Words: Lou Boyd Portraits: Carl Wilson
All surfers know the feeling of instant relief and calm when they pull on a wetsuit and paddle out into the waves of their nearest break. More than just another hobby, surfing for many is a form of therapy, a connection to the natural world, a way to meet different social groups and a necessary physical and mental release. With this in mind, being a landlocked surfer living in London can be tough. With the nearest surfing beach a cool four hours away, balancing creative city life with that crucial time on your board feels difficult at best and near impossible at worst.
There are ways to make it work, the city sees hundreds of ocean loving individuals head out of Zone one and towards the coast every weekend, making their way back in time on Sunday eve to get some sleep and catch up on their emails by the morning. The level of time, money and commitment that this takes however, shows the level of passion that people who go surfing while living in London must have for this very special sport.
Creative director and brand consultant Kylie Griffiths is one of these people. A lifelong Londoner, Griffiths found her love of surfing later than most, going for a surfing lesson while visiting Fistral Bay in Cornwall with her now husband. Suddenly finding her spare time split between exciting media life in the city and the need to get into the ocean whenever possible, she realised that she couldn’t be the only woman in London feeling this way. “I wanted to share my new found love of surfing with other city based girls” Griffiths explains. “To give those that might not usually have the opportunity of surfing, a chance to go on trips and meet other city based women.”