid-1960s, which also coincided with the development of fibre-glass boards - instead of tree planks - and the culture grew. There are now over a quarter of a million surfers in the UK that are now regular Wave Riders.
The Surf at Porthtowan
Cold and windy, but the surf is up, and the beach is popular with many surfers - though wetsuits are now considered to be nothing short of mandatory! Can't say I blame them!
...and Three to Go
Perhaps there's a subtle "man against the elements" thing to this surfing culture...
Wind and Spray
Surf and Away!
The waves not only attract the surfers, but the travelling gull as well. Jonathan Livingston gets everywhere!