Surf's down: Why those who swapped heat of Hawaii for cold Cornwall were left beached

For these professional surfers, who had sacrificed exotic winter escapesto Hawaii, Australia's Gold Coast and sunny California in the hope of riding the elusive Cribbar, the "diminutive" wave and misdirected wind, it was "a very bad day at the office''. But the life of the dedicated wave-chaser is prone to such disappointments.

Duncan Scott, a 28-year-old South African surfer, had turned down at least three opportunities to ride warm waves in Hawaii, guaranteed to rise to at least 25ft every day, hoping to surf the giant of the UK waves known as the Cribbar in Newquay. One came along on Monday, and yesterday a repetition was keenly anticipated. The surfers gathered and waited in vain.

"I could be doing warm, fun surf but instead I've been hanging here for this big stormy bastard all winter," said Scott.

The legendary Cribbar is famously inconsistent, appearing about one or twice a year and created by a unique combination of weather conditions, ground swell and wind direction. The surfers said they had spent more hours monitoring internet sites on tidal movements and Cornish weather conditions than on their luminous fibreglass surfboards.

Mr Scott, who is sponsored by O'Neill to tour the world hunting for undiscovered waves, said he has surfed in 48 countries but there was a particular satisfaction in conquering a UK wave.

Surfing pundits say that the trend to discover the true extent of UK waves has only just begun. Last year, the surfing legend Rusty Long, from California, found a new surf wave in Ireland.

Dr Malcolm Findlay, a surf science expert at Plymouth University, said it was very "in vogue'' to chase big waves and that there was an emergence of big-wave pursuits in the UK.

"The waves in the North Atlantic are bigger than anywhere else in the world. With the advent of the jet ski it makes it easier to pursue big-wave riding. Just as we have the 'Big Three' in Hawaii, Mexico and North California, perhaps we might one day see the North Atlantic Big Three in Ireland, Newquay and northern Spain,'' he said.

He said the Cribbar's appeal could be it's "gladiatorial aspect". He said it was potentially one of the deadliest big-wave breaks in the world because of the cold, the prevalent currents and the isolation involved. But yesterday, the wave never came.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam