I don't think anyone actually though i was serious!I'm 39 years old, but I spent my teenage years riding motorbikes at any opportunity that I could and was also interested racing in cars, go karts and even banger racing!
Busy Background and interdisciplinary surfing approach
Then at aged 21 I became interested in windsurfing; which was my 1st serious water sport and I became very passionate about it. My interest in windsurfing then turned to windsurfing waves and from that I became interested in learning different ways to ride ways including Surfing, Kitesurfing, stand up paddle boarding and even Jet Skiing!
Living on the South Coast of England, there are no long period waves (ground swell) as we are far up the English channel and so I would often take a windsurf / surf trip to Cornwall and I also spent a couple of years competing in the amateur British Wave (Windsurfing) competitions in England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
I have been memorised by big waves whenever I have seen them in Cornwall and Brandon Bay in Ireland. One day in Cornwall at BWA (British Windsurfing Association) wave event there was so much swell pumping with perfectly clean 6 Metre waves, but no wind for us to windsurf them and at that point I started thinking that I needed a new way to ride waves. So I started to put the feelers out amongst my local windsurf and surf community to look for a partner to start my own tow in surf crew. But it didn't seem like anyone was interested and I don't think anyone actually though i was serious!! As we live 6 hours drive away from the UK a big wave spot and who would be interested in a tow in surf crew in Eastbourne!!
The Jetsurf turning point
Then one day in 2016 day, one of my kitesurfing friends had brought himself a JetSurf and at that moment I thought to myself:
A) I want (need) one of those and
B) That could be my one man tow in crew there and it would fit in my van or on a plane!
I couldn't afford to buy a new JetSurf and so I did a deal with my friend that I would buy his old one when he upgraded to a new one at the end of the season; so six months later that was my 1st Jetsurf (a 2015 GP100). So my big wave training started in December 2016 and I loved it! Now instead of windsurfing my favourite wave spots, I JetSurfed them (although not everyone was impressed by my new noisy and smelly toy!)
Limitations and progress
After a few weeks on the board I knew that my GP100 had it's limitations as it didn't turn very well and it was a used board that was unreliable too. I made a couple of custom wave fins for it that helped out, but really it didn't turn well enough as the nose would sink with aggressive carving and I wasn't confident enough in it's reliability to get out in big waves.
By mid 2017 I had seen the JetSurf race board that Wayne Brooks (owner of Jetboard Limited) had and I could tell by the shape of it that it would be so much better for riding waves, I knew that I had to have one both to surf the local waves better and also if I would progress my big wave surf ideas into reality. So I did whatever I had to do to stretch my family budget and a few months later I became a very proud owner my 2017 JetSurf Race board.
From the moment I rode my new race board I knew that I could carry on with my big wave challenge and I had been checking the forecast for both 'The Cribbar' (The UK Big Wave) and Nazare. The Cribbar would have been more practical for my 1st step up in the big waves or even Gwithian or any of the other Cornish waves. But as I had Mike Zed (from JetSurfing Nation) as a connection in Portugal, I kept that option open too and last Friday I saw that the forecast for Nazare looked perfect for me with clean medium (big waves). Within minutes all I could think about was how I could make it happen and before I knew it; I had cleared permission from my amazing fiance Becky (who would be left home alone with our two children) and Charlotte who would be left running my business 'Sussex Installations'. I had got the OK from Mike Zed (form Jetsurfing Nation) and the rest is history.
I hope you enjoy the video of my adventure to Nazare and if you are interested in using a motorised board in waves then join my Facebook group 'Jet Surf Waveriders' as I will soon be producing a series of small videos to help you along the way.
Jet Surf Waverider