The Cleanest Line

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    By Patch Wilson

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    Growing up in Cornwall, in the UK, it’s easy to feel blessed when you’re young. I thought we had the best waves ever, and in some ways it’s true. When you’re a kid, the waves at home are all you really need. But quickly the realization sets in – as you get a bit bigger and aren’t so scared of what the ocean can throw at you – you want more.

    I‘ve travelled to the other end of the planet to get my fix of heavier hollower waves. But over the last 10 years or so I have come to realize that what I’m really looking for is right on my doorstep.

    Here are some photos from a trip I did earlier in the year around the UK and Ireland.

    [Above: Scotland, in my opinion, has some of the best waves in Europe but it gets cold in the winter. Changing out of your wetsuit can literally be a race to get into your warm car as quickly as possible. All photos by Patch Wilson unless otherwise stated.]

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    Winter Sun

    By Patch Wilson



    I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks in Sumbawa last winter at Lakey Peak. The waves were really fun and a few days it was solid and pumping. It was my fourth time out there and it’s got to be one of my favourite places in Indo. I wanted to give a little back because the place has given so much to me.

    The area is struggling with rubbish control. When I first got out there, I was blown away by how much litter there is along the beach and shoreline. People coming from surrounding villages and the nearest city, Dompu, on public holidays just dump their rubbish on the beach. The locals realise what is happening and they do their best to keep the area clean.

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    Death of Another Wave – Paul Do Mar, Madeira

    By Patch Wilson

    Patch bomb drop

    Roughly 10 years ago the Madeiran government gave the go-ahead to seawall project that was built to protect the village of Jardim do Mar. This seawall put an end to the best big-wave right point in Europe. The wave that breaks there now is a shadow of its former self. The huge concrete boulders they installed as part of the seawall means the wave is just full of backwash, and according to local surfers is pretty dangerous to surf. Many of the people who supported the seawall originally are now complaining about its size and lack of asethetic. Jardim do Mar, once considered one of the most beautiful villages on the island of Madeira, has been vandalised by a government wanting to line its own pockets with EU money, and a wave that was once considered one of the best in Europe is now lost.

    [Above: Patch Wilson dropping into a glassy morning wall. Photo: Mickey Smith]

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    Wwoofing and Waves in New South Wales

    by Patch Wilson

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    Spending a few months in Oz this year, I was looking for a way to not blow my budget. I didn’t want to spend every waking moment living out the back of my van, constantly scrimping and saving. I wanted to surf as much as possible on one of the best coastlines for waves in the world.

    Wwoofing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) seemed like a good way to get around this problem, the idea being that you work a few hours a day in return for your food and accommodation. It just so happens there are some great spots for doing this all over Australia, especially in New South Wales. You can pretty much pick an area with good waves on the coast and then get in touch with your Wwoofing host, line it up and off you go.

    [Above: Cylindrical left. All photos: Patch Wilson]

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    Hitching to Oz

    by Patch Wilson

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    Recently, I had the opportunity to hitch a ride from Indonesia to Australia on a sailing yacht my friend owns. I had been working at home for a good while, and was starting to get itchy feet, and this seemed like the perfect way to get back on the road and go exploring again.

    So I tied up the loose ends at home and flew from the UK out to Bali and timed it perfectly to walk into the first solid swell of the year – pumping Sanur and Bukit Peninsula. I spent three weeks in Bali, surfing all over the place and getting back into the rhythm, and scored really fun waves before it was time for me to go and meet up with the boat.

    [Above: Getting back into the rhythm in Bali. All photos by Patch Wilson.]

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    Les Landes

    by Patch Wilson

    Me 1


    A friend of mine, Nick Pumphrey, who I grew up with surfing, skating and generally causing mayhem, now lives in South West France. He has called Hossegor home for about six or seven years now. Now turned semi-professional photographer he still works the summers in bars and restaurants and sleeps in his van to save money so that he can head on missions throughout the winter. His van holds this amazing quiver of longboards, single fins, alaias, bodyboards and swim fins. All the wave-riding equipment you could need for whatever one of the best stretches of beachbreak in the world could throw at you.

    [Me cruising on my Fark Quad. Photo: Nick Pumphrey]

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    Éire

    by Patrick “Patch” Wilson

    Patch grabs 3

    Eyeing up a promising looking swell chart and coming to the end of a massive restoration project at work, I jumped at the opportunity to hitch a lift in my friend Lowey’s van and get back out to Eire for some waves again. The swell was looking big and the winds not quite right but I had time on my side and I have found over the years that to get the good days here it’s best not to be in a rush and just to hangout and take the place in.

    Editor’s note: Patagonia UK ambassador, Patch Wilson, joins us today with some thoughts about a recent surf trip, and a stack of amazing pictures. Thanks to Patch, Mickey Smith and Tom Lowe for sharing their photos.

    Autumn time and the big lows that sweep across the Atlantic throw swell straight at the West coast of Éire along with a lot of weather. In between weather fronts, when the wind is switching around and easing off a little, you can score perfect slabs, points and beaches if you know where to look on the right tide, wind and swell direction. It’s a gamble of: Should we go here and check this slab or here instead and check this point? But when things come together, it’s well worth the waiting and searching.

    [Above: Patch Wilson, turquoise bowl. Photo: Mickey Smith frame grab]

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