What To Pack For A Summer Surf Camping Trip

Featured image featuring @rolling_homes_campers

The summer is almost here, the sun is out and the surf is pumping! So where better to spend some time than on a surf camping trip in the UK or Europe? Circle One Surf Co. was founded by Jeff Townsley and his love for surfing the coasts of Cornwall, Devon and Wales, here’s some of his top tips on what to take with you!

Surf Kit

As the main purpose of your camping trip is to surf, the first things to organise are your surf equipment. If you are lucky enough to have your own surfboard, make sure it is protected on the journey by a robust surfboard travel bag or sock, and pack it out with soft things such as your towel, changing robe or hoodie. Make sure you have plenty of surf wax of the correct temperature for the water (cold or cool in the UK) and put this into your surfboard bag too so you don’t forget it! Double check your fins and leash before you go to make sure they are in good condition. If you are thinking of buying your own surfboard this summer, check out the Circle One guide to buying your first surfboard here.

 

 

Your wetsuit and swimming gear should be next on the list. By July, the sea temperature in the South of the UK should be warm enough for a 3/2 mm full length wetsuit but if you’re heading out sooner definitely wear a thicker suit. Check out the 5/3mm winter suits here. On top of this you can wear a rash vest underneath your wetsuit and take wetsuit boots in case you want to be in the water for a long time. For the ladies remember to pack a bikini or swimsuit for underneath your wetsuit or for a quick dip in the sea. And don’t forget a towel or changing robe for after your surf! A dry bag or few are also really useful to protect important things from getting wet on the beach or to put wet things in.

 

Circle One Wetsuit

 

Camping Kit

So the other side of this trip is the camping side of things. Whether in a campervan, caravan or tent, camping does need quite a bit of kit, and it is easy to get carried away and bring everything you think you might need, packing the car as full as it can go! On the other hand, a good surf camping trip doesn’t need to over complicate things, with surfing being the main priority. Getting back to basics might be just what you need.

A tent is pretty important if you aren’t in a van or caravan. Then a sleeping bag and comfortable sleeping mat or airbed so you can get a good night’s sleep ready for surfing the next day! A light or head torch are always useful to find your way to the loo in the night, and some camping table and chairs bring some comfort to your set up, especially for breakfast and in the evenings at the campsite. A washing line, clothes rack or wetsuit hanger is really useful to dry your wetsuit and towel ready for the next day, and don’t forget some warmer clothes for in the evening too.

A small gas stove is useful if only to boil some water for a cup of tea or coffee in the morning, and I think a summer camping trip is not complete without a BBQ on the beach or in the campsite. Don’t forget your reusable coffee cup, water bottle, cutlery and plates.

 

Beach Kit

And no surf camping trip is complete without some time just chilling on the beach too! The art of making a good beach camp to come back to after your surf is definitely worth it, especially if there is a group of you together. A pop up beach tent or large umbrella is great to create some shade on the beach & to protect your skin from the sun. A picnic blanket is a great addition to sit on and stop things getting sandy while you read your book in the sun. Beach games are also good additions to your surf camping trip, definitely pack a frisbee, beach cricket and beach bats. Most importantly, don’t forget sun cream, a sun hat and sunglasses to protect yourself on the beach.

 

 

THE KIT LIST

  • Surfboards
  • Surfboard Bag
  • Towel
  • Surf Wax
  • Wetsuit
  • Rash Vest
  • Bikini/ Swimsuit/ Board-shorts
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Mat/ Airbed
  • Head Torch
  • Camping Lamp
  • Table & Chairs
  • Picnic Blanket
  • Cool Box
  • Reusable plates, mugs, cutlery
  • Water Bottle
  • Gas Stove/ BBQ
  • Matches/ Lighter
  • Beach Tent/ Parasol
  • Frisbee
  • Sun Cream
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Book
  • Warmer clothes for the evening (changing robe)
  • Dry Bags for wet gear

 

How To Recycle Your Wetsuit With Circle One Surf Company

Barefoot Tech

 

As members of the Surfers Against Sewage 250 Club we are proud to be part of a powerful network of businesses driving forward a strong message and enabling movement for change. The ocean is our playground, our place of relaxation and the place we love to share. Our aim is to always look after it and encourage our peers to do so.

