So far this winter the surf in Cornwall has been firing and Northcore team rider Lucie Donlan has been taking full advantage. Here’s an update from Lucie in her own words…
The UK and Ireland coastlines lit up this weekend with solid offshore surf pumping in the English SW, northern Scotland, the North sea and especially along the wave blessed Irish Atlantic coast.
Northcore team rider Peter Conroy was out amongst it with the crew from County Clare charging Rileys which on a swell of 6ft and 15 seconds equates to some very heavy surf when it hits the slab!
Lets hope winter 2014/15 has a lot more surf to come!
Thanks to Pete Conroy for the images
Northcore team rider Sandy Kerr recently headed east to the shores of Taiwan on a surf trip with a difference. The island of Taiwan is surf rich but relatively unexplored by the surfing masses so Sandy made the most of his time there and checked out and surfed as many waves as possible. He even managed to squeeze in a WQS competition finishing in 6th place overall! Here’s a brief story from the man himself:
“I had the best time in Taiwan and the competition was amazing, Unfortunately I struggled to find a wave in my last heat because the conditions were super tricky but I am so happy with my result. With the standard of surfing being at that high level and competitors from all over Asia, Australia, and the US; to get 6th over all in a WQS event is better than some the wins I’ve had!
On top of all the support from everyone back in the UK with people I don’t even know wishing me the best sharing all my photos etc. I had a amazing response at the comp.”
Images thanks to: Dylan Chiang
Surfing line ups worldwide are becoming increasingly crowded and the big wave locations are no exception. It’s great that so many are sharing the surf stoke but growth and crowds can bring with it inexperience and the inherent consequences which especially among the tow surfing scene can lead to life threatening situations.
Some of the planets biggest, heaviest, coldest waves are found on the West coast of Ireland and here the tow surf scene is thriving at locations like Aileens and Mullaghmore. So stories from the Irish west coast of near misses, injuries and dangerous situations are becoming more common as increasing numbers of tow teams, film crews and spectators enter the water whenever the Atlantic serves up monster swells. So it’s to the credit of some of the local big wave surfers that the safety aspects of surfing heavy Irish waves has been recognised and acted upon in a really positive and responsible way.
One of the founders of the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club, Peter Conroy based in Co Clare has spearheaded an initiative to help train surfers in jet ski rescue techniques, lifesaving, accident and emergency procedures along with common sense advice for when situations take a turn for the worse. Peter’s extensive knowledge from his role as a paramedic and firefighter in Dublin, along with years towing and charging some of the biggest most critical surf ever ridden, places him in a unique position to share and pass on his experience.
Early Nov 2014 Conroy sent out an open invite to all the Irish big wave surfer community as well as to anyone with a vested interest in life saving in the surf to attend a free jet ski safety course at Spanish Point Co Clare. On the day of the event the surf was 8-10ft so the beach break served up some very challenging but ideal conditions for some realistic training. The day was hosted by Peter and assisted by locals Steve Thomas, Seamus Orian and Fionan Cronin as a free event to bring everyone together to share best practice for when the surf goes XXL. There were basics on jet ski maintenance and launching, along with in water jet ski assist pick ups in the white water, lessons on punching through waves on the skis, how to land the skis safely ready for hauling out of the water and more. From there Conroy held an onshore session discussing possible surfing injuries and how to deal with them, plus some simple life saving techniques and instructions.
The first event was attended by some of the big wave surf names from both Clare and Donegal along with guys that spend time in the water and realised the need for better all round safety knowledge. Overall the day was incredibly useful, I know that I personally learned a huge amount and I’m sure all of those who attended felt the same. Lets hope that the injury and life saving techniques never need to be used but if they do there will be a lot more surfers around who are in a much better position to step in to help. Conroy aims to host one of these events every month so if you are in the Clare area I would 100% recommend contacting him about joining up – it will make a difference.
So big respect to Peter Conroy for the the initiative and to all the other lads who helped out – it was incredibly generous to offer their time and expertise to help others and in promoting safety in heavy Irish surf. Thanks Lads
Also a big thanks to Alan Place for sharing these images with us. For more info on Alan’s photographic work visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Saltiesouls/532527030125052?ref=hl
Northcore team rider Lucie Donlan has been busy this past month competing and travelling for the surf. Heres how Lucie spent October in her own words…
Also during my stay I was lucky enough to work with Mauro Laudo a professional surf photographer who is based on the Island. We spent almost a day travelling around the North Coast finding some of the best surfing conditions..The light was good and Mauro managed to get some great shots in and out of the water. It was such an awesome day and a real privilege to shoot with him.
Thanks to Celestine Donlan and Mauro Ladu Photography for the images
Over the years we’ve been out and about swell chasing in some of the planets more hostile winter surfing environments having fun and getting cold! But in the passed two years we’ve began to document these adventures in film producing a series of award winning shorts on the UK North Sea and Irish Atlantic coasts. We’ve had the privilege of working with some great film makers, amazing surfers and been honored to be supported with music from both Ben Howard and Half Moon Run.
