Dawn Patrol: The Art of Getting up Early

Dawn Patrol: The Art of Getting up Early

Jenny Higginbotham
01 Sep , 2020

Our Newest Ambassador Chris Weston Shares the first of his Surfing adventures with us...

Life on the coast

North Cornwall is known for it's rugged coastline; towering cliffs and golden sands, a destination for millions of holiday makers every summer.I'm lucky enough to call this slice of the West Country home all year round and both my work and downtime nearly always involve being on the coast. 

Cornwall's popularity is no secret and the beaches can get pretty busy on a warm summer's day; I've learnt that the early birds (surfers) often get the best worms (waves). 

 

(Web at Dawn, Image by Chris Weston)

 

The Morning Routine 

This morning starts with what is often my routine in the summer and autumn, a pre-daybreak alarm to be in the water by first light.

I surf a single fin longboard: a style of wave riding that originated in the 1950s but has recently seen a resurgence. Riding a heavy board over 9ft long gives a feeling of glide and speed you don't get on high performance surfboards. It's what you'll find me doing whenever there's a wave along the North Cornish coast.

 

(Gliding on Water, Image by Ben Battell)

 

Paddling out at 05:30 I have to share the glass like 3ft waves with just a few friendly faces, also faithful members of the Newquay longboarding scene.

It's one of those mornings that make you glad you made the effort to drag yourself out of bed so early and we surf almost perfect peelers for a good hour or two. 

 

(Surfer in a Misty Sea, Image By Chris Weston)

 

As the sun makes it's presence known over the clifftops, the tide pushes a little higher and in doing so makes the waves slightly wobblier as the backwash from the cliffs interrupts the swell as it approaches the shore. A quick glance at the watch reveals it's time to head back to the beach... and to work.

As the rest of Cornwall starts to wake up, a few of us have just experienced it at it's best.

I never regret an early dip in the North Atlantic. 

 

My top tips for an early start

  • Preparation is key. Get all your gear (board, wetsuit, towel etc.) ready the night before and load up the wagon, this will mean an extra few minutes sleep before you have to roll out of bed!
  • Invest in a decent wetsuit. By the autumn the mornings are feeling pretty chilly and having a suit you know will keep you warm will make it that bit more likely you'll commit to the session.
  • Coffee! (or tea) (or hot chocolate?) A flask of something warm and possibly caffeinated is a treat when you get out of the water! 

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