In efforts to reduce plastic from our packaging we have developed cardboard packaging for all of our leashes, footwear, gloves, hoods and accessories, and are always striving to be 100% plastic free. Our products however, (like all) have a lifecycle. This is something that our team have been closely monitoring. Not only to learn how to increase product longevity, but also to figure out what happens to our products after their use is no longer required.

As part of our current services we offer wetsuit repair here at our HQ, in order to make wetsuits last longer and prevent more wetsuits ending up in landfill. We have also been recycling your old Circle One wetsuits. Using old neoprene in wetsuit repairs, creating patches and sections for wetsuits.

Alongside this we have now partnered with Barefoot.Tech, allowing us to recycle even more wetsuits!

About Barefoot.Tech

Barefoot.Tech is a unique sustainable accessories label that offers a wide range of products. All products are remade from wetsuits and other water sport materials.

Created by a fashion product design graduate from South Wales. Ffion grew up water skiing on the lakes of Wales with her family and after noticing the vast number of wetsuits collected in the basement with no ethical way to dispose of these, sparked the idea of recycling them into innovative items people would want to use.

After graduating from Arts University Bournemouth in 2020 Ffion’s small business has gained a lot of attention and is growing rapidly in the sustainability sector.

Understanding neoprene and its environmental impact encourage Ffion’s work ethic. Always a zero-waste approach when creating the products. Ffion believes that reusing and recycling wetsuits and life jackets into innovative, fashionable pieces gives another life cycle to the wetsuits. By extending this lifecycle it stops wetsuits from ending up in a landfill.

If you have an old wetsuit (any brand) you no longer want and don’t know what to do with. Send it back to us, or drop it off at our factory in Crediton. Please include a note in your parcel saying that you wish to recycle your wetsuit. Recycle over landfill every time!

Circle One Surf Co. Marsh Lane, Lords Meadow Industrial Estate, Crediton, Devon, EX17 1ES, United Kingdom

Want to learn more or have other sustainability ideas? Contact us here.

 

Follow Barefoot.Tech here.

 

 

How To Repair Your Wetsuit

If you get a tear or rip in your wetsuit, your first thought is probably to hop straight online and start searching for a new one while it is still warm from you wearing it. Although at Circle One we stock a great selection of different wetsuits for everyone, we fully believe in repairing and caring for your wetsuit so that it lasts as long as possible. One less wetsuit destined for landfill might not sound like a lot but if everyone tried their best to reduce their waste then it would make a huge difference to the environment. Here are some tips on how to repair your wetsuit including the tools you will need for the job!

Wetsuit Care

Firstly, you can help to avoid getting rips and tears in your wetsuit by looking after it properly. Try to be gentle and go slowly when putting on and taking off your wetsuit. Don’t pull too hard and if you have long nails, try and use you fingertips instead or even wear gloves to stop them snagging the delicate neoprene. Rinse your wetsuit in fresh cold water after every use and use a wetsuit cleaner to remove salt and other impurities from the neoprene. Store your wetsuit on a wetsuit hanger with wide shoulders in a dark, dry place when you aren’t using it. If your zip starts to get a bit stuck you can put a bit of WD40 on to make it run smoother – better to do this that have to force it which can make it worse or rip the seams around the zip.

 

Things Which Can Damage Your Wetsuit

  • Salt water
  • Sharp objects – nails, stones, rocks, hooks etc.
  • UV sunlight
  • Hot water
  • Chlorine
  • Bleach
  • Washing machine, tumble dryer or dry cleaning

 

Small Rips & Tears

Try and inspect your wetsuit after each use for small rips and tears as they are much easier to fix when they are small, and will grow quickly with more stretch and use. 1 – 2 cm tears in the middle of neoprene can be fixed using a special neoprene flexible glue, which can be bought online or in some surf shops. Bike puncture repair kits are also good, as the glue is similar for fixing inner tube punctures. If the rip is bigger or on the seam or zip, then it is probably easier to get it fixed professionally or take a look at your wetsuit warranty.

