14th – 16th January. Cancun, Mexico.

The divide between Cancun’s bustling downtown and the Zona Hotelera is vast but entertaining. This is Spring Break territory, an American playground, a half price Miami and a paradise for a week of debauchery, Caribbean lounging, beachfront luxury, or whatever else might take your fancy. The hotels occupy a twinkling twenty kilometer strip of land between the crystal clear Caribbean Sea and a green lagoon; each one is grandiose and packed out with all inclusive, poolside sitting, cocktail sipping, sun-seeking frilled or beaded lizards. They are content to bask, move very little, warm their Nebraska cold blood, extend their long tongues to guzzle rum and juice, and then shuffle, burnt and sleepy, back into the ice-cold, re-commissioned air of an eleventh floor suite. I don’t really blame them. The beaches are long, the white sand powder fine and the sea as turquoise clear as any travel mag wish list picture.

It is everything you imagine it to be, and for one or two days it is a blissful novelty. We even tried to commandeer a couple of sun loungers from the Hotel Riu-Caribe, but were swiftly relieved of them and so returned to our beach towels the other side of the hotels imaginary line on the bright white sand. This was to be our hard fought territory.

Downtown Cancun is a little different. Its a short bus ride away and of course still caters to the millions of tourists who pass through each year, but it is a bustling friendly place awash with Latino colors, tastes and sounds. It is as reverberating and upbeat as the hotel zone is crass and clinical and monotonous, and it seemed to me a great introduction to a country as vast and varied as this. Quiet tree lined parks and phrenetic sprawling markets cater to locals and tourists alike, lime, chili and fresh corn tortillas the same backline flavors to a myriad of stalls offering enticing antojitos, (little cravings) at all hours of the day and night. The tourist vendors are here too, hawking trinkets and slogan tees, but I find it hard to believe that anyone would actually wear a lime green day-glo vest printed with the words, I’m shy, but I’m in Cancun and I’ve got a Big Dick! But who knows? Come March and the Spring Break madness, they could be all the rage…

A snippet of Panama City…

Panama City.

Jan 2014.

Early Afternoon.

“Señor, Señor.”

I heard a whistle and a shout cut through a midday traffic din, a main-street roar, life and machine a restless grind in the equatorial heat of a sweltering afternoon. Spinning around disorientated, skidding sideways, skidding to avoid a pile of rubble, skidding close to a collision with a roadside stall selling toothbrushes, cigarettes and day glow torches. A Policía Nacional squad car had stopped in the constant throng. Not for us surely. Not yet? Yellow city cabs and tinted Japanese 4x4s started to blare their horns and shout for movement in the stagnant jam, but the cop was steadfast, he wasn’t moving.
He beckoned me over as i regained my footing. Turning to check my friends were not lost in the crowd I walked over to where his car was idling at the sidewalk. He was young looking with a friendly face, a flash of concern through his dark eyes and a black pistol clipped to his belt. His partner was gazing idly out of the passenger window, scanning the far side of the street, his gaze flicking from the traffic in the rearview to the alleys and side streets of the barrio.
“Hola, habla español?”
A quick clipped voice as i leant in through the open window toward him. Nope, not yet, no spanish.
“No hablo español, los ciento.”
Sorry was the best i could come up with.
“Yes English”
I grinned back through the car window, all too aware of the sheen of sweat on my burnt forehead, my shorts and soaking shirt screaming Gringo along with my spanish.
“Okay Inglés, listen to me now. Whatever you do, do not cross the street.”
“Err, Okay… no problem.”
I had no real idea what was going on. I thought we were on one of the main tributaries of the city, a trunk of the Via España, a vibrant hectic street but surely not a particularly dangerous area. Sure we had been hopelessly lost for a bit but we were on the right track, we were safe.
“Seriously, do not cross the street, you are not safe. This area is dangerous.. peligroso!”
Okay, so now i was a little worried, the concern in his eyes was no doubt mirrored in my own. Laura and Krystian had already started to drift off down the chaotic sidewalk, i only hoped the other side of the road didn’t take their fancy any time soon.
“If you stay on the left side you may be okay, but not on the right side, be very careful, you understand?”
His index finger was pressed to his cheek just below the right eye, a gesture which became clear to me later; stay vigilant, keep an eye out and watch your back as best you can.
He was persistent, keen to make sure his message was getting through to this lobster tinted foreign clown and his two strange companions, who were now obliviously examining some 99 cent rasta flipflops. I nervously replied as best I could, I understood.
“Si, Si, comprende, muchas gracias!”
I moved away from the car and it still seemed kind of strange. Then as i glanced up to my right i started to see my surroundings differently, a clarity and contrast crept into my vision as my eyes honed in and processed the street-scape unfolding before me. His few sharp words had befitted me with a fresh perception. The street changed in an instant. The wash of day glow colours and brick-a-brack stalls faded, the din of ancient buses and noisy taxies lulled slightly as it whirled around me, completely unintelligible in its total sensory saturation. I arrested my vision to the opposite side of the road. The hustling vendor hawking sizzling flame grilled chicken was unchanged, as were the dark faces in shadowy doorways, eyes averted, glances furtive and measured. The clap-board tin and timber shop fronting were still rusty worn and faded, but i saw it differently now. I saw heaps of trash piled in the gutter, the paving and concrete strewn more haphazardly here, more dishevelled and menacing, as if this end of the street had been forgotten for some time and left to its own devices for just a little too long. Slithers of steel rose jagged from the broken pavement, skirts and bare feet a slow motion swirl as small children daintily sprang around them. Our side of the road appeared normal, a local contingent of shops and stalls frequented by boisterous Panamanians going about their business. The other side however had a more sinister air. The shops had given way to a patchwork of covered fronting’s, faded red and blue timber constructions, punctuated by the deep red rust of tin sheets and the shade and darkness they provided. The bright sunlight struggles here and they seem to be clinging to a sidewalk strangely devoid of the previous crowds and hustle. Smoke from cooking fires and makeshift BBQ’s filters out from behind the dappled shuttering, obscuring the scenes within and the people who stand sentinel in the shadows, never quite appearing fully, perhaps stepping out for a fleeting moment before darting up a nameless alleyway I would never see. But mostly they just smoked, staring at the three foreign clowns ambling deeper and deeper into their chameleon of a city.

