Tuesday, September 25, 2012

10th World Bellyboards..the celebrity boards

Photo courtesy of Mike Thomas

And this is what it's all about, folks! Sheer enjoyment, exhilaration and some good old-fashioned British Eccentricity! And speaking of eccentric, that's me in the photo, as seen in the Daily Mail Online. Probably the best pic I have of me 'in action', as it were.

As has been mentioned in the previous blog, I had a commission via Gavin of Traditional Surfing Co  to design and paint the two bellyboards he had donated, that the celebrities Rory McGrath and Will Mellor rode during filming of their part in this event. The boards were to be raffled off afterwards, all proceeds to the National Trust and the Bellyboards event.

Rather than go all prosy on you, here are some photos showing the creation of the boards with a few explanatory notes....


The brief was that the board should show a neck-down version of the old fashioned knitted costume that Rory was going to wear. The idea was that Will would have the board in front of him and a wig on, and would look like Rory. The brief specified the rotund form and skinny, hairy legs! (Rory's legs aren't at all skinny I think, but all part of the fun!

 I used artists acrylic paints direct onto the bare board. (Traditional Surfing boards are made of lightweight marine ply.) My own board was decorated over a year ago using these paints; no varnish protection at all. I've used it in all sorts of surfing conditions and the painted image shows no sign of wear.

 Waiting for the paint to dry a bit more, the board's propped up near my own board; you can see a bit of it in the photo. Time for a cuppa then!

 The finished board!

 I'd just done Will's board, when the call came to do Rory's board as well. The brief was that it needed to contain his favourite elements of Cornwall, he being a good Illogan boy, so I set to and arranged a series of images from pints to pasties.

Unfortunately I was running short of white paint and had no time to run into Camborne for more so I experimented with some acrylic lino printing ink I had on a scrap piece of wood. This was no good, it turned out not to be waterproof, so I decided to wing it with the acrylic I had left and work round it. As it happened the tube lasted right to the last brushstroke! Lucky or what....

 Late hours were worked.....

 Until finally.......

 Playing to the camera.... Will should have just stood and held the board beneath his chin, would have worked better, but never mind...............

Yeah, well, why not? Me n Rory...

 and with Will.....

 Looks cold out there.........

A bit of advice from an old hand

Rory to the left

Will's turn...he's looking nervous!

 A soak in the hot tub. I was grateful for them, after my event, too!

Monday, September 3, 2012

You Know You're Knocking on a Bit When...

..... recovery after some strenuous activity takes way longer than it used too!

And that's just what I am noticing over 24 hours after the 10th World Bellyboarding Championships...although it has eased as the day has progressed. Yoga beckons as soon as this blog is updated!

If you haven't been told; then you'll have probably guessed by the pic accompanying this article; the reason for the 'secrecy' Suz n self had to adopt in the run up.

Via the National Trust and Traditional Surfing, Suz found herself being honoured to get to customise Rory McGrath & Will Mellor's boards they were to use during filming at the event.

The chaps were clearly pleased with their 'rides' which drew plenty of interest & comment and were later raffled at the Prize-giving.

The bravado waned slightly, as the realisation that their 'moment of glory' drew nearer; particularly Will. But both entered the water with gusto and exited seemingly pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as cold as they'd anticipated. Not that the obligatory post surf hot tub plunge was foregone!

All bets too, had been off long before Rory's heat, as to how long his woolen swim suit would stay on in the gnarly conditions. How shocked we were to see it still in situ at the hooter!

Now we just wait to find out the airing date!

The event personally was better than our first experience 12 moons ago for a variety of reasons. Not least, was meeting up with several Facebook friends 'acquired' at the time; most notably Rosie, Paul & Alison. But also there were a lot more 'faces' we recongnised too; too numerous to mention.

Surfing wise we both had a lot of fun in the 15 minute morning 'Expression Session, and our 10 minute heat(s) before the Kernowcopia interlude.

The conditions, as alluded to, were bigger and messier than last year and did seem a bit borderline on occasion. But we 'dug in' as it were and made as good a fist of it as possible. Digging in ,being the operative word, as keeping feet was hard going at times with a strong rip threatening to up-end plenty enough!

Finesse had little opportunity to shine with just nailing the ride being the only option all too often. I did manage one 'trick'; a board reverse on one wave that wasn't engulfing me totally; but it was never going to be enough. Consequently I suspect Suz, who appeared to have the better heat, will beat me in the rankings again. Third time lucky it'll have to be!

Either way; as we ascended into the fog that had enveloped the Wheal Coates car park post event; the grins still overshadowed any grimaces of aches and pains. That waited until this morning and the return to the grind!