To fix a small rip in the neoprene and repair your wetsuit, first make sure it is clean and dry so the glue sticks wells to it. Turn your suit inside out and find the tear and make sure you can access it easily. Apply some glue to each side of the tear, along the cross section of the neoprene. Before pressing the two edges together, let the glue dry slightly so it is tacky, for 1 – 2 minutes. Then apply a second coat of neoprene adhesive and again allow to dry for a few minutes until tacky. Taking care to line up the edges well, gently press the glued tear together to seal the neoprene rip. Hold it in place for another 3 – 5 minutes until you are confident it is dry and stuck together. You can add more glue over the top of the rip if you want to make it extra strong. Make sure you leave the wetsuit overnight or for at least 24 hours in a dry environment before you try and use it in the water or put it on to make sure the glue is completely set.

repair adhesive

 

Fixing Glued and Taped Seams

If you have a small tear in a glued seam, then this can be fixed in a similar way to above, as there is no stitching involved. You could even add in a blind stitch or tape to strengthen the seam. You can get neoprene tape in wetsuit repair kits which you can glue onto the inside of the seam with the same glue, and adds in an extra layer of cold protection and strength to the seam. A blind stitch involves using a strong but very thin thread and only penetrating through half of the layer of neoprene, so it is tricky to do. This is important so you don’t make holes in your wetsuit which can let the water in.

ARC Kids 5/4/3mm Four Season Centre/School Wetsuit

 

Discover our top wetsuits here, or read our winter wetsuit buying guide or summer wetsuit buying guide to find out your best wetsuit.

What To Pack For A Summer Surf Camping Trip

surf camping trip

The summer is almost here, the sun is out and the surf is pumping! So where better to spend some time than on a surf camping trip in the UK or Europe? Circle One Surf Co. was founded by Jeff Townsley and his love for surfing the coasts of Cornwall, Devon and Wales, here’s some of his top tips on what to take with you!

Surf Kit

As the main purpose of your camping trip is to surf, the first things to organise are your surf equipment. If you are lucky enough to have your own surfboard, make sure it is protected on the journey by a robust surfboard travel bag or sock, and pack it out with soft things such as your towel, changing robe or hoodie. Make sure you have plenty of surf wax of the correct temperature for the water (cold or cool in the UK) and put this into your surfboard bag too so you don’t forget it! Double check your fins and leash before you go to make sure they are in good condition. If you are thinking of buying your own surfboard this summer, check out the Circle One guide to buying your first surfboard here.

 

 

Your wetsuit and swimming gear should be next on the list. By July, the sea temperature in the South of the UK should be warm enough for a 3/2 mm full length wetsuit but if you’re heading out sooner definitely wear a thicker suit. Check out the 5/3mm winter suits here. On top of this you can wear a rash vest underneath your wetsuit and take wetsuit boots in case you want to be in the water for a long time. For the ladies remember to pack a bikini or swimsuit for underneath your wetsuit or for a quick dip in the sea. And don’t forget a towel or changing robe for after your surf! A dry bag or few are also really useful to protect important things from getting wet on the beach or to put wet things in.

 

Circle One Wetsuit

 

Camping Kit

So the other side of this trip is the camping side of things. Whether in a campervan, caravan or tent, camping does need quite a bit of kit, and it is easy to get carried away and bring everything you think you might need, packing the car as full as it can go! On the other hand, a good surf camping trip doesn’t need to over complicate things, with surfing being the main priority. Getting back to basics might be just what you need.

A tent is pretty important if you aren’t in a van or caravan. Then a sleeping bag and comfortable sleeping mat or airbed so you can get a good night’s sleep ready for surfing the next day! A light or head torch are always useful to find your way to the loo in the night, and some camping table and chairs bring some comfort to your set up, especially for breakfast and in the evenings at the campsite. A washing line, clothes rack or wetsuit hanger is really useful to dry your wetsuit and towel ready for the next day, and don’t forget some warmer clothes for in the evening too.

A small gas stove is useful if only to boil some water for a cup of tea or coffee in the morning, and I think a summer camping trip is not complete without a BBQ on the beach or in the campsite. Don’t forget your reusable coffee cup, water bottle, cutlery and plates.

 

Beach Kit

And no surf camping trip is complete without some time just chilling on the beach too! The art of making a good beach camp to come back to after your surf is definitely worth it, especially if there is a group of you together. A pop up beach tent or large umbrella is great to create some shade on the beach & to protect your skin from the sun. A picnic blanket is a great addition to sit on and stop things getting sandy while you read your book in the sun. Beach games are also good additions to your surf camping trip, definitely pack a frisbee, beach cricket and beach bats. Most importantly, don’t forget sun cream, a sun hat and sunglasses to protect yourself on the beach.