We had wondered deeper than we imagined and for the uninitiated it was an unnerving situation. The speed of the change was startling and my imagination flared. I thanked the cop and turned to catch up with the others, my minds eye picturing them wandering across the road, oblivious to the possible danger now apparent. I quickly relayed what the officer had told me and as I did so we looked up the street, beyond our blinkered prorifieries and into the approaching neighbourhood. Away from the street, apartment blocks stood tall, squeezed between a mazy checkerboard of low brick built buildings and makeshift tin constructions. Nearly all were devoid of windows, the glass all used up in the pristine skyscrapers of the financial district, yet the wash of colours and contrasts was beautifully striking and eluded to a faded grandeur in its dishevelled squaller. Indeed to me it looked as if the only thing keeping these buildings standing were the chaotic criss-cross of washing lines and laundry, strung between the cramped balconies of countless homes and fluttering in the breeze like the ribbons of a ragged kite. Situated spitting distance from the steel and glass power hub of the county, the high rise hard rock-hotels and the shopping malls, this was not the poorest or most troubled area of the city, yet even here, it was easy to see just how isolated the riches of this global crossroads remained.

Photo: Laura Titheradge

A Long Day in Morocco…(Part Two)

Agadir is not the prettiest of Moroccan cities in the traditional sense of Arabic North Africa. Reduced to rubble and dust by a devastating earthquake in 1960, lethal to the tune of 15’000, the bulk of the town had to be reconstructed from scratch; the ancient Medinas and the twisting medieval  lanes which characterise most of the countries cities are near impossible to replicate and the modern Agadir has more in common with a conventional European town. By Moroccan standards it is calm and sprawling, regimented concrete grids form the residential and suburban sectors, stretching from the cement and sardine factories north of the city down to the Airport, and further south to the wholly Moroccan transport hub of Inezgane. The city centre is pleasant enough, spacious swathes of green blend with the central piazza, shops and restaurants trailing off toward the walled souk and suburbs. However its hard to escape the feeling that everything is a little too well planned, pieced together like a post independence artists impression. It was indeed designed as the piece de resistance of modern Morocco, an embodiment of European style to be presented to the world in light of their comparatively recent liberty. In some sense they have succeed, the high rise hotels and pristine manicured beaches are packed with tourists year round, a package holiday heaven for sun soaked, heat seeking Europeans. Bars and discos defy tradition, still a little unsure of themselves as they quench the thirst of sunburnt revellers with overpriced Bierre Special. It almost works, but if you arrive with expectations above the sun sea and sand paradigm its difficult to be bowled over by the place, its charm is there but the all too common trappings of resort status are beginning to take there toll.

