Music & culture
Stokesy's guide to Boardmasters
With Boardmasters Festival just around the corner we caught up with all time legend and Animal pro surfer Alan Stokes to give us his top tips on the festival of the year. Here are his words:
The World Surf League WQS event is obviously top of my priority list. I've been competing in it since I was 13 years old and with an “oh-so-close” 2nd place finish in 2014 I want to fulfil a childhood dream and finally take the thing out.
Early surf forecast indicates that we could see 4 to 6ft waves for the start of competition next Wednesday, so be sure to hit the beach early for a good spot on the sand to watch all the action.
Stokesy shredding his way to a second place finish in 2014. Photos: Rich Davis and Tyron McKenzie
Top tip for viewing at low tide: head along the headland at the north end of Fistral beach, where just under the famous Headland Hotel you can get a great view from above.
Other UK Pros to look out for in this year’s event, and someone I have grown up surfing with, include Ben Skinner, multiple European longboard champ. Ben is a sure favourite to take out the WSL Longboard event with his explosive mix of progressive and traditional longboarding.
When competition gets underway, I’m going to make sure I get up early and make good use of the FREE morning yoga sessions. These are hosted by Animal advocate Philly Lewis down at the well-being area on the beach. Whether you’re an absolute yoga rookie or a seasoned yogi pro, these sessions are open to everyone and will be great fun. It’s the perfect “pre-heat warm up and stretch” for me and does wonders for your surfing. Sessions start at 8am and run until 10am.
As a Newquay local you learn to dodge the crazy long traffic queues at this time of year. Here are my insider tips to getting to and from the beach and up to the music festival site without blowing a head gasket.
Step one: you have to leave early doors
Most people seem to head to the beach between 9:30am and 10:30am, so if you can get going before that then you will be styling. Same goes for getting back to your hotel, try and leave after 7pm and the roads will be a lot quieter.
Top parking tip: head for the south end of Fistral Beach where there is free parking
It’s only a short walk along the sand to the event site but be early or these spaces will be gone.
''What do I do if I sleep in'' I hear you say. ''Can I still get to the beach or will I be working my way through my beloved Miley Cyrus greatest hits CD whilst I sit in traffic for hours?'' don't worry I've got your back.
Step two: follow the yellow brick road (metaphorically speaking)
To get yourself to the beach hassle-free, hit the below link and get my secret “Watergate to Newquay” road map that will bypass most of the major road jams, #winning.
Respect my beach
Boardmasters have teamed up with Surfers Against Sewage this year to help make the festival as green and as clean and environmentally-friendly as possible. So wherever you can, do your bit and feel proud that you’re part of an awesome initiative.
Easy example: remember to take all your rubbish back with you, leaving only your Animal SAS flip flop footprints in the sand ;).
Time to face the music
After a long day at Fistral Beach spent soaking up the sun, watching the surf comp and becoming a yoga guru, like me you probably can’t wait to head over to Watergate Bay where the music festival is held. Every year this event gets bigger and better so I’m super pumped to watch some amazing bands perform.
My top tip: be sure to check out the acoustic stage at the very far corner of the festival arena, with stunning views over Watergate Bay and an epic line-up. This is my favourite place to chill, reflecting on the day whilst listening to some great music with a cold drink in hand.
And my final top tip for this year’s Boardmasters: apart from all the amazing headline acts like James Bay and Deadmau5, be sure to check out Nahko And Medicine For The People playing on Friday night, an amazing band with a worldly sound. Their music has a cool reggae vibe with fresh beats that will get you grooving!
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