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Big wave surfing video at the Cribbar Newquay thumbnail

The Cribbar breaks rarely…perhaps a few times a year… if you’re lucky…Unless you live close to Newquay and keep a keen eye on the surf reports the chances are, you could miss it. The reason it breaks so rarely isn’t (as far as I’m aware) about voodoo or spells, it is just that a lot of factors have to come into play simultaneously in order to create the right conditions.


Good surfable waves at the Cribbar are not just about a big swell, but also about the swell direction, the wind speed, and direction of that wind…all of these things come into play. Once you have all of these things happening, the next ingredient you need are surfers skilled and crazy enough to surf it!

On the 30th of October it was one of those lucky days.

When I got up I noticed that even the weather was exceptionally warm for the time year. As I looked out of my window I could see large crowds gathering up on the headland. I left the flat and was glad I bothered to lug a heavy camcorder and tripod up the headland, because when I looked down over Cribbar rocks mother nature had decided to conjure up near perfect big wave surf conditions.

30ft faces smashed down a 100m away, there were bright blue skies and the atmosphere was electric. People hooted and cheered, it was like a Cornish version of Half Moon Bay, this was our Mavericks.

And to top it all there were guys like Ben Skinner and Richie Sills, amped up to tow in to monster waves.

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Lots of people try out surfing and usually they get the bug and want to get better…perhaps hoping one day they might rip like Newquay’s Alan Stokes (pic above)

However not everyone lives by the beach, and not everyone can surf regularly. So a common question is ‘How can I improve?’

I believe surfing is different to some other sports. The amount of time you need to spend physically learning is quite high, so anything you can do to improve little by little is important.

Here are 7 tips on how you can begin to improve your surfing…

1. Make sure you have the right kit

If you are learning to surf you need to be warm enough. So to ensure you can stay in the water as long as possible, a good wetuit is a must.

In addition to this you will usually want to learn on a soft foam surfboard with lots of volume.

If you are learning to surf and weigh anywhere between 120 -200lbs you should opt to learn on a foam surfboard between 7ft and 9ft long for the first 10-20 sessions.

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SurfingGB have put together a handy PDF with all the UK & Ireland surf comps for 2011 listed. There are quite a few surf competitions coming up in September through to November in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

The next event after the King of the Groms, at Fistral beach in Newquay is the XPY PRO Junior on the 17th and 18th of September – with the Animal Open and British Championship being held in November.


To download a PDF copy of the 2011 GB surf competitions visit http://www.surfinggb.com/


The Billabong rpo at Teahupoo in Tahiti has largely been on hold this week bar one day of surfing.

However yesterday ( Saturday 27th August) the big swell that was predicted hit. True to form the big wave teams turned up and set about launching themselves into insane huge barrels.

There were many stories of heavy wipeouts and surfers being dragged across the reef – one having his life vest ripped off! The waves were certainly heavy…

Watch the video footage below



With round 1 done and a few lay-days down, according to Surfline, the surf is meant to get pretty massive at this week’s Billabong Pro surf comp at Teahupoo!

Surfline.com forecast for this week at Teahupoo

Commentators are talking about whether the event may need to get called off on the biggest days – or whether the competitors will be allowed to tow-in…could that really happen?

Well who do you fancy for the event? Suddenly who you’d back might change if the waves are really big.

The small wave aerial rippers might not be the obvious choice…

I’d always wager Kelly Slater could do well big or small, but could this be a good comp for the Hobgoods? CJ was killing it in round 1.

And what about veteran surfer Taylor Knox? He’s now 40, but still fit, he’s still on tour and he likes the big stuff.

Or maybe young gun Julian Wilson coud have his day… he seems to froth at the thought of sizeable surf.


A photo gallery of some pro international surfers surfing in their heats at the 2011 Boardmasters WQS 6 Star event in Newquay, Cornwall in August 2011.

Some moderate onshore wind made the conditions great for airs – so, some of the American, French and Brazillian surfers certainly seemed to have fun.