The result is a quasi-cross hybrid mixture of tourist centred western regiment and quintessentially Moroccan chaos. Unlike the Ville-Nouvelle sectors of Fez or Rabat, almost western without question and worlds away from their ancient Medina’s, Agadir seems to squeeze both cultural approaches into its wide coastal boulevards. Despite the architecture, it is plain that the citizens, underprivileged in comparison with their illustrious northern brothers, will continue to live as best they can and in many cases this means continuing traditional patterns despite the altered shape of their city. There is of course a limit to which the build and layout of a place can influence the cultural make-up of a society and despite the visual impression there can be little doubt that this is an Islamic country in developing North Africa. Western chain stores stand awkward in the heat next to little lock up bazaars. Grocery stores and bakers stretch back from the street, sleepy store owners presiding over a helter-skelter muddle of everything you could think of needing. Refreshingly the obligatory McDonald’s and Pizza Hut are rarely full, while the cheap, spit roast chicken joints are a mass of sticky fingers scrubbing at coarse paper napkins and the relaxed audio of inaudible chatter. Rugged food courtyards are slipped between banks and supermarkets, shiny silver sardines crackling and spiting as they grill over hot coals. Opposite, a stack of tagines sit bubbling, scenting the air with cumin and ginger, never left too long before being served without question to an unspeaking customer, bread broken and shared as the food is eaten and the day meanders on.

It was one of these traditional microcosms amid modernity that I found myself within after stepping out of the souk with my most treasured friends. It seemed as if they were determined to pack an entire range of Moroccan experiences into my first few hours; they suggested we grab some grilled fish before getting on the road toward Taghazout. The food was good, the calamari fresh as ever, but by this point I was close to exhaustion and listening to them argue in French about the price of a god damn sardine had me close to a melt down. It was embarrassing and irritating;so keen was I  to get moving that I was practically skipping as we turned back toward the van. Dark and cool in the back ,the onward journey was a quiet one. I closed my eyes, I was nearly free. Flashing back the day seemed disconnected, an erratic haze of bizarre situations, each one fumbled together to deliver me into the back of this slowly trundling van. The bitter 3:00am bite of airport coffee seemed an age away. Past sleeping once again I shifted position in my sweat soaked leather jacket and waited to be delivered.

As I expected escaping was no easy task. By this time Jacks generosity was wasted on me and his intentions to organise every aspect of my trip were falling on deaf ears. The best dope, the cheapest rooms, and everything in between was offered and duly refused. I intended to leave no ties to this guy, a clean break and a quick get away was the best thing he could have suggested! We docked in the dusty car park at the south of the village and by the time I set off up the road to find Ahmed, Chewy and the crew I was frothing to be away and grateful to have a tenuous link with other people in Taghazout. At the very least it gave me a definite direction in which to walk away.

I was three hours late. It was past five in the afternoon when I had been expected at two. The quite of the day was subsiding with the heat and the hustle of the cooler evening was beginning to creep up on the fading light. People were emerging from stacked houses into narrow streets, shops reopening and the roadside strip of surfer cafés setting up, getting acquainted with the evenings trade. A smile of familiarity flickered, yet the corners of my eyes were drawn to the rows of grand taxis in the swollen rank, the sunburnt stream of soft-boards and N.S.Ps strolling back from the points, an extra surf shop or two, the stack of surf camp affiliated mini-buses and four wheel drives. Surf city status had arrived before me. I took it in but put it out of my mind, for the moment I had more pressing problems. Despite the conviction with which I stomped away from my lift I had little hope of actually finding the boys based only on a rough idea of where they were staying. I had no contact with them and the idea that we would just find each other seemed ridiculous now, especially given that they had been expecting me earlier that day. For all I knew they were already ensconced for the evening, making crazy origami oak trees out of Zig-Zag rizla’s, packing them full of fine dark hashish and guzzling duty free rum. The only thing visible through the sea-mist of burning kiff would be the red rims of their feral eyes, candle light catching the pearly white glint of their teeth as they giggled and lay back  in an African stupor. It was a relief to find that this was not quite the case. As I approached the rough direction of the apartments a Moroccan man raised his arm in greeting, passing a joint to his friend he jumped up and jogged across the road toward me. Slightly balding and obviously stoned I immediately recognised Ahmed, my link to the guys and a place to stay. This was someone I knew only by reputation. For the past few years the stories  had filtered back. A crazy drink driving dope fiend with links to the chief of police. Prison, brawls, prostitutes and violence, the character who can get you exactly what you want as long as you can deal with the chaos along the way. Ever since my friend Kian had linked up with him a few years previous Ahmed had been the go to guy for places to stay in Taghazout. Hire car without a licence , no problem! Hair raising stoned trip to the airport with seconds to spare? To be expected! This was the kind of impression I had conjured up and as such I looked forward to meeting him with a expectant mix of excitement and apprehension. The reality was a little different and although hints of his flamboyant past threatened to resurface throughout our time together my first impressions were of a friendly generous guy, happy to help me out and willing to go out of his way to do so. I liked him and that was enough for me.

