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Pic: Sam Hanks,
A little while back we sent a few longboards over to surfers living on a small Island off the coast of France called Jersey. Not somewhere I’d heard of before meeting Charlotte Bayliss and Ben Haworth who visit Noosa to compete in the Noosa Festival of Surfing. Charlotte is a great surfer on both long and shortboards so I thought I’d get in contact with her to find out more about her surfing and the surfing community in Jersey.
Where are you from and what’s the surf like there?
“I’m from Jersey which is a small 9 x 5 mile island off the coast of France. We often get confused for our neighbors in New Jersey and we definitley don’t speak French, although all of the road names are in French which get’s confusing!
“With it being a small island, everyone tends to know each other which is really nice and you always know that you’ll bump into a friend in the water. The majority of our waves break along a long 5 mile bay called St Ouens. There are loads of different peaks all along the bay and because of its horseshoe shape you can normally find an end that is clean when the winds are anything other than straight westerlies. Like all places there is some localism, but if you know about this and take it with a pinch of salt it can be quite funny! We also have a few small bays on the North coast which break on a big swell and are normally sheltered from the wind. There is then St Brelades bay on the south west coast with the famous ‘pole rock’, loved by longboarders for it’s perfect shape. We do have a few other waves but these are all kept secret by those who know them!”
What is the surfing community like in Jersey?
“The surf community here has people from all walks of life and of all ages. It is awesome to see some of the old boys who were here before surfing became such a main stream sport. They are brilliant fun and have loads of stories to tell about the good old days of quiet waves. The beach can get busy especially during the summer holidays, however, if you are able to surf during the day or early mornings you can usually score somewhere quiet or even find empty waves. Through the winter it also get’s quieter as we have to don thick 5mm/6mm suits, boots, gloves and hoods, so only the dedicated surfers stick it out. It is so worth it though as Jersey comes to life over the winter.”
What is your favourite longboard model?
“At the moment I am in love with my newest board which is a 9’6 Lightweight Log. It is perfect for our beach breaks as it turns fast and is forgiving in choppy waves or through steeper sections. It also noserides like a dream and once it’s locked it you’re flying! I also have a Noserider which is brilliant for those cleaner, peeling days.”
“There are quite a few Classic Mal’s on the island now and everyone is in love with the boards. We will often all be out in the water together on them and people are always commenting on how well they go and how nice they look.”
Where is your favourite surf break?
“As a whole, I love the coast of California from Encinitas up to Rincon and we are heading back there in January for 3 weeks. There is such a range of waves and the power and shape is incredible. You can always find somewhere to surf and the locals were really friendly.”
“I also loved my time at Raglan (NZ). Being a goofy footer, there is nothing better than a perfect left hand point. When we were there we only had shortboards but were lucky that the swell was a decent size the whole time. I would love to go back one day with a longboard, hopefully next year.”
Do you remember the first time you caught a wave and what the experience was like?
“I remember my first green wave on a ‘proper’ board. I had done my first week of summer camp and I’d been saving up to buy a pony (never did get that pony!), so had some money in my piggy bank. My instructor was selling a lovely ripcurl 6’6′ egg and she let me have a go on it to see if I’d like to buy it. I remember it was really warm in the water and the sun was out, the waves were small and a lovely shape. I paddled into my first wave of the session from out the back and managed to get up to my feet (I felt like I was on a magic board). I think I poostanced to the beach along the wave but I still remember the feeling to this day and since then I’ve never looked back!”
What words do you live by?
“Treat others the way you wish to be treated!”
Who is your favourite surfer or favourite style?
“From a shortboarding perspective I love Carissa Moore. She is so powerful yet her style is so smooth and flowing. She also seems genuinely down to earth. I watched her at the Margaret River Pro when she was beaten by Tyler Wright in the final. She was obviously gutted and noticeably quite upset but she still stopped to speak to everyone who was waiting along the walkway as she came up.”
“From a longboard point of view I love watching how graceful Kelia Moniz is. She makes everything look so easy and smooth. I definitely aspire to be able to ride a longboard as smoothly as her one day! ”
Now starting to get that autumn feel in Jersey, Charlotte and the crew are hoping for those winter swells to be pushing through before long!
Here’s a few photos of the crew we sent boards over for… what an awesome community of surfers!
Left column from top to bottom
Surfer: Ben Haworth, Photo: Tim Axford
Surfer: Nina Blake, Photo: Tim Axford
Surfer: Phoebe Gould, Photo: Lucy Le Lievre
Surfer: Anders, Photo: Lucy Le Lievre
Right column from top to bottom
Surfer: Ben Haworth, Photo: Tim Axford
Surfer: Nina Blake, Photo: Lucy Le Lievre
Surfer: Charlotte Bayliss, Photo: Tim Axford
Surfer: Charlotte Bayliss, Photo: Lucy Le Lievre
Author: Kirra Molnar