Strolling along Venice boardwalk under an azure sky, the early morning sunshine beginning to warm my neck, golden sandy beaches in either direction as far as the eye can see, passing numerous fragrant ‘Green Doctor’ dispensaries and the Baywatch headquarters looming ever larger in front of me as I make my way to Jays Rentals. After a brief rhetoric with the salty attendant I pull on a damp summer suit, grab a Mini Mal then meander past a few hobos and make my first encounter into the North Pacific.
This setting is a million miles from my usual surroundings when on the rare occasion I don my full winter attire in a freezing car park at West Strand and take the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. Howling winds, angry seas and fifty shades of grey are common place in the horizons around the north coast of Ireland – a stark contrast to my recent Californian experience. Only being a part time ‘fair weather’ surfer though, these are conditions I thoroughly ignore, and leave to the much hardier enthusiasts that thrive on big swells whatever the weather.
Residing in Portrush it is difficult not to embrace the lifestyle, I grew up on a skateboard and worked at Woodies the local surf / skate shop – this small seaside town has advocated and embraced the surfing and skating culture as long as I can remember, and for so long against opposition and adversity - a valiant effort to mirror the zeitgeist that has become commonplace along the Californian coastline. Surfing has come a long way though and Portrush has firmly established itself as one of the top surfing destinations in Ireland. Home to Irish champions Long John McCurry and Martin ‘TK’ Kelly, their surf schools thrive all year round, the Martin brothers are going global with pioneering next gen surfboards at Skunkworks so it is no surprise that mentality is definitely changing for the better – although I am still somewhat reserved to mention the skate park…
Inspired by Californian culture and our very own Portmagic, Filthy Velvet is proud to Introduce ‘Surf Bum – Sea Salt & Driftwood’ Welcome to the Filthy family.