The Panama world record paddle attempt begins

After weeks of training and acclimatization in Central America, Rob and Arron have now set off on their epic adventure in Panama. Their goal is to set a new prone paddle world record, surf some undiscovered spots and do some conservation work along the way. We’re stoked that they’ll be using some Northcore kit during the journey and we wish them all the very best.

Rob and Arron Panama

Rob and Arron Panama

Rob said today “It’s going to be a hard few months ahead of us, but hopefully the achy limbs, chapped lips and sunburnt noses will be worth it. This will hopefully be a benchmark journey for adventure prone paddleboarding. We sincerely hope we can inspire others through our journey and to contribute meaningfully to the conservation of our planet in the process”. 

Where is that shark?!! Enter the “Lydia Landfall lottery”

Enter the “Lydia Landfall lottery” and WIN a Cuddly shark and a FREE Northcore back pack to put her in!
Northcore will also make a donation to Ocearch shark research through
Lydia the Great white shark has been creating quite a stir since she was tagged by Ocearch as part of their tagging and shark conservation programme. She was tagged off the coast of Florida and has since been making her way across the Atlantic towards Western Europe making history as she goes being the first shark ever to be followed live online making this journey. Northcore would like to join in with the fun of tracking Lydia at the same time as supporting the amazing Ocearch conservation project, so we’re running a little competition!


  • To enter all you need to do is guess the landfall of Lydia which we will determine once she is approx 20 miles offshore.
  • Entries need to contain your guess of Country and nearest beach. This could be anywhere In Europe or North Africa
  • Entries can be posted on all of our social media platforms Including FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, GOOGLE+ and TWITTER. Just post your entry and hashtag it #lydialandfall
  • If Lydia doesn’t make landfall within a month we will revert to a Sweepstake style competition and select a winner at random
  • The competition closes on 20th April 2014. Winners will be notified by Social Media channels. For full rules on our competitions click here:
Lydia... where will she go next?

Lydia as of 17th March 2104… where will she go next?

Heres the moment that Lydia was captured, tagged and released off the coast of Florida.

OCEARCH is a non-profit organization with a global reach for unprecedented research on the ocean’s giants.

WHAT THEY DO – They support leading researchers and institutions seeking to attain groundbreaking data on the biology and health of sharks, in conjunction with research on shark life history and migration. The researchers we support work aboard the M/V OCEARCH, a 126′ vessel equipped with a custom 75,000 hydraulic lift and research platform, which serves as both mothership and at-­‐sea laboratory.

HOW THEY DO IT – OCEARCH fieldwork involves the attracting, catching, tagging, and bio-­‐sampling of sharks before they are released. The shark is monitored at all times under expert guidance and maintained on the platform by water over its gills. All fieldwork is done according to agreed and approved protocols based primarily on ethical considerations, and overseen by leading scientists.

For more info:



Northcore support world record paddle board attempt

Here at Northcore we love the spirit of adventure so we’re always stoked to hear from individuals who are pushing boundaries, getting out there exploring, pursuing their dreams and often trying to make a positive difference along the way. One such project is from a small team of guys from Bristol who have recently set off to Central America with a goal of establishing an all new prone paddle board distance record, adding some conservation work and surfing along the way. So when they approached us for some product sponsorship we jumped at the opportunity to help out in a small way.

The guys who have planned the trip are called Rob and Arron and we sent them some Northcore

Arron and Rob

Arron and Rob

kit like leashes, travel packs, ding repair, soft racks, SUP carry slings and more. At present they are in Costa Rica training and prepping for the trip which is planned to start on 24th March. The guys will be taking stills and video along the way so we hope to update you as they go. Here’s a summary of their exciting plans:

The majority of the conservation work is towards the start of the paddle so they’re anticipating a slow start before increasing the paddle distances. One of the boards they will be paddling is a beautiful wooden 16ft San O’ board, the other is a stock 14ft prone, though slightly wider and more stable than a usual board.

