A New Wave of Saltrock Surfers

 

Saltrock started almost 30 years ago, as a way to fund the surfing lifestyle of Angus and Ross, two South African brothers who came to the UK in search of surf! From selling T-shirts out the back of their Austin Allegro in Cornwall, to naming their business after their favourite surf break back in South Africa, and now selling their clothing in 39 stores throughout the South West of the UK and online, with the HQ in North Devon, surfing has remained at the heart of Saltrock.

Fast forward 30 years, and the co-founders and brothers are still catching waves as often as they can. Ross, who is now the Creative Director and heads up our design team, has passed down his love of surfing to his two daughters Hollie and Georgia, creating a new generation of Saltrock heading out into the waves in the South West. Surfing is more popular than ever, and as Damon from Surf Development UK suggests, “it’s mainly due to the improvement of equipment, allowing people to surf for longer with less restrictions. People can now see the waves are on the way in advance thanks to high tech forecasts, see when the conditions are best through a webcam and surf for longer with less fuss thanks to massive advances in wetsuit quality, meaning people are now able to make the most of their surfing time and at the different locations.”

Hollie and Georgia have inherited their dad’s love and passion for surfing, as well as his skills, and the girls are making waves in the surfing scene. Surf Development UK have been working with the two sisters since April 2016 to develop their surfing as individuals and within small groups via technique specific drills and exercises, including the use of video analysis and theory based classroom sessions. SDUK have had some great surfers come through their training programmes, such as Will Bailey, Gabe Ley, Flora Lawton, Taz and Peony Knight.

Georgia recently came 3rd in the Rip Curl Grom Search, and Holly reached the finals of the English National Surfing Championships, coming 4th. Holly also won the North Devon Schools Championships, with their school winning overall too.  More recently both were selected to head down to Newquay for the UK Schools Surfing Championships, run by UK PROSURF and Georgia made it to the semi-finals, coming 3rd. We can’t wait to see how far the girls go!

  

INTRODUCING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SALTROCK SURFERS!

Georgia Thomson

How old are you? - 12

How long have you been surfing? – I’ve been surfing since I was 6

How often do you surf? – 4 days a week on average, but if the surf is really good I’ll go in more!

What’s your favourite memory of surfing?- Going to Hawaii

Why do you love surfing? – I love surfing because I have a lot of freedom in the water, and it’s also exciting when I catch waves

How has your dad influenced your love of surfing?  - He’s always taken me surfing and encouraged me, and I look up to him as a pro surfer

When you’re not surfing, what’s your favourite thing to do? – I usually go on the balance board or skate on my own ramp

What board are you currently using? – I’m using a 5’3 Nigel Semmens Swallow Tail Thruster

What do you think is your best surfing achievement?  - Getting confidence in bigger waves

Where’s your favourite place to surf? – My favourite place to surf is Spain, France and Croyde Beach!

What do you think about Surfing being in the Olympics? – AWESOME!!

Do you have any surf heroes/ people who inspire you? – Alana Blanchard, John John Florence, Bethany Hamilton, Kelly Slater & Coco Ho

Damon at Surf Development UK said of Georgia:

Georgia joined Surf Development with quite a basic level of surfing, being able to go along the wave face on most small swells with the assistance of Ross. Georgia can now paddle out in all but most conditions that you would want to surf in, can competently catch her own waves regularly and in varying conditions, trim for speed, make sections and start to turn her board in the opposite direction. She is currently working on trying to draw her turns out for longer and to make more of an effort to catch waves on her back hand, to give her more options of waves to surf, and to increase her understanding of how to read and adjust body positioning. 

GEORGIA AT SURF SNOWDONIA

 

Holly Thomson

How old are you?  - 14

How long have you been surfing? – I’ve been surfing for 8 years

How often do you surf?  - 4 days a week unless its perfect for the whole week, then I’d surf a few more days

What’s your favourite memory of surfing? – Going to Ireland with Surf Development UK and having absolutely perfect waves

Why do you love surfing?  - Every time I go surfing I get a rush of excitement

How has your Dad influenced your love of surfing?  - He has helped and encouraged my surfing every step of the way

When you’re not surfing what’s your favourite thing to do?  - Hang out with my friends

What board are you currently using? – I’m on a Nigel Semmens 5’8 Squash Tail

What do you think your best surfing achievement is?  - Being able to complete different turns & surfing big waves

Where’s your favourite place to surf? – Croyde

What do you think about surfing being in the Olympics? – I think it’s really good as surfing is such a good sport and more people should hear about it

Do you have any surf heroes/people who inspire you?  - Definitely Bethany Hamilton & John John Florence

Damon of Surf Development UK said of Holly:
Holly had a few more years’ experience than her younger sister when she started with Surf Development and she was already comfortably at the level Georgia is now, though her wave count was low and her confidence in a crowded line up was weak. Holly saw a major spike in her progression at the end of last year when she came on surf trip to Ireland with myself on a Surf Development UK – she got to surf relatively quiet reef breaks with some of her peers and top British surfer Will Bailey every day, with some days being in the double overhead range.

 

HOLLY AT SURF SNOWDONIA

Surf Development UK provides individuals and small groups high level surf coaching on a regular basis. They assist surfers wanting to improve their current level of surfing through technique specific drills and exercises, including the use of video analysis and theory based classroom sessions. They have had the likes of Will Bailey, Gabe Ley, Flora Lawton, Taz and Peony Knight come through their training programmes over the years, and Damon Beveridge, owner of SDUK also works with the national team as head coach.