 

 

THE KIT LIST

  • Surfboards
  • Surfboard Bag
  • Towel
  • Surf Wax
  • Wetsuit
  • Rash Vest
  • Bikini/ Swimsuit/ Board-shorts
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Mat/ Airbed
  • Head Torch
  • Camping Lamp
  • Table & Chairs
  • Picnic Blanket
  • Cool Box
  • Reusable plates, mugs, cutlery
  • Water Bottle
  • Gas Stove/ BBQ
  • Matches/ Lighter
  • Beach Tent/ Parasol
  • Frisbee
  • Sun Cream
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Book
  • Warmer clothes for the evening (changing robe)
  • Dry Bags for wet gear

 

How To Wax Your Surfboard

The progression from foamie or soft top surfboard to hard surfboard can be a little intimidating in your surfing journey. If all you have known up to now is forgiving foam underneath your feet then the sight of your new shiny hard surfboard might take you straight back to square one. One of the main considerations is how to wax a surfboard so that your feet or hands don’t slip when you go to stand up. Surfboard wax is designed to be applied to the top of your surfboard and create sticky bumps on the surface to give your feet something to grip to. If you’ve never waxed a surfboard before or you’re just looking for tips to get a better wax job, here is our guide to waxing your surfboard.

 

 

wax a surfboard

 

1. WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO WAX A SURFBOARD

You will need a few simple items to start to wax a surfboard, which can be picked up from most surf shops:


wax a surfboard

2. CLEANING YOUR SURFBOARD

If you are waxing a new surfboard, then skip head to the next step. If you are waxing a used board or you are rewaxing your surfboard, it is important to first clean the top of it. Any old wax on the board will make new wax put on top flake off earlier and create layers of old useless wax which isn’t good for performance or your surfboard. It is also important that the basecoat is applied directly to the surface of the surfboard so that it does its job correctly.

To clean your surfboard deck, first scrape off all of the wax you can with the straight side of your wax comb, including off the sides (rails) of the board. Make sure you use a wax comb and not just any old tool as you may damage your surfboard. You then want to use a surf wax cleaning product and an old cloth or rag to remove any excess wax which is left over. There is usually a thin layer of wax still remaining that you’ll be able to feel and see if you catch your board in the light. Once your board looks glossy and new, and feels smooth you will know you have all of the wax removed and can begin putting on a new coat.

3. APPLY THE BASECOAT WAX

Applying the basecoat is the most important step when you wax a surfboard. The top coat of wax is what you feel when you surf but will rub off as you use your surfboard. The basecoat will stay in place and ensure you stay in place while surfing even if the topcoat does rub off a little. It also holds the topcoat better in place to make the whole wax last longer and improve performance.

The goal of the basecoat is to create a lasting layer of hard wax which the softer topcoat can stick to. As basecoat surfboard wax is harder, it is a bit more difficult to apply so make sure to push down strongly on the wax so it is applied to the board. You will want to start by making broad strokes on the board and continuing until you see a light pattern emerge. There are many different techniques/ patterns to apply wax, none is the correct way and you should do whatever works for you.

4. APPLY TOPCOAT WAX

Once you are happy with your basecoat, you can select your topcoat wax and do the same process again to apply the topcoat. This wax is generally softer so will be easier to apply. You need to ensure you select the correct temperature wax for the water you will be surfing in. Cold or cool water wax will be suitable for UK waters and winter surfing whereas if you are heading to Indonesia or Sri Lanka you will need tropical wax to account for the higher water temperature.

You can use similar patterns to the diagrams above to cover your board with the topcoat wax and ensure that your feet will grip the board nicely when you come to surf it.

5. AFTER YOUR SURF

Don’t be surprised if quite a bit of the topcoat wax flakes off while you surf. The above process should last you a few surfs before you need to reapply a topcoat, and it should be a few months before you need to completely start again and do the basecoat too. After a surf, it might be good to get a wax comb and just score some lines in the topcoat wax to break it up a little and create more friction if it has gone a bit flat. This should mean you can surf again on that same coat without reapplying.

6. TOP TIPS

  • Remove and reapply your base coat about every three months. If you can no longer stick to the board before three months, remove the base coat and re-wax your board completely.
  • If you don’t need to apply a new top coat but the wax is looking a little flat, use a wax comb to mark diagonal lines in the existing wax to rough it up a bit and make it sticky again, instead of applying more wax on top which can just make it all messy.
  • Make sure you use the right temperature wax for the sea you are surfing in.
  • Apply new top coat wax every other time you surf or each time if you feel it needs it in some places.

