Joe Koa tells Errant Surf Holidays how he fell in love with surfing.
Surfing was something that always attracted me, and ironically it was my involvement with classic Volkswagens that first got me into surfing. Bored of buying parts for my dilapidated ’73 beetle on a popular classic car forum, I stumbled upon a post to buy a shortboard, 6’6, for just £80. Being a cheeky git at 17, I offered the guy a swap for some model volkswagen split screens and £50, to which he told me to ‘forget about the toys and bring the fifty quid over’.
I met the guy at a train station, got my straps ready to attach it to the roof of my fiesta, and the money was exchanged. In the excitement I forgot about the roofrack and threw the board in the car, much to my passengers delight. I drove off without the straps. This would prove to be a regular occurance with surf trips.
The board took up the whole car, I couldn’t see anything out of the left window and one very nearly almost crash later, I got it home…
Who entired me into surfing?
Having been an occasional body boarder, surfing was always the enxt step, but it wasn’t Kelly Slater that got me into surfing, it was my Nan, bless her. She lived on the Cornish coast, and would send me Wavelength on a regular basis. At that time, it was Russ Winter and Gul at the forefront of UK surfing, and between Russ, my Nan and Wavelength, I was hooked.
What made me choose to surf?
Well, I had the board, and I guess at that time the image. Spending a few summers in Newquay either gets you into surfing or somewhere entirely different, so that one was decided!
Where was I?
I remember it like it was yesterday, myself and a good friend had driven down from Birmingham in my Ford Focus, with the shortboard. We’d hired an 8ft board from Overhead just in case we found the shortboard too hard, neither of us had done it much before besides the odd lesson, so it was a safe bet. Paddling out at Crantock, perfect 2-3ft waves, with an underwater digital camera, Mark had the first go on the ‘shorty’. A perfect nosedive. Caught on camera. Classic. After swapping over, it was my turn, and after a few tries, I’d managed to stand up a bit, and even get the odd green wave… that moment probably got me where I am today…
What was it like?
Epic. I was Russ Winter, for the day. That evening, over a beer or two, we talked, and the waves obviously became bigger, I told everyone I’d pulled a roundhouse, you know the drill… The following day, Mark bought himself a tasty 6’6 so we had one each, and we surfed Towan until it was too dark to see anything. An epic session. On the final day, I came off the board on a stupid wave and landed right accross the nose, snapping it almost clean off… Not to worry, a few weeks later I invested in my very first brand new surfboard, the first of many… Since then I’ve moved down south, I surf almost every day, and that old board has been repaired, allbeit badly, and is now fully sprayed up as an ‘open’ sign for when I realise my dream of opening a beachside cafe.