Fistral Beach is without question the home of surfing in the UK; gnarly dudes and dudettes have been riding the waves here for hundreds of years due to the crashing waves, ozone rich winds and ridiculously expensive clothing concessions. How much do you think a pair of swimming shorts is in Fat Face – well I’ll tell you – £65! Can you believe that! Rather than ranting about the insidious influence of consumerism let’s get on with it shall we?
After shoe-horning ourselves into ill-fitting wet suits, I think we all thought that we would be happy with catching one or two waves and possibly getting relatively close to standing up. Five minutes in and the atmosphere had changed. Everyone wanted to catch a wave, everybody wanted to stand; it was absolutely brilliant. The way I see it everyone had their own motivations. The Year 7s are a fiercely competitive bunch; they didn’t just want to stand on their boards, they wanted to stand, pose and draw everyone’s attention to them standing on their board, with various 1990s Gladiator style positions adopted (my favorite was Jet).
The Year 8s definitely had something to prove. These chaps are often perceived to be mild mannered, wouldn’t hurt a fly types. In true Bruce Banner style the Atlantic Ocean acted like Gamma Rays transforming our boys into Poseidon like figures, prepared to rule the waves without fear. As for the Year 9s what can I say? These free spirits were seemingly made for surfing; absolutely brilliant all of them.
Of course part of the inspiration could be the Cornish Instructors, who had seemingly been carved from mahogany with six-packs on which you could grate Parmesan. As a man who’s the wrong side of forty I can tell you that sucking in your stomach and tensing for 2 hours is no mean feat.
I think the best thing about today was the fact that quite a few students who would probably never have got in the sea, got in. They never fail to amaze us and inspire us.