As is so often the case in Morocco things were starting to pan out surprisingly smoothly, thoughts flitting from chaos to order in a matter of minuets as pre fabricated plans started to surface. Ahmed had been aware I was on the way and had obviously been on the lookout.  The surf was apparently OK up at killers and the guys had given up waiting for me and piled up there in the hope of a late session, my earlier fears of searching door to door evaporated as things started to click for the first time that day. Ahmed greeted me enthusiastically and seemed keen to check the points and catch the others before they jumped in the water. I locked my gear inside and smiled as I walked toward his battered 205, a vehicle I imagined had had its fair share of hair-raising scrapes. After a jittery push start we were screaming up the coastal road toward the anchor factory, scraggly, solitary palms and slab rock point-break unfolding very quickly before my bleary eyes.

I found the crew almost exactly as i expected. Stood casually on the rocks of Anchor Point, smoking, deciding whether to jump in right there for the second surf of the day or meander up to Killers for a bit more size. Stoned and smiling, with deep tans and small eyes, they welcomed me as i crossed the dusty plateau and scrambled down the rocks toward them, one eye on the lineup and the other on the joint dangling from Chewey’s fingers. The surf was small, but the point was starting to show, a sure sign that there would be waves up the road and after the frustration of the last few hours a surf suddenly looked likely. Ahmed and I jumped back in the car and moved off down the coast road to collect my board. Arabic pop was blaring from the stereo, outside the evening light was golden on the sandstone; dappled and soft as it began to fade, a shimmering warmth through the twisted branches of low argon trees. He laughed and joked in broken english as the car careered wildly from right to left, convoluting  noisily on the road, swerving to avoided potholes, goats and oncoming traffic. Yet i was finally relaxed, comfortable and calm in the passenger seat. I rolled the window down and even at our breakneck speed I could feel the days glow on my skin, the dusty desert wind on my face as we flew toward the village. It was then I realised, perhaps for the first time all day, that i was glad to be back.

Porthtowan Surfing in 1967..

Surfing Championships in the summer of 1967, more than likely an early incarnation of the Cornish & Open. Flags, shotguns, tourists frolicking in the sun and small mushy waves for the competitors to glide and slide and work their magic. Wetsuits and leashes were just around the corner, boards were still planks and surfing was young and fun and without pretence or aggression. I guess not too much has changed down at Porthtowan, we just have more people and less shotguns. Maybe that’s the problem!

Great video and a great find. Thanks Rebecca Bertha.

A Long Day In Morocco… (Part 1)


There are few more inhospitable places in the sane western world of transportation than the Pre-Departure doldrums of a lethargic sleeping airport. Bright lights, cold floors and grouchy travellers scowling and shuffling as they fight for a space on a slither of metal barely disguised as a seat. It is hard to kill time when the only things alive are security announcements, elevators and the rough hum of sweeping machines, pushed sullenly by pallow skinned eastern European workers who have the drained demeanour of somebody who has had their soul dragged out from behind their eyes and sold resentfully to anybody higher up the food chain. The one and only saving grace is the fuzzy knowledge that this bureaucratic sprawl of concrete and the razor sharp precision of the numbing machine will serve as a conduit to a space as far removed from this hostile climate as humanely possible! To endure is to survive and without the pain the pleasure goes unnoticed!

Perhaps this is the reason that people tolerate airports relatively passively. Nobody really minds. People relish the opportunity to transcend the banal normality of everyday life and sleep curled up on a floor. Or wedged stiffly on a seat. Perhaps they savour the opportunity to sit awake all night, thinking of very little, drinking strong takeaway coffee from flimsy paper cups, the melancholy star of their ad hominem motion picture. It could be the guilty conscious of us Brits, a willingness to pay penance for the extravagance of a hard earned holiday in the sun. Thus an explanation for the grumbling discomfort endured by all; for the demographic of slumbering humanoids is varied and vast. Propped skeletal-like on cases or wrapped, despondent and dishevelled, in redundant beach towels, all manor of people gather in some strange wordless communion, a means to give validity to the final satisfaction. Preppy students, jaded hippies, retired career travellers, young, old, rich, poor; they all relinquish the norms and values of their day to day existence and let themselves go feral, just for an hour or two, in the hazy middle night doldrums of pre-Departure hell..

