Believe it or not, it is 50 years since the first surfers paddled out and tackled the UK’s notorious big wave spot the Cribbar and to celebrate the occasion there will be a party at the Carnmarth Hotel in Newquay, where everyone is welcome to toast half a century of big wave surfing in the UK. The party will also see the launch of a crowdfunding drive to raise £15 000 towards the installation of a surfboard cast in bronze that will be placed on the headland over looking the formidable wave.
In September 1965 three fellow lifeguards, Jack Lydgate, Bob Head and Rod Sumpter, paddled out on huge leashless boards and rode the Cribbar for the first time. In the days before social media and a camera phone in everybody’s pockets, the event wasn’t documented and ended up with Jack Lydgate losing his board onto the rocks, but those three young men proved that it was possible to ride what was previously thought of as an impossible wave.
From humble beginnings all those years ago, the Cribbar has gained international notoriety and when she comes alive now, crowds descend on the headland to watch the tow teams launch each other into the waves. The party gets underway at 6.30 PM on Friday 11th September and as well as the launch of the crowdfunding campaign, there will be screenings of 1960’s surf films, special guests and an opportunity to raise a glass to all the surfers who have ridden the Cribbar over the last 50 years.
The Cribbar Reef even has it’s own Facebook page, where you can view photos of the wave being ridden, press cuttings and keep up with plans for the Cribbar monument. Are you one of the few who have ridden the Cribbar or have you ever sat on the headland and witnessed it breaking in all it’s glory?