Wooden 14ft San'O paddle board

Wooden 14ft San’O paddle board

As a loose framework for dates:

  • Begin 24th March
  • Reach the Panama Canal 5-6 weeks later around May 5th
  • Cross the canal (as far as they are permitted – to Gamboa and walking the final 16 miles to keep aligned with the human power side of things!) May 5th- 8th. Arrive in Panama City on the 9th. (+ a few R+R takes them to the 12th)
  • The final leg is route dependent. They will either have an escort boat and will make a long open ocean passage to the Perlas Archipelago and Island hop to their most south-easterly point, before crossing back to the mainland. OR they will continue along the south-west coastline. Both routes have their merits but they’re hoping to island hop if they can find a reliable boat captain.

Their aims for the paddle:

  • Set a new long distance world record for prone paddle boarding, not a small feat for a three thousand year old sport! We carry all our gear in dry bags on deck.

Conservation Goals:

  • Search for undiscovered populations of Antillean manatee at 5 locations identified as havingsuitable habitat.


  • Determine the status of and hopefully thereafter take the first photos of a critically endangered Salamander, Oedipina maritima endemic to Isla Escudo de Veraguas.
  • Photosurvey the coastline as they go.


Surf Goals

Panama surf

Panama surf

  • To find and surf undiscovered spots along the way. As far as they can tell the coastline is as unexplored surf-wise as it is ecologically.
  • To record this journey sharing with the world images of a seldom visited and largely unexplored coastline.


  • To support the environmental charity Seacology who run human-environment linked conservation projects in coastal Panama.

Why Panama?

It’s an area they both visited in 2009 and were blown away by the beauty of the place and how untouched much of the country was. They also saw extensive destruction of habitat to make way for a booming tourist industry and made a promise to return, see parts of the country people don’t



usually get to see and in the process try and affect change by contributing with some of their own independent conservation work.

About Rob and Arron:

They are old school friends from Bristol. Arron is a trained conservationist and Rob is the team medic (he’s avoided the final year of Med school by doing the trip and will have to return in July) and has some expeditioning experience under his belt.

They are both keen surfers and paddle boarders though they admit a long long way from professional. They are quite ordinary guys, though both very athletic and with experience in adventure/ wilderness travel, who had a crazy dream 5 years ago, talked about it in the pub for 4 years and finally got serious about it for the past year.

Arron is most excited about finding his rare salamander and Rob by finding an idyllic point break somewhere along the way.

Northcore wish them the very best of luck in their venture and watch this space for updates and progress



Surf Photographer interview series: James Skerritt

One of the reasons for creating the Northcore brand was so that I could go surfing more often, get out there and explore some of the planets most remarkable landscapes and oceans and embrace the boundless opportunities for creativity in all its forms. It’s been an amazing journey so far where I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with some really creative, articulate, interesting and inspirational individuals from all areas of our collective lifestyles (surfers, photographers, artists, writers, explorers and more). So the plan is to publish a series of interviews with these characters to share their work and delve into what makes them tick! For this piece we’d like to introduce to you Irish photographer and film maker James Skerritt who we worked with on our short film “934″ which we shot one wild day in County Sligo with James clinging onto the back of our jetski! :


County Clare

Q: how long have you been a surf photographer and where have you/where do you work now? I find the term surf photographer slightly strange and never really like to go by it but I have been taking photos for five years now. I work as a freelance camera operator. The nice thing with being freelance is that you are open to work anywhere you want. I am currently, and happily, based in Ireland for the winter but in the last year I have worked on projects in London, Italy and France

James surfing

James surfing

which have ranged from short films, documentaries, TV programs, music videos, music events and some surfing stuff while I have been home. Q: Which do you prefer stills or video? I change my mind on this question frequently. I have started a new portrait project, ‘Hello! Pleased to meet you’, where I take a portrait of someone I encounter every day for 2014. This has me very much into stills at the moment. I am also working on a series of short comedies and a very nice short documentary so I feel prety content in terms of getting to explore both stills and video. In the surfing world, I am working on a winter edit for Ollie O’Flaherty and a new project with Luis Eyre.