If you want to go a step further, then you may want to opt for a traction pad for the back of your board instead of some wax. Let us know if you have any more top tips for how to wax a surfboard…

Tim Nunn Surf Photographer’s Camera Recommendations (The Plastic Project)

Tim Nunn world renowned surf photographer of the plastic project brings us a breakdown of the best cameras for taking surf snaps. Take your time to read through his expert advice on which cameras are best for our sport and why they are so good. Tim also provides a helpful loose price guide so there is a guaranteed to be something in here to suit your budget. Check out the plastic project and Tim’s adventures online and see why we support this great cause. https://theplastic-project.com

Words by Tim Nunn.

The Plastic Project is essentially a photographic project and I’m not sponsored by any camera brands. We have had some support from all major camera brands in the form of lens loans etc. but I pay full price for every bit of gear I own so this is a real analysis. I’d also say, if you already have a bunch of lenses for one system, probably best to stick with that system so you don’t have to re-invest all over again. The real world difference especially between the top end cameras is very negligible. As the old saying goes as well,

“The best camera is the one you have on you.”

Nikon

I was a real Nikon fan boy for years and they make awesome cameras, so I have had the joy of owning and using all of these.

Money No Object

The Nikon D5 is an awesome camera, if you have 4k + to burn and Nikon lenses, it’s awesome for shooting surf. It ticks along at 12fps and the low light performance is pretty epic. It still isn’t truly revolutionary, it’s an upgrade on the D4s, but Nikon still haven’t captured the massive step up and revolutionary performance they had when they released the D3s. Having said that, it will work in anything, so is a very good surf camera.

The Nikon D3s used to be the best full frame camera for sports in the world. Low light performance which is critical in Northern Europe is awesome, frame rate ticks along nicely at 9fps, you can happily shoot at ISO 3200 and beyond and it is practically indestructible. If you want a top end pro camera for under £1k this is an awesome option. Couple it with the Nikon 16mm fisheye and a good water housing and you have a good water rig.

Mid Range

I’m talking £800 – £3000 here, what the manufacturers like to call semi pro setups. When I first wrote this Nikon didn’t really have a semi pro camera when it comes to shooting surf/sports which is what we’re all about in ether full frame or APSC, but that has all changed.

The Nikon D500 is basically a baby D5. It clocks along at 10fps, and has a 200 shot RAW buffer, and it is compatible with every Nikon mount lens. Modern APSC sensors are also good. There is a question of why you need to go full frame, there are only a few occasions where you need that resolution. Couple that with the extra reach it gives, and the incredible Nikon 10mm f2.8 fisheye and this is an awesome sell camera.

Nikon have also released the Nikon D850, again it ticks along at up to 9fps, and has an incredible 45 megapixel full frame sensor, if you want to be the next Ray Collins, the is not only one of the cameras he uses, but s probably the one for you.

In the rest of the full frame lineup the D610, 750 and 800 are all very good cameras, they do really good in low light, but their frame rates are a little lacking. Six and six and a half frames per second isn’t sluggish, and don’t be ruled by frame rates, but especially when shooting fast action in and out of the water they are important.

When it comes to the other mid range up to date APSC sized sensor then Nikon went from having the market leader to a very good but slightly restricted offering in the D7000/71000/7200. The image quality and low light ability, as well as the autofocus on these is very good, the frame rate however is a little low at 6fps, and the buffer depth in RAW, is also poor. (that’s the number of shots it takes to fill the memory before the frame rate slows down).

Bargains – Sub £800

Nikon kill it when it comes to bargain cameras. First the full frame D700 is an epic camera, with a grip and dedicated battery it will burn along at 8fps for three seconds, has amazing low light ability, decent autofocus and great ergonomics. It’s essentially a non weather sealed baby D3s, and if you hunt around, you can pick one of these up for £450-600, a housing for about the same, and you have a pro rig for very little. Granted the resolution and overall image quality isn’t as good as a modern model, but this thing will spit out double page spreads until its shutter fails, which will be a while.

If that’s a little pricey, how about the same camera except with a smaller APSC sensor? The Nikon D300 with a booster is a weapon. I just checked on ebay and there is a tatty one going for £150, in five years at Wavelength this was both mine and Ben Selway’s weapon of choice. I only upgraded two years ago, and at 8fps, with great autofocus it’s a bargain sports camera to get you going in and out of the water. Downside compared to modern cameras is the resolution and ISO performance, I wouldn’t use over ISO 800, and it’s best at 200-400.

