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News Archive > General > Top surfers tackle Cribbar

Top surfers tackle Cribbar

By Warren Wilkins 27th September 2017

Top surfers tackle Cribbar
Tom Butler tackles the Cribbar.

THE mighty Cribbar awoke from its summer slumber as 15-foot plus waves were ridden by a brave crew of surfers on Sunday afternoon.

Tom Butler, Johnny Fryer, Josh Hughes and Dominic Tatham were among the surfers who  paddled out through the mist to ride the giant waves after the big wave spot fired into life.

Dozens of people gathered on Towan Headland to watch the drama unfold and they did not have to wait long as Fryer, the three-time national surfing champion, snapped his board on a huge wave and was picked up by a Fistral lifeguard on a jetski.

Tom said: “For me this was my first big wave session since tumbling off at the Nazare Challenge last December during the World Surf League big wave world tour event.

“I’ve been training hard all summer, building up my strength and stamina, to get ready for this coming big wave season. I was a little apprehensive entering the water after the tumble last year.

“Yesterday all went to plan and my summer of training left me feeling great out in the water. I surfed for three hours off Towan Headland with a really great group of supporters watching from the headland. Surfing big waves in the town I've grown up in can’t be beaten! Having a few of my friends out in the water surfing alongside me was also a highlight of the day.

“At first we couldn’t see much because of the fog. Looking at the internet swell forecasting sites, and knowing the position of the tide, meant all was aligned for the Cribbar reef to be working. We paddled out in the fog and as we were halfway out to the wave the fog cleared and the clouds parted. We even had sunshine for one hour of the session.

“All in all this was a great day for me to start off my big wave surfing winter adventures for the 2017 / 2018 season.”

Johnny, who works as an instructor at Newquay Activity Centre, added: “It was a hectic paddle out through Little Fistral. We got pinned on the inside for ages before finally making it out.

“The waves were coming through at 12 to 15-foot. Tom Butler said it’s the biggest he’s seen the Cribbar.

“I cruised around a bit looking for the right spot for take-off. I turned around as a huge wave came through and knew I was in the perfect position. I didn’t want to look too much at the wave, I just turned around and paddled as hard as I could.

“I coached myself through it, keeping my balance, bending my knees. I managed to escape the white water for a while, but jumped off as it engulfed me.

“When I came up I only had one foot of my board left. I was going to wait for the boys and swim back to the shore with them when they finished their session, but a North Fistral lifeguard came over on their jet ski and gave me a lift, which I was very grateful for.

“The Cribbar is a really heavy wave. I’ve watched it many times before but hadn’t fully appreciated how heavy it is. I have a whole newfound respect for it.”

Dominic, from New Zealand, who also works at Newquay Activity Centre, added: “I’d never seen Cribbar break and I was really curious to see what it looked like from close up. I’ve always wanted to give big wave surfing a go and thought this was a great opportunity. It was firing!

“It was adrenaline-pumping just being out there. The sound of the waves crashing was unreal. It was so loud and the sets were huge.

“It was such an experience to see it close up. I managed to get the biggest wave I’ve ever had. I was so stoked. I rode it fully without crashing out. The whole experience was amazing, overwhelming really.”

By Warren Wilkins 27th September 2017

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