One of the benefits of a surf trip

One of the benefits of a surf trip

Q: How often do you need to upgrade kit with technology moving so quickly? I upgrade kit depending on my workflow. It is always great to see what new cameras are coming outand be aware of what you need but I think you can definitely get sucked into a cycle of always wanting the new toys. It’s probably the way we were raised. Q: If money was no object which camera body and lens would you have? If money was no object I would happily kick all my digital stuff out the window and shoot constantly on film!

Q: what kit would you recommend for someone starting out taking surf photos? It seems that every camera these days have printable image quality. My phone at the moment has the same megapixel as my very first SLR. When people think of surf photography they always try to get the biggest lens possible. I always have much more fun with smaller lenses; they make

West Coast Of Ireland

West Coast Of Ireland

you frame a shot rather than just having a wave and a surfer which can get more then tedious. The quality of the new gopro is mindblowing. Get that and just go surfing. Q: what’s your favourite subject mater, surfers, landscape, water shots, empty waves, wildlife,sports, weddings! Etc In relation to the ocean, my favourite thing to shoot is empties. Its a beautiful feeling swimming under and shooting a slabby empty wave that scares and excites you at the same time. I also have a portrait fetish. Both are things that I want to improve on.

Q: What do you consider your finest achievement in your photographic/film career? I am slowly getting to where I want to be in my life. I have lots of milestones that I am more than grateful for and proud of but nothing too major just yet. I made a short mockumentary called, ‘The Element – Behind the Scenes’, which followed a fictional character as he made a fictional surf film. At the first screening of the film I was unsure of how it would go down. At the end of the night a few different people came up to me praising the filming and then asking when the film is coming out. It was a nice feeling answering, ‘it’s all fictional’. I wouldn’t consider this my finest achievement but its a moment I liked very much.

Q: Do you have a scariest moment from when you’ve been taking shots- perhaps in the water? The scariest moment I have had in the water so far was the day my housing leaked. I jumped in and looked back at my port which had about an inch of water floating around it. It took a panicked few minutes to get back out again due to the rip. I remember just sitting on the reef in disbelief. I regretably rang a friend of mine that night to ask for advice when I got the reply, “Oh….. You F**ked man!” I left the camera dry for a few days and thankfully it worked. It was a depressing few days.

Q: What has been your favourite wave/destination anywhere in the world to shoot? The feeling of being at the bottom of the cliffs of Moher is yet to be beaten. I am prety sure I still don’t realize how privileged I am to have grown up in this part of the world.

Q: do you have any tips for aspiring Surf photographers? Surf more. I don’t think anyone gets into surf photography if they don’t surf. You are then left withthis strange and uneasy feeling wondering either to shoot or surf. Like everything in life, a healthy balance is always the way forward. Q: where can we view your work? Please view my work on my site:

Northcore grom team riders Stan and Joseph on the road in California

Northcore grom team riders Stan Norman and Joseph Morris are on a surf training trip of a lifetime exploring the California coast from Huntingdon beach up to Santa Cruz – surfing and skating all the way. They have hit all the iconic surfing spots so far like Trestles and Malibu and they’re checking out infamous locations like Mavericks. As they go Joesph’s family are filming and taking shots of their adventure and here at Northcore we’re editing the footage together to bring you regular 15 sec video travelogues posted to Instagram, which we’ll also post here on our blog.

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:

Episode 4:

Episode 5:

Episode 6:

Episode 7:

Episode 8:

Episode 9:


Then once they are home and we have all of the footage we’ll be putting together a short film of the full trip so stay tuned!

Richie Fitzgerald, some mates, a van, Jagermeister and a trip to Iceland!

Northcore team rider and Irish surfing legend Richie Fitzgerald recently had the good fortune to be selected for a 12 day trip to Iceland to film a TV commercial for Jagermeister (Of the Jager bomb fame!). The resulting TV ad is below and in his own words Richie’s account of what sounded like an amazing adventure. Enjoy!