Canon

Money no object

The Canon 1DX2 is currently the best DSLR for sports in the world, no two ways about it. Autofocus, low light performance and frame rate (14fps), coupled with a full frame sensor smoke everything. Whilst Nikon were high fiving that the D3s was the best camera in the world and laughing at Canon’s inability to make a full frame sensor sports cam (the 1d 1/2/3/4, are all APS-H), rather than figuring out they could make the D4/5 amazing, Canon went away and smashed them with first the 1dx and then the mark 2.

At this moment it is the best DSLR for sports in the world, and the video is pretty good as well. If you have £4k + to burn and don’t own loads of Nikon lenses get this, it won’t make you a better photographer, but it will allow you to do things easier and more efficiently. In the real world I doubt a D5 is that much different, but having used them both I just feel this has several notches up on everything, hence why I own mark one.

Mid Range

Personally I’m not a fan of the 1d Mk1/2/3 you can pick them up for absolute bargains, as little as a few hundred pounds, but their low light performance is terrible and there are autofocus issues in all of them from my experience. The Mk4 is a different kettle of fish, good autofocus, decent low light ability, fast and decent video, it just sucks it hasn’t got a full frame sensor in it, but is still a good camera and pro level and goes for around £1k new!

Then there is the 5d1V, it’s an awesome camera, decent low light performance, decent autofocus, and a useable 6 fps, make it a solid pro alternative to the 1DX. Being full frame you can utilise the amazing Canon 15mm lens in the water, and it makes for a good all round filming and photographic body. If you want full frame, and don’t have the pockets for a 1DX get this.

Canon changed the game really by introducing the 7D Mk11, the 7D has issues, but the Mk11 is a pretty sick bit of kit. It is essentially a baby 1DX, 10fps, very advanced autofocus, and critically Canon have sorted out the image quality which plagued the Mk1. It’s still not perfect as the sensors in Sony’s APSC sized cameras outclass it in image quality and low light ability but it is an awesome camera, and having that crop factor when shooting from the beach is a huge advantage over a full frame. This is essentially a pro camera.

Bargains – Sub £800

The 7d MK1, awesome camera, good autofoucs, good frame rate at 8fps, great ergonomics, small in size, but it sucked even at relatively low ISO for image quality. I owned one, we used to cringe when we got files shot over ISO 320 at Wavelength, and this really lets these cameras down in my opinion. Having used one, for about 8 months, I would advise to stay clear. Having said that the video is pretty sick.

So at a lower end I’d go a Canon 70d/60d – Little slower frame rate wise at 7fps, but the 70 has incredible autofocus, great video and awesome image quality, I really like this camera and would go for it over the 7d MK1 any day.

SONY

A few years ago I knew little about the full frame Sony’s but recently it has been the only thing I have used, up until the MK3’s of the A7 and A7r were released they suffered from an underwhelming frame rate and buffer and truly shocking battery life, which meant for water shooting it was a massive pain in the arse. But all of this has changed.

Money no object

The A7111 is probably the best value full frame camera you can purchase, at just under £2k new, it cranks along at 10fps and and the mage quality is as good or better than the top end Canon and Nikons in the same price range, and more expensive and its low light performance is borderline magic. I’d say its autofocus is not quite as good as the pro level Canon and Nikons, but it’s not far off.

The A7R3 is even more incredible its megapixel count, 10fps, and battery life make it a high quality dream. It blows away the Nikons and Canon top end cameras for around £1500 less, but just lacks very slightly on autofocus, and out and out speed, but if you’re looking for quality, this your camera. A lot of pros use this, for example legendary Carve magazine Ed Sharpy shoots both stills and vid with it.

Then there is the A9, a camera that’s borderline witchcraft, incredible image quality in all light, ridiculous autofocus, and it ticks along at 20fps for 220 frames at full quality, which makes it a surf photographers dream. It doesn’t have the battery life of the Canon or Nikon pro series cameras, but it is good enough, and it comes in cheaper than both canon and Nikon flagship models. The downside? Although weather sealed this just does not seem to be as bomb proof as the Nikon D seres or 1d for canon, other than that it is the best camera in the world for shooting action.

