‘My first Otter encounter was in the summer 2015. I live and work just a few miles from the Otter workshop and so had found myself many a time “dropping in” to admire the beautiful wooden boards. My bezzie mate Richie and I were lucky enough to receive a voucher from loved ones for an Otter handplane workshop. It was a memorable day full of tea, smiles, banter and shavings. At the end of the day we all had our own handshaped plane ready for launching into a Porthtowan lowtide whomp fest.
As the years drifted by and my family grew, I still got into the ocean regularly, but in all honesty I still favoured my surfboard for most of my water time and never properly immersed myself into the prone world until late in 2019 when my life changed BIG time.
The short version of what happened to me is:- 1x Adrenal Gland tumour (Pheochromocytoma), 1x fractured and dislocated shoulder, 2x days surgery, multiple strokes and 10x days fighting for my life in an Oxford Intensive Care Unit. At 44 years of age, a husband, father of young twins and keen surfer of 25 years… I was not expecting this! However, my consultant in Oxford was very sure that I had “dodged this bullet” due to my youth and level of surf fitness.