Richie Fitzgerald “The whole Jagermeister ad came to me through my good mate Gabe Davies former Northcore team rider and his production company during late summer last year. After 14

Richie Fitzgerald

Richie Fitzgerald

months of scouting different counties by the advertisement company with no luck they decided that British and Irish surfers is what they needed for the new Jager ad. So after an initially casting and over the next couple of months myself and Dave Blount were chosen from Ireland along with Oli Adams,  Ben Skinner and Owain Davies from the UK to made up the cast, all solid surfers and good blokes, I knew the trip would be a blast with this group of shams!!!!

The stars of the show

The stars of the show

We spent 12 days up in Iceland in November 2013 shooting the ad,  ‘Pegasus productions’ scouted the most amazing and breathtaking locations you can imagine taking in pretty much the whole country in our 12 day stint, huge drives and radical weather was the theme of most days.



Ingo @ Arctic Surfers our surf guide brought us to some of the best surf coast I have ever seen, with world class slabs, points, reefs and and outer reefs everywhere, thats really saying something considering I live in Bundoran and have Mullaghmore, The Peak and million other phenomenal waves on my doorstep. Many of the waves we surfed were inside the arctic circle, cold, heavy hollow point breaks where the outside air temp was -15 and sea temp was just above freezing, it was a hardcore environment in and out of the water with blizzards and gales popping up with ferocious regularity that makes the west of Ireland fell like the Mediterranean.

Ice and Fire

Ice and Fire

My favourite part of the trip was the ice lagoon we shot in for a day, where a glacier reached the ocean and foamed an stunning sea water lagoon at the beach full of melting ice bergs which we paddled around and climbed over all day, real Bear Grylls stuff. Being with the boys for 12 days in the back of a van searching for waves in Iceland was the best and funniest trip of my life the fact that we shot a TV ad, shot a lot of jagers and got paid for it, it was a dream trip.





Northcore’s latest film “934” explores the emotions of riding huge Irish waves

The storm systems during the winter of 2013/14 have been wholly unprecedented for the shores of Western Europe. Back to back low pressure systems originating in the US eastern seaboard have whipped up seemingly endless storm to hurricane force winds which have battered the coastlines of the UK and Ireland with horrific ferocity. The one upside to the devastating storms has been monstrous open ocean swells sometimes creating Atlantic wave buoy readings in the 30ft and 20 sec range! which have seen surfers at home and abroad buzzing about the possibilities of catching the biggest waves of their lives.

The Northcore short film “934″ sprang to life after the Northcore team decided to chase after the mother of all the storms. A low pressure system which began to wind itself up in the Atlantic during the first week of Jan 2014 eventually reached a near record low pressure reading of 934mb. The system was so fierce it even spawned its own names, officially “Hercules” and unofficially the “Black Hole swell”, that generated massive surf which travelled North from Scotland right down to Morocco lighting up every big wave spot on the way. Some of the Northcore team riders selected to gather at Mullaghmore head in County Sligo, Ireland to meet up with Hercules and in the tense, quite moments before the collective tow session go button was pressed Northcore captured some of the riders thoughts on film on what it feels like before setting out to tackle one of the planets heaviest waves.

“934: A Northcore Film”



PRODUCED BY: Matt Strathern
CAMERA: James Skerritt
EDIT: Simon Weir

SURFERS: Conor Maguire, Peter Conroy, Sandy Kerr, Ollie O’Flaherty and Paul O’Kane

Northcore rider Stan Norman on Winter training and surfing!

Stan Norman joined the Northcore team in the Autumn of 2013 and we’re stoked to have him on board as at only 10 years old he is one of the UK’s leading young surfing talents. Based in Bude on the North coast of Cornwall, Stan surfs and skates as often as possible which included some recent

Stan Norman

Stan Norman

winter training in Portugal- heres a short interview with the young man himself about his surfing and the trip to the Algarve Portugal:

Q: when did you first start surfing and skating?

I started skating when i was only 2 years old and I still skate a lot now if there are no waves I skate and when I get out from a surf I like to skate.

Q: What boards do you ride?

I ride a Cre8tion board ,Louie is my shaper and owner of cre8tions and has been working with me for about 2 and bit years and I love riding his boards. At the moment my board is a 4 8″ 16 1 1/5″ and is green with orange fins.

Stan getting covered

Stan getting covered

Q: What were you doing in Portugal this December?

My Portugal trip this December was sick- I went for 2 weeks, the 1st week was with all my family and my best friend Joseph Morris and his mum- we hired a car and surfed every day. On the 2nd week we joined Joel at Surf Solutions and all the other groms.

We stayed at the Surf Experience house in the Lagos, Algarve which is sick, every morning we get up for about 7am for brekkie then we all load up the Land Rovers with our surf boards and go and find the best waves. We surfed lot of different beaches such Cabanas, Sagres, Luz but on our last day we went to Portimao where I think I had the best surf and the waves were the best. We had a little comp with some Portugese locals but they were a lot older than us-  then the tide started to push in which created a lovely 6ft A frame

Stan Norman

Stan Norman

barreling wave it was so good I did not want to come out , I love surfing Portugal!

Q: What was the best part of the whole trip?

The best part of the trip was to get to surf with my friends and brother in new places trying new beaches and getting in some nice barrels.

Q: where is your favourite wave in Portugal?

My favourite wave in Portugal was at Portimao I had some sick Barrels.

Bustin the lip

Bustin the lip

Q: what are your plans for 2014?

For 2014 I am 1st going on a surf trip with Joseph Morris and his family in Feb to California.. I am so excited. I am also going to do all the comps this year and hopefully hold on to my British U12 title. I am trying new things in the surf to get better. I am still training with Joel Gray all year which is sick. I

want to surf as many different beaches as possible this year and get in to bigger waves. Hopefully I am going to have as much fun as I

Bottom Turn

Bottom Turn

did last year, I just love SURFING!!!!

Images: ©Alex Williams



Black Hole storm- Mullaghmore fires up again!

The winter storms of 2013 -14 will remain in the memories of a lot of people for years to come. The relentless Atlantic low pressure systems have brought misery to many but there has been a silver lining in the form of almost non-stop huge surf generated right along the coasts of Western Europe,

Peter Conroy

Peter Conroy

with the headland at Mulaghmore Co Sligo Ireland being in the spot light more than most. On the first weekend of Feb 2014 the reef lit up yet again and saw some monsters being tow surfed, including two of Northcore’s team riders Peter Conroy and Conor Maguire who were charging it. Peter kindly sent us these screen grabs from the action and we’ll be following up with the full story soon including all the drama of lost jet skis, heavy wipe outs and injuries sustained by tons of pounding heavy water! Shots courtesy of Fionn Rogers (Thanks)

Black Hole wave chart

Black Hole wave chart

peter conroy mullaghmore

Peter Conroy _ Mullaghmore




Over the falls- Conroy in a nasty wipeout

Over the falls- Conroy in a nasty wipeout

Conroy with a GoPro angle

Conroy with a GoPro angle

















Northcore team rider Charlotte Bayliss in Costa Rica

Heading south during the winter months is a very sensible idea, who wouldn’t want to be basking in sunshine with crystal clear blue water to surf! So for those of us not fortunate enough to visiting warmer climates this time of year we bring you some images and the story of one of the lucky ones, Northcore team rider Charlotte Bayliss. Here’s her update below, enjoy:

Costa Rica 2014

IMG_0159 (2) (800x600)


We had decided to head back to the Green Rooms in Mal Pais first as it was somewhere we knew and it is quite nice to be somewhere familiar when you first arrive. We also had a big group of friends heading out there from Wales so we thought it would be good fun to have some company. For the first few days the swell direction was a bit strange which meant that the waves were coming in really straight resulting in a lot of close outs for most of the tide. We weren’t particularly bothered though as the water felt like a bath and were away from ‘real life’. After a few days the swell had swung round and become more northerly resulting in perfect conditions throughout the tides. One morning we reached the beach in the dark to be greeted by the most perfect moon I have ever seen. The water was lit up an amazing

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

pinky-orange and you could just make out the sun starting to peek its head over the forest behind. All the pelicans were out fishing before the sun came out and the waves were 3 foot and as glassy as you could ever imagine. It was at this point I definitely felt that the holiday had begun and I was relaxed into the daily lifestyle. It also made me remember why we had decided to return to Costa Rica.

