For our second instalment of the winter riders series, we headed over to Kingsbridge’s local watering hole The Crabshell to catch up with one of its resident DJ’s Louie Harrow.
So Louie, whats been happening with you in the last year? Anything planned for this year?
2018 was a good year for me. Had my GCSE’s but still managed to surf as often as normal, and I had a really long summer holiday which meant I got to go on 2 trips.
I went to Hossegor at the start of summer for just 3 under weeks which was insane! Then spent a long time at home which was frustrating as we didn’t get much swell.
Double take: Jack P-S and Louie confusing us on a recent trip to Portugal
At the end of summer I went to Sagres in Portugal with my best mate and fellow Triocean team rider Jack Parker Swift
. Competitions didn’t go too well for me in 2018 due to some really tough competition but I still really enjoyed it and it has made me more determined to do well for the 2019 season!
What do you ride when the waves are that bit bigger?
For these bigger winter swells my go to board is my 5’11” Luke Young Prodium. It’s a performance board which goes best in better, bigger surf but I surf it in almost all conditions as it’s super responsive and a really fast board.
Louie Harrow styling at his local
Do you have a go to place to escape the UK cold?
For winter trips, my favourite place to go abroad has got to be Sagres, Portugal. The climate stays pretty good there all year round and it picks up all the swell. The coastline down there is awesome and I love the fact that even if there is a bit of wind there is somewhere to surf with shelter so the waves are cleaner.
What quiver do you like to have on you for those trips abroad?
For my winter trips I have 3 go to boards to take away with me so that I can have the perfect board for all of the conditions. All my boards are shaped by Luke Young
as he really understands what I’m looking for when I’m buying a custom board. All my boards I’ve had from him have been magic so I really trust his designs! Firstly, I always take my 5’11” Prodium model, it is perfect for when the waves really turn on and I have to get critical. Secondly, my 5’9″ Blitzkreig comes with me on all my trips because it absolutely fly’s when the waves aren’t perfect and I need a bit of extra speed. Finally, my 5’6″ Luke Young Mahi 2
twin fin is my go to stick for when the waves are smaller, it carry’s so much speed and is by far the most fun board I’ve ever owned.
One of South Devon’s quieter corners
Cold neoprene choices, wetsuits, accessories etc and what do you like about them?
For winter I am always wearing my 5/4 winter suit
, it keeps me cosy on those freezing days when most people don’t want to go in the water. I also wear 5mm boots
throughout the winter so I can still feel my toes whilst I’m surfing. I also use a hood attached to a rash vest
which keeps me extra warm!
Do you have anything you like to do when you’re not surfing?
When I’m not surfing I’m usually skateboarding. Ssometimes at home we go weeks without waves so it’s great to always have something to do. Skating is also a great way to try airs Besides this I am often working to try and save money for future surf trips and I also DJ in my spare time.
The British winter can often come with hellish weather, how do you amp yourself up pre-cold-surf?
When it’s freezing it can be hard to motivate myself to get in the water. But when I’m with my mates we manage to psych each other up and it always helps knowing we have the correct gear to keep up warm in the water.
Imagine this; its one of those all time swells so you’re surfing multiple times in a day, how do you stay fuelled?
I try to have a big breakfast before a day of surfing, usually some Weetabix or bacon and eggs if I have the time. When the Gastro-bus is open down at Bantham
I usually treat myself to a burger and fuel myself up with a flapjack or a banana.
Louie working through the heats at a comp in Watergate Bay
What do you use to warm up post winter surf?
After my surf I always keep warm by wearing my DryRobe
! It’s an absolute lifesaver when it’s really cold and especially if I want to try and stay warm between surfs.
With surfers ear becoming more and more common, do you wear ear plugs, if so what do you use?
Yeah I wear earplugs, when I am surfing multiple days of the week and it’s freezing and windy they are essential to wear in order to avoid ear infection and potentially surfers ear. I wear the SurfEars 2.0
earplugs, they fit perfectly and keep water out of my ears whilst keeping sound in.
Finding a quiet one at Bantham in the summer
What advice would you give to someone who struggles with surfing in the colder winter months?
For anyone struggling to surf in the winter months, just make sure you have the correct equipment including a winter wetsuit
, boots, gloves and a hood
! If you’re unsure on what equipment you need and if you feel you need to try on any gear, head down to Triocean and they will be able to sort you out with the perfect gear for you to keep surfing through the winter months.
Any other tips and tricks you’ve got up your sleeve for a good winter season?
Through winter having a good changing mat
is awesome to make sure your wetsuit doesn’t get sandy, this can be a game changer especially if you are planning on going back in the water on the same day.
Looks warm, feels cold – Louie at Bantham
It’s great catching up with Louie, and hearing some sound advice for making the most of good winter swells, which you may all have experienced last week. As well as a a decent winter wetsuit
, Louie believes that a real game changer for the winter would be a good changing mat
You’ll be able to find Louie at the Crabshell Inn, Kingsbridge
supporting his dad Simon on the decks of a Friday night; bring your dancing shoes because that boy can get the house pumping!! Or, stay in tune with what he’s up to on his instagram page – @louieharrow_