Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Spy Surf Riding

'"Like to go surf-riding?"
If an Englishman asks you this during your stay in Britain, don't take it as an invitation to Australia or one of the Pacific Islands. He is far more likely to be thinking of Bude, Newquay, Padstow or one of the other beach resorts along the North Cornish coast. For there you can enjoy all the exhilaration of skimming shorewards on the crest of an Atlantic breaker as it rolls inward, white with foam, to meet the sandy shore.
As a New Zealander, I discovered this for myself when I went down to Cornwall to see how the surf beaches of Britain compared with those of my own country and of Australia. I had read Press reports in which Australians had compared those Cornish beaches not unfavourably with their own world-famous resorts at Manly and Bondi- and, as one of them pointed out, there are no sharks in Cornwall!
So I hired a surf-board from a tanned old Cornishman with sea-blue eyes and a friendly smile, and enjoyed the familiar thrill of being swept up by the breakers onto the sands. There was a good surf running that day, and I revelled, too, in the grandeur of cliffs and rocks whicj reminded me of the West Coast beaches of my own Auckland."

From the July 1955 edition of 'Coming Events in Britain' and it says it all better than I could. Images from Sally Parkin's amazing surf-riding memorabilia collection, some of which will be making it's way to these shores soon. 

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