For those of you who don't know me a brief into; I bought my
first ski (then called a surfski) in 1977 after my Surfer mk2
surf kayak imploded on me one gnarly March day at Putsborough
and I had a long swim in with not another soul anywhere to be
seen. I'd soon filled in the deep seatwell and fitted a seatbelt,
in 1979 I won my first contest at Watergate on a custom ski and
in '83 and '85 was British ranking champion. In '83 I spent 2
months in Aus and came 4th in the NSW Open at DeeWhy Point in
monster surf, Christo & Petrie were 1st and 2nd, this was
probably my best ever result. In '84 went to SA for the first
World Waveski Champs and was founder member of WWSA. In '85 became
secretary of the BCU surf committee and started making skis for
a living trading as Dirty Habits. In '86 went to Hawaii for the
Worlds and won for UK the right to host 1989 Worlds. Because S.Africans
would be coming to UK for this event I drafted a constitution
for a new British Wave Ski Association on the flight home. The
following weekend was the surf ctte agm where I announced the
move and resigned from BCU - what a row that caused. 1989 Worlds
went v.smoothly and I became President of WWSA for next 2 years.
I stopped competing about 1992 and a few years later sold Dirty
Habits after making about 800 popouts and 100 customs to concentrate
on building up 'Wild Things' and rotomoulding kayaks. In 1997
was asked to be chief judge at the Worlds at Gwithian which was
my last real involvement with the organised side of the sport
but I still really enjoy surfing my ski and haven't changed waveski
or style for 10 years, but my ski is wrecked - must make a new
I wrote a history a few years back for some guy at Aberystwyth Uni
but never got it back so here goes again. The intention in the 'Chronology'
is to give a factual account of what happened when and without voicing
any personal opinion - you can read that in 'A Personal View'. Most
of the sources are from old friends, memory and Beachbreak mags
and other old treasures! Some of what happened was before my time
and was totally entwined with kayak surfing - so if you hate kayaks
you'll just have to bear with it!
The 'chronology' concentrates on the years 1975 to 1992 which is
when I was most active and is broken down into sections to make
it a bit more manageable. One of the sections is a 'whos who' so
if you find your name there and don't agree with what I've written
please email me; likewise if I've forgotten you! As I write this
my intention is to include some original articles from old publications
'A Personal View' is an opportunity for me to spout-off about things
like 'my biggest wave' and 'why I think slash-cutbacks killed the
sport' and so on.
'Waveski Design' is pretty much the same really - arguments as to
what sort of designs are best for what sort of waves.
Please send in photos from this era if you have any, mine must get
pretty boring after a while; and if you have anything written to
add please send it along as well.