Bargains – Sub £800

Personally I love the A6000 camera, it doesn’t cost much, sub £500 new, it ticks along at 11fps, the image quality is insane, the autofocus whilst not as good at the 7d mk11, 1dx or Nikon D, is still more than respectable. I own one, it’s my back up to a 1DX. I love this camera! If you don’t believe me, check out Burky’s review of it here to see what it can do.

Battery life is a downside and the weather sealing is zero, but for the money it is epic. If you want a little more, skip the A6300 and go the A6500, it has the advantage over the A6000 of better image just and an almost unlimited buffer depth but is three times the price.

Anyway hope this helps, it’s not full reviews just my personal thoughts on cameras, in summary, get what you can afford, it’s better to be shooting with a cheap camera than saving for an expensive one, good photos come from the photographer’s creativity not the price tag.

Personal Recommendations

Money no object – Canon 1DX2 or If you want to go Mirrorless the Sony A9
Bargain Pro Level Camera – Nikon D700, but the Nikon D3s is in this category now
Best APSC DSLR – Nikon D500
Best Bargain – Sony A6000

What do I shoot with, well I do love the A9, and got one secondhand and it died, which sucked. So as I do a lot of shoots in really crappy conditions I switched back to a Canon 1DX, and it is bomb proof, and you can pick one up now for around £1,500, then have a Sony A6000 as a backup.

FUJI/PENTAX/PANASONIC

I haven’t shot too much with any of these but a lot of guys do, Ben Selway and Russell Ord both shoot with the Fuji XT2, and it is epic and has epic glass.

Pentax, pretty good as well, if you’re invested in their glass, excellent cameras. Panasonic – awesome micro four thirds performance, but more for video than stills.

I hope this has helped you in the camera buying process, we all know the marketplace is huge and shooting surfing presents us with difficult conditions.

Please check out The Plastic Project and thank you to Circle One for their continued support.

If you’d like to come along on a Tim Nunn weekend workshop click HERE

Jeff Townsley’s Cold Water Surfing Tips

It seems we have been dropped straight from summer into the heart of winter. The first hard frosts have been felt on our dawn surf sessions and the evening wind chill feels like are suddenly living in the Antarctic. However winter in the UK is always the season to score the best waves, we have decided to put together some of Jeff Townsley’s very own cold water surfing tips to keep you surfing through.

Don’t try and surf through the winter in your 3/2 summer wetsuit

This might come across as common sense, but you’ll be surprised how many people try and go for shorter sessions in their 3.2, in the depths of winter this can be extremely dangerous with hypothermia, fatigue and cold shock are not things to take a risk with. Winter wetsuits are a must.

Layer up when you’re heading out to the beach

Before you’ve even got to the wetsuit stage, keep warm! Grab a thermal hiking top or if its dry pop your Polypro Thermal Long Sleeve underneath your clothes. Being warm before you start out is always going to be beneficial for you, plus it keeps you motivated to get into cold water.

Eat some carbs. (scrap the diet)

In all seriousness, some healthy carbs don’t go amiss when you’re trying to keep warm for long periods of time, root vegetables are the ones to go for. So when your preparing lunch box or eating the night before, be sure to add some potatoes into the mix.

Paddle around the lineup

Keep your body on the move when you are out in the lineup, your blood will be flowing and warming every part of your body. The fitness benefits are also incredible! You may even find yourself paddling into the perfect takeoff positions.

Find the perfect fitting surfing accessories

The boots, the gloves, the hood and the thermal rash vest. Make sure all of these surf accessories fit you perfectly. Neoprene products generally hold water within the materials making them slightly larger when wet, try taking a size small to make sure when you are in the surf your accessories are one hundred percent fitted.

Pre-heat some tea or soup before you go for a surf

This is a classic idea that just works. What is better than to return to your trusty surf wagon to be greeted by a steaming cup of something hot. Flasks will keep most drinks hot for a number of hours now and for the time it takes to make this magic happens, the reward is huge!

Protect your ears

Your ears are extremely important to keep protected, even more so in the winter months. Surfers ear is nothing to joke about, whether you are bodyboarding, surfing or just in the ocean. Buy yourself some decent plugs.

Get the crew out

Get all of your friends to brave the elements with you, one of the greatest feeling is watching your friends pull into perfect winter waves while a north wind howls… Okay actually this would be much nicer if it 30 degrees and warm water. However your friends are great for safety reasons plus enjoying your post surf hot drink chat is much better with them.

