Cornwall put on a great show in July with beautiful weather and some small swells to break the early summer flat spell. We were joined in the workshop by Guillaume, who travelled from Lille, France, to make his own wooden surfboard with us and one of the most rewarding things about his week was to see him fall in love with a place that he had never considered before. Guillaume came to make a surfboard, but also made a connection with Cornwall that he intends to develop further. When you score fun waist-high waves as the sun is coming up over the hills and casting golden light over the sea and the beach on a beautiful summer’s morning, with nobody else around, it’s hard not to fall in love with the place.
Guillaume is an engineer (he works for an elevator company managing the installation of lift systems in buildings), and lived, studied and worked all over the world before returning to France to settle in Lille in the far north (close to the Belgian border and about an hour’s drive from Calais). He lives a long way from the waves (as the crow flies, he’s closer to Cornwall than to the wave-rich coast of SW France) and so his surfing tends to be restricted to holidays; much the same as so many surfers all over the world. We’re very lucky here to have the beach at the bottom of the hill and to be able to go surfing (work and commitments permitting) whenever the waves are good, but we know that that isn’t the reality for a lot of surfers; having to plan surfs, follow forecasts and travel for waves, maybe even only surfing on holidays, is how so many surfers get their fix. And this is totally fine. We’re all surfers.
Guillaume happily admits to being one such “Sunday Surfer”, building surfing into trips and holidays and spending his free time inbetween running, cycling and playing music – he’s a saxophonist in a jazz band. His first surf on his 8’3” Pieces of Eight will almost certainly be in September at our Annual Gathering of Makers weekend. When discussing how we’d deliver his new board to him after it’s been glassed (normally about six weeks after the workshop week) we mentioned our yearly get-together for past workshoppers, and suggested that this would time in with his board being ready. Having just enjoyed a beautiful Cornish dawn surf, Guillaume didn’t hesitate in deciding to collect his surfboard in person. Anything for another trip to Cornwall! Following that, he’ll likely rediscover the waves of southwest France between Lacanau and Hossegor. One thing is for certain though, Cornwall has cast its spell on Guillaume and we don’t think that this will be the last that we see of him in these waters. And we’re delighted about that.
If you’re interested in finding out more about making your own wooden surfboard with us on a five-day workshop course, and to check dates and availability, click here.