My bank card failed miserably at the airport cash machine so i jumped at the chance of a lift to Taghazout. However the real cost was time, stress and angst!! Not long after stumbling wearily into the sunlight it worked out that a ride was available in the back of a Ford Transit van. British plates. Within the first few seconds of seeing the van and the “brown rice and bean” inhabitants I knew I was in for a trying afternoon. My hunch was compounded by the information, delivered in drawling English with an irritating patter of  smug French intonation, that we simply had to,

“stop off at a mechanics and fit a new grill, head to the supermarket and do some veg shopping in the Sunday souk.”

My brilliant idea of getting back to Taghazout in time for a sneaky afternoon surf was duely dashed, broken and left screaming on the hot tarmac of that airport car-park. These people were essentially good; they were friendly and helpful, good-natured and were not trying to squeeze me for a buck or ten. However within ten minutes or so I could do little to quell a bizarre feeling of resentful hatred which begun to splutter up through my feet, curl in my guts and pound in my head as I struggled to catch my bearings in the dark belly of the transit. I have no doubt that my niggling concerns would, in all likeliness, have been completely alien to their peace, love and bullshit walking stereotype. I did not let it show but I was treading a tortuous emotional line, as fine as the open razor of a back street barber, to laugh or cry I was not sure. It occurred to me then that the vain and intentional pursuit of individualism and open-minded freedom in such a phoney and pseudo-typical way can only lead to a colossal brain busting implosion of mental capacity. A viscous catch 22, an uninhibited narrowing of the mind to the point were the only “real”, open minded, acceptable vision or outlook is that of yourself, your ideals and the self moulded plaster cast of expectation you vehemently expect others to adhere to and respect!

To explain some of these malicious ramblings is simply to see that there is always another way, a different cast or creed, a separate entity. Its strange to be discussing this as a result of a hippy-esque attitude, not something usually associated with prejudice and segregation, yet the not so subtle undertones I traced with these people undermined and contradicted everything free, equal and receptive which I am sure they would profess to stand for. As individuals, all are subject to and products of their environment and background. No decent honest person should be viewed as wrong or inferior from the emerald green lawn the “right” side of the fence. The reason, I think, that these peace loving folk  grated on me so much boils down to the hypocrisy inherent to their way of thinking. In trying to validate and live by their freethinking theories they essentially alienate and demean any other persons contrasting route down the same twisting path. “What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine.”  As long as you share my ideals, dress code, and inane sense of sickly superiority. Who’s to say that the average joe working hard 40h weeks, paying a mortgage and escaping for a break in the sun, has any less right to enjoy a country in the way that suits him as you have to do likewise in your own style. In light of this, their (theoretically) more than worthy moral standpoint seems somewhat undermined. An innate disability to appreciate another hegemony seems to me to be a crippling chink in the moonlit phosphorus physique and bongo drumming, dope-hazed, heartbeat of the affluent European hippy.

Or maybe its just me, who knows!? Anyway, brutal berating and vicious character assassination aside that first day in North Africa certainly got me into the swing of things.

I slung my beaten grey board-bag into the back of that shabby Transit and hopped in behind it as we trundled off in the direction of the scrap-yard. I would love to write here about the vistas and recollections of that first foray into the country I had last visited three years before. It was this first journey, from airport to wherever, that I had come to relish in Morocco. A reacquainting with the sights and smells, the complete barrage on ones sensory perception which can only be fully recollected and appreciated after a 20h layover in the sterile bowls of British transportation. I always  look forward with expectant glee to those flashing, little changed scenes, slice of life style, which let you know that you are back in  the dusty argon crown of such a vast continent. Not this time however. There were no windows,  I could see nothing. Squeezed on the panel board floor, my back propped against the makeshift bed, I began to get acquainted with Jack. The son of Kara our driver, and about my age, he emerged as a French speaking self proclaimed expert on every topic under the sweltering mid afternoon sun. Morocco, travelling, drugs, hedonism, way of life, philosophy, the price of bread….; nothing was spared his omniscient scrutiny. The raking