Do you have any cold water surf tips that help you keep warm? Post them in the comments below.

 

How To Learn To Surf

You’ve decided to learn to surf?

Learning to surf could be one of the most frustrating things you will ever do, but also one of the most rewarding. With the correct guidance you can master the art of riding waves in an elegant and stylish way. (Only the exceptional few have actually mastered it, such as the likes of Kelly Slater, but we can dream.) The learning process is much longer and drawn out than most sports and even when you think “yes this is it! I’ve got this” you will take a few more steps backwards. One of the biggest lessons most seasoned surfers learn is that they wish they learnt the correct way, or without ‘that’ bad habit.

So here’s our take on learning to surf.

Most importantly, take surf lessons! Surf lessons are available at most of our popular surfing beaches here in the UK. Taking surf lessons will allow you to learn how to surf the correct way without the common bad habits of some seasoned surfers. Imagine learning the wrong basic techniques and then having to “unlearn” your bad habits before you can continue your progression. Surfing England is the recognised National Governing Body in England, look out for this accreditation when selecting your surf school.

So you’ve done some lessons, maybe even hired a board and surfed a few times. You are ready to move onto the next stage.

Buying your first surfboard.

Having the correct equipment helps you perform in any sport and surfing is no different to this. The level of which you are at will hugely affect your surfboard purchase. Choosing an incorrect surfboard will completely change your experience, maybe even ruin surfing for you. Getting this right is a must. Basically when you learn to surf you will need to look for large volume and flat rocker (the curvature of the board). You could choose either longboard’s, Mini Malibu’s or foam boards that are wide, thick. Our favourites to learn to surf are the 8ft Razor Mini Mal and the 7 ft Soft-board, both surfboards have a lot of float and a flat rocker allowing for a high wave count and maximum fun when learning.

Where to surf?

Where you are going to learn to surf is extremely important. Surfing spots vary incredibly. Most surfers will tell you “learn on a beach break” this is correct, however this advice isn’t always the best. Always check out the specific beach conditions before heading out, look out for tell tale signs that the conditions may be above your ability. Are the waves heavy? Are they mellow? Some beaches have a consistency for being a beginners wave however even in large swells this could be too much. Check out local surf forecasting websites who give you the lowdown on exactly what is happening in the water. (For example Eyeball Surf http://www.eyeballhq.tv).

The main lesson

And finally for us the most important lesson is persistence and enjoyment! If you keep surfing as often as you can and laugh even when its not going as planned, you will be gliding along waves in no time.

Are you using a Circle One surfboard? Join the community, use the hashtag #CircleOneSurfCo on Instagram, we always love to see our surfboards being enjoyed.

Circle One Wetsuit Care Guide

 

Following good wetsuit care is so important in extending the life of your wetsuit and making sure it protects you from the cold when you need it to! Here are some top tips on wetsuit care to keep your new Circle One wetsuit as good as new!

  • DON’T stand on your wetsuit to remove it, yes its hard work but be gentle, this equipment is to help you.
  • Work in reverse when removing the suit. Do not pull too hard. Remove the gear slowly and carefully.
  • Try to put on your wetsuit in a clean, dry place away from sand, trees, and rocks that can snag the fabric. For full wetsuits, wearing a rash guard under the suit will make putting it on and off easier.
  • Grab yourself a bucket or wetsuit bag to keep it from ruining your car.
  • Use said bucket as a rinse aid when you are home.
  • Do the “Circle One squeeze” use both hands to squeeze your suit in fresh water until the water is dirty. Then rinse the wetsuit before hanging.
  • Do not use hot water, use cool or tepid water. In hot water, neoprene loses some of the flexibility, so if you are changing in a shower, use cool water to rinse the suit and then soak yourself in warmth.
  • Use a special wetsuit cleaner that will help remove salt, chlorine and organic residues. Never use bleach or any harsh cleaner.
  • Hang your wetsuit on a ‘suit’ hanger or similar with wide shoulders, this will prevent stretch and any deformations of the wetsuit shoulders.
  • Store on a hanger out of direct sunlight.
  • Hang to dry inside out. The outer surface will be protected and the inside will dry first to make putting the suit back on much easier.
  • MOST IMPORTANT, ENJOY IT AND KEEP SURFING!