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Reviewer: Surfette


Category: Lifestyle

Subject: Surf Cornwall

Being a surfer is much harder than it looks when you watch Kelly Slater doing those 360°s in Indonesia. Cornwall’s a bit colder. Also, if you’re not Kelly Slater (quite likely), you tend to get more water up your nose and a greater percentage of the little-known phenomenon: ‘Board-on-the-head’.

If you want to be cool like Kelly, just follow these handy hints which should help you avoid, at the very least, death or permanent injury/dismemberment:

1. Get the coolest board possible. It doesn’t matter whether you can surf it or not - just what you look like on the beach. Once you’ve made it into the water, you can always just paddle out the back and sit meaningfully on your board, staring out at the horizon for the next ‘big set’. Make sure though, that you practice sitting upright on your board before you get into the line-up – if you attempt this and fall off straight away, your cover’s blown.

2. Develop some aggression. (If this doesn’t come naturally to you, visit the nearest pasty shop at lunchtime in mid-August, preferably when you haven’t eaten for at least 48-hours). Aggression is vital for maintaining your position in the line-up. Make sure you also apply the appropriate surf terminology. If someone paddles round you, complain loudly about being “snaked”. And if someone drops in on you, consider ramming your board into theirs and then demanding they pay for your “ding” (note: this approach is only really worth it if your board is crap / hired / 3¨ thick. And if the person is considerably smaller than you). NOTE FOR GIRLS: If you start your session jogging towards the waves with a shortboard under your arm, none of the above is usually necessary.

3. Give the impression at all times that everything is deliberate. If you drop in on someone, tut loudly as you pull off the wave (if they’re a tourist, this should scare them onto another part of the beach. If you’re a tourist, pretend it’s time for lunch and get the hell out of there). If you wipe-out mid-ride, try and make it look as if the ride was just too boring to bother with – you only want the big waves, man.

4. Learn to duck-dive. This is technically a bit harder than actually catching a wave, but avoids that awkward moment where you’ve been smacked in the head by a breaking wave, thrown your board away in panic, knocked someone else off their board and started gushing vast amounts of blood from your nose. If you’re not sure how to duck-dive, consider not going in the water at all. You will lose all credibility before you’ve even fallen off your first wave.

5. Get the right kit. Make sure your wetsuit is from a cool supplier and that there’s no hint of day-glo. If you must surf in winter, don’t feel shy about wearing a hood – all the best surfers wear them and there’s no general association with S&M. Wear a rash vest to avoid that love-bite look on the neck and invest in a pair of boots so that when you step on a jellyfish nobody has to drop their pants and pee on you.

6. Don’t forget to wax your board. There’s nothing like turning for a wave and popping up, only to slip straight off again (this normally precedes a broken nose / tooth). Just remember to wax the right side.

7. Don’t ever finish your session with a round of pasties or ‘Real Cornish Ice Cream’. Only tourists prefer to get ripped off this way, and it’s normally imported from Watford anyway.

(And just remember, if you really want to be Kelly, dating a Pamela Anderson lookalike won’t make up for the fact you can’t surf. Just call it a day and buy a bodyboard instead).

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