A mile long wave

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29 Jul
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We saw Stokesy a couple weeks back, he was like a child right before Christmas. But then he usually is, however today was different. His famous grin was bigger than usual and he was practically bursting with excitement. It only took 5 seconds before he had told us he was heading to the Severn Bore to film for his latest edit.

Stoked Stokesy

This particular spot (according to the internet) is one of Britain’s ‘truly spectacular phenomena’. It’s found in the River Severn and is one of the world’s biggest; a spot where the river estuary has the right shape and has tidal conditions to create a perfect wave.

Words from Alan Stokes:
“Surfing is so addictive, I learnt to surf when I was 6 years old and from that first wave I’ve been wanting more. Surfer’s lives are shaped by the wind tide swells and their need to ride waves. Your whole life changes and surfing becomes the governing force behind all of your decisions. Only problem is the ocean can go completely flat just like the last few months here in Cornwall. So with no waves to ride on the coast we were starting to lose it, we had to come up with a way of riding waves and get that feeling of surfing back into our bones again."

Alan Stokes and Zak Lawton
“Cue the river race; we took two Vito Sport's and drove them miles in land to chase a tidal bore. Both Zak, Celine and I were frothing at the possibility of one eternal ride but we didn't know what to expect and expectations and excitement were pretty high.”

Zak and Stokesy
“Good friend and local Muddy Brother legend Phil greeted us and gave us some great advice as we made our way along the river bank in search of the wave. Listening to Phil's stories about the wave and the long rides they have had (and the mishaps along the way) was epic and really started to paint a picture of how tricky riding this wave could be.”

“Finally we were ready, we stood and stared up the river but nothing came and there was no sign of a wave in sight, until Zak shouted ''there it is!''. At first I couldn't see until finally it was under my feet all one inch of tidal wave surging up the river; it was tiny, laughing hysterically we started running after it as it passed but it was too late and the wave in all its miniature perfection disappeared up the river.”

Stokesy and Phil
“Back to the Vito vans, a little disappointed but the decision was made to drive further inland and catch the wave at the next spot.”

“We raced through country lanes and jumped back into what was now a fairly swollen river as we sat and chatted to some of the local crew (expecting nothing more than another ripple). Then the faint sound of crashing water was heard just upstream and then to all of our surprise a perfect peeling right hander came into sight half a mile away."

Vito vans
“Amazing you should have seen the froth that ensued, with only one crack at catching the wave everyone spaced out and had their game faces on.”

“The wave hit us and to be honest with the best part of the river surging behind us it was hard not to catch the wave, it picked us up and we were off! At first it was pretty tricky to get the hang of it, instantly my ocean wave riding skills kicked in but this wave was different and I was really struggling to stand and control my board. But finally, we were up and riding and it was such a surreal experience to be heading inland passing fields, country pubs and ducking under over hanging trees on a glassy wave. Zak even had to swerve around a fridge that had been caught in the turbulence! We were buzzing and as each ride ended we jumped back in the Vito and made our way to the next jump off spot.”

Stokesy and Zak
“Afterwards legs burning from the long waves and with massive grins in tow we felt pretty surfed out. We later discovered we had all ridden waves over a mile long. Easily the longest rides any of us had ever had. Exhausted we jumped back in the vans and made our way home to the coast, the forecast for the next day was predicting waves again and we couldn't wait”.

Mile long wave

A mile long wave