People who surf together, stay together.

Sharing your sport or hobby with a loved one can feel special, but do people who surf together stay together? We sat down with some of our Team Riders who share their love of the waves with partners and friends to find out what happens when you paddle out with each other.

Northcore Rider Emily Grimes & Chris Churchill

Emily Grimes & Chris Churchill logging session.

Did you meet through surfing?

Sarah: Yes! My boyfriend and I actually met on the ocean paddleboarding! I planned to meet a friend and he came with. It was my dream way to meet someone so it was a perfect day – couldn’t have been more romantic looking back. I even have photos of that day so it’s really cute looking back now.

Gautier: We met during summer, 25 years ago. Sandie came to the South West to surf and worked as a saleswoman for the summer season in a store where I also did the season, so we met because of surfing.

Emily:We met at a spot which is renowned locally for being rubbish, industrial and bleak – because it’s mostly surfed on pretty grim days due to its topography. I was surfing there with my uncle Angus, Chris was one of the few people out and probably the only one having a decent surf. After Chris’s 50th nose ride of the session Angus looked at me and remarked ‘handsome talented b*stard’… we chatted in the car park after the session and the rest is history. Don’t tell Chris this or his head will explode!

When did you first surf together?

Sarah: Although we literally met paddle boarding – and it was something we continued to do over the flat spells of summer – it was a matter of weeks before we planned a surf trip to Sennen together. It was mid-September and Sennen’s ‘September swells’ really lived up to its name! I probably surfed my biggest waves to date. We had the most amazing few days and it was extra special being able to be able to enjoy something we love, together.

Gautier: Very soon after our meeting we went surfing together every day after our day at work!

Northcore Rider Gautier Garanx and Sandie surf style

Gauts and Sandie in the water.

How are your sessions/how is time spent surfing together?

Sarah: George usually surfs longer than my noodle arms can handle but we travel to the beach together, get changed in his van over winter, and get in together. I’ll usually get out and sit on the beach and watch/wait for him to get out if it’s not too cold.

Gautier: Haha! Couple surfing is compromise surfing! We have to find a wave that we both like. After in the water it’s great, just fun. When you get out of the water, whether the session is good or not great, you’re on cloud nine… it’s just happiness.

Emily: Mixed. We’re both insanely competitive with ourselves and each other. If we’re both surfing well – it’s class. If one of us is not in the groove and the other’s having a great session we aren’t always the most supportive. We nearly always surf together anyway, so there’s bound to be some epic ones, rubbish ones, and everything in between – that’s life! We’re both coaches, I’m always harder on myself and analyse my surfing more when we surf together because it can turn into a coaching session. This sometimes makes me surf worse, but I also tend to have my best sessions when we’re together too. If I have a great session and he’s not there I always wish he was!

Gautier and Sandie Garanx

Gauts and Sandie not only surf together as a hobby, but run Pulse Surf Coaching together too!

Do things get competitive?

Sarah: They definitely do! Besides surfing, we both really enjoy open water/ sea swimming. I’m the stronger swimmer so George has spent more time in the water training to beat me. He’s invincible when it comes to anything else though, so he wins on all other fronts [sighs and laughs].

Gautier: No, never! Obviously, we give each other advice, but there is never any competition between us. In any case, it is she who wins no matter what!

Emily: Very. Sometimes we drop in, block paddle and hassle each other for waves. We’re brutal.

Do you have different strengths when it comes to surfing?

Sarah: I’m the fish of the relationship and George is an insane runner so we have different strengths but it doesn’t stop us from enjoying all kinds of outdoor activities together.

Gautier: Yes! Sandie is much more flexible, feline. She has a very nice style of surf in the waves. I’m more committed, more direct let’s say…

Emily: We’re both into longboards and mid-lengths and like similar waves, but our styles are very different. Chris would probably say I charge harder and he’s more technical, but there are sessions and certain spots where he charges harder. We have our own fave local spots and a few gems that we both excel on!

Northcore Rider Emily Grimes and Chris Churchill

Emily & Chris also run NE Surf Coaching together!

Do you think it has an impact on your relationship?

Sarah: Surfing/a love for all things water-based has a huge impact on our relationship! I mean, it’s literally how we met! Surfing dominates a lot of our spare time so it’s great to be able to understand each other and get excited about the same thing. When there’s swell, it’s not even a question about going together. Which is great! and is really social when we go as a group. It’s always a fun day out and a nice way to meet his friends.

Gautier: Yes, it’s obvious! When we’re upset or need a breath of fresh air, we go surfing together and come back happy. It’s really exceptional to be able to do this regeneration together by sharing the same passion.

Emily: Surfing for us is basically our entire relationship, career, and life…everything is centered around surfing. Not only would we not be together without it, but we also wouldn’t even be who we are. So I guess you could say, yes it has a pretty big impact!

Do you surf regularly with your partner or a mate? Let us know how you would answer these questions!

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