Mal Pais is a really friendly place to be and after a few days we all gained the name of ‘insta-crowd’ from a couple of Canadian surfers as we tended to surf in a huge group of up to 12. I remember one morning thinking to myself how busy the water was so early only to realise everyone in the water was part of our group! Most days were spent surfing



early then again after a quick pancake breakfast before the sun got too scorching and the onshore winds kicked in. We’d spend the days reading and painting around the pool with great company before we headed back for our final surf of the day as the sun went down and the wind dropped off. We definitely had our favourite spot outside Banana Beach Bar where a great deal of cocktails were consumed by the group!

We decided to hire a quad for 24 hours as we wanted to visit the waterfalls in Montezuma. Ben and I, Lizi and Sophie all headed off along possibly the bumpiest and dodgiest road I have ever been on; Ben definitely had a lot of nail marks in his stomach from where I had been holding on for dear life! The waterfalls were amazing and on the way back we checked out some of the beautiful beaches of Montezuma. When we got back to Mal Pais we headed to the fishing village which sits and the very end of the bay next to a deserted hotel which was shut down after being built without planning permission. It borders the most beautiful secluded beach which towering cliffs to the other side and secrets reef in front. It is such a shame to see such a brilliant spot be wasted all because some paperwork didn’t come through.

As we had the quads for the next morning Ben and I decided to go and explore further north up the coast past Santa Theresa. We headed along a bumpy single lane track which bordered the coast to

Secluded CR beach

Secluded CR beach

Playa Hermosa and Manazillio which were two of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. There is a right hand point break at Playa Hermosa which was showing even with the small swell so we plan to head there for a surf at some point as there was barely anyone there.

We were lucky to get great waves every day we were in Mal Pais and I definitely had some of the best rides of my life. It’s nice to have other girls to surf with, as well as being in the water with the boys who help to push you further. I felt at home in Mal Pais and it was nice to know so many people who both lived and stayed in the area. After 3 brilliant weeks we headed 5 hours further north to Nosara to check out somewhere different.

Nosara is very different to Mal Pais in that it is much more Americanised. Everywhere you look there are beautiful houses and everywhere is immaculately



clean. There are a lot of ‘yoga mums’ and those who have retired out here for a bit of tropical paradise whilst still having all the amenities you would need. The beach of Playa Guiones is a beautiful, 3 mile white sand bay which is crescent shaped with the main, largest peak in the centre. We are staying on the northern end of the bay which is slightly quieter than the centre but is just a 4 minute walk onto the beach. We have a lovely little cabina with a kitchen and bathroom so it means that we can cook for ourselves as it is much more expensive to eat out here.

As we don’t know the area we decided to hire a quad for a week so that we can go and explore the coast. We spent our first day heading north driving for about an hour and a half. We visited the black sand beach of playa Ostinal which is famous for its turtles and then went to playa Julliano which is a beautiful little fishing cove with a beach that struts out breaking it into two. We found a little wedgy IMG_1282 (800x533)left hander breaking in the second bay where some local kids were surfing. When I was swimming I saw a huge ray only a foot away, it was wider than my arm-span, absolutely amazing!

The surf is much mellower here so I can see why people say that it is good for longboarding. It seems really busy down at the main peak so we have just surfed to the northern end where we are staying and most days have had the waves to ourselves which is brilliant. I’ve been really enjoying riding my shortboard and taking this trip as an opportunity to work on it as I’ve spent most of the last year riding and competing on my longboard. I forgot how much fun I have on a shortboard and I am really trying to push to improve with Bens help. It’s been good to have the cameras as it means we can look back on our sessions and see where to improve and Ben can give me some pointers.

Overall it’s been an amazing trip so far making loads of memories and meeting new friends along the way. We’ve been able to get hours of time in the water making the most of it before we have to head back to the UK and back to our neoprene! It’s alright though as we still have another 4 and a half weeks left so plenty of time for more waves and more adventures!