The subsequent short films have become a trilogy of sorts which we’ve named “Frontiers” and which we’ve complied onto a 12 minute DVD which is available now for only £2.50. Either drop us an email or purchase online (once our shop launches early Nov 2014). The films are:
Fathoms Left To Fall
An Award Winning short film of one epic day of huge surf during March 2012 at Mullaghmore Head, County Sligo: “The yin and yang of a trip. The highs and the lows. The epic rides and the epic falls. Surfing isn’t a easy game to get right, once in a lifetime 50 ft faces followed by a endless search for shelter. Tides reveal dry reefs, squalls break promises. Rain dampens enthusiasm, talk of hidden secrets abound but the wind in it’s infinite wisdom keeps them just that, secret. There’s no urgency yesterday’s euphoria still burns. Another trip another day. No fathoms left to fall.”—-
A Northcore Film, Directed by Chris McClean, Director of Photography Mark Waters, Edited by Mark Waters, Produced by Gabe Davies, Executive Producer – Matt Strathern, Music – Ben Howard – Depth over Distance.
Surfers – Gabe Davies, Richie Fitzgerald, Fergal Smith, Tom Lowe, Ollie O’Flaherty, Eric Rebiere, Paul O’Kane, Neil Britton, Tom Butler, Sebastian Steudtner, Andrew Cotton, Al Mennie
Winner of Best International Short Film – Hamburg Surf and Skate Film Festival
Pilgrimage of Grace
The second installment of a series of awarding winning short films from Northcore, shot on the UK’s rugged North East coast. “North Sea swells are never easy to predict, low pressure charts often allow hopes of fresh swell to soar only to fade as dawn breaks and nature hasn’t delivered. Occasionally those broken promises are redeemed and all the elements combine gracing us with pristine lines of energy sculpted by offshore wind, reef and blessed by sunshine. This is when the North Sea glows and the pilgrimage begins.”
A Northcore Film, by- Chris McClean, Executive Producer – Matt Strathern, Additional Footage- Lewis Arnold.
Music – Lake Poets – Mercury Retrograde Notwithstanding
and Half Moon Run – Full Circle
Surfers – Gabe Davies, Sandy Kerr, Owain Davies and Ryan Hammond
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.
Our 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 we captured some of the riders thoughts on what it feels like before setting out to tackle one of the planets heaviest waves.
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
The Azores Euro Surf Juniors 2014 kicks off tomorrow and Northcore grom team riders Stan Norman and Joseph Morris are on their way now representing their respective nations teams, England and Wales.
The event begins 13th Sept – 21st Sept on the Azores Ribeira Grande on Sao Miguel’s North shore and Northcore wishes all the very best of success to all of the home nations teams and especially to Stan and Jo!!
We’re stoked that our latest Northcore skateboard division longboard is coming into stock this week, with its 41″ bamboo deck, ABEC 7′s and cruisey soft PU wheels its a sick stick! So when we get new boards we of course have to try them out, but our Northcore HQ warehouse has a whole range of sample boards scattered around for all the staff (or who ever is passing through) to have a play on. It’s great fun but leaves the dilemma of where to store these boards neatly and safely out of the way which is why this product grabbed our attention.
The “Store Your Board” rack is made in the US of A from lightweight molded ABS plastic and claims to be easy to install so we thought we’d have a go. We got our hands on the rack which comes with two plastic pieces each with three arms/tiers for storage, plus 4 screws and 4 drywall (plasterboard) anchors.
So we set about fixing it onto an office wall which is made of plasterboard and the 4 pictures above show the steps. The only tools we needed were a cross head screw driver and a spirit level. The anchor screws provided are self tapping so no drilling required. Just line up where you want the racks, using a level (or line up using your eyes) mark the holes with a pencil, locate the anchor screws, apply a little pressure with the screw driver and tighten into the wall! Then screw in the screw fixings to a point where theres only a few mm of the head showing, slide in the plastic racking arms, tighten and Ta Da, Skateboard racks!
The Store Your Board rack turned out to be a super neat storage solution for our skateboards including our 41″ pin tail bamboo longboard, our retro beach cruiser and mini Penny style cruiser the Northcore “Candy Bar”, but looking at the rack’s website it’ll also store wakeboards, snowboards, skis, scooters etc etc… we give it a big thumbs up!
Our “Hook Up” hanger is a versatile rubber coated magnet designed to allow hanging of wetsuits, sport apparel and clothing on flat metal surfaces. The “Hook Up” hanger is great for road and camping trips as items can be hung from cars hatchbacks and doors without fear of scratching the paint work or them falling off as the 65mm diameter magnet has a 20kg pull strain which is sturdy enough to easily support a soaking wet 6mm winter wetsuit. Stick it on and hang your kit!
- 65mm diameter
- 20kg pull weight
- silicone rubber coated
- M4 anti-rust stainless steel hook
- Hook Up is most effective with max pull capacity when placed against a fully flat metal surface
In recognition of another exciting year for Northcore with continued Worldwide expansion, the brand are pleased to be extending their team and announce a new member of the European surf team, Lucie Rose Donlan.
Cornish based Lucie joins a number of talented Northcore team riders, representing some of the finest surfers in their respective locations across Europe.
Northcore spokesman said of the recent addition to the team, “We’re stoked to welcome Lucie to our team as her enthusiasm and drive are a real asset. We think Lucie is set to become an inspirational figure which future UK women surfers can aspire to.”
Lucie commented on joining the Northcore team ”I am super excited to be joining the Northcore Team and extremely grateful for having been given such an amazing opportunity! I can’t wait to try out the fantastic range of Northcore surf products both in and out of the water. I would like to thank Northcore for taking me on board and I very much look forward to working with them – here’s to a fun year!!”
16 year old Lucie has lived in Cornwall all her life where surfing became a natural progression being surrounded by the stunning Cornish coastline. Her immediate plans are to qualify as a surf instructor and beach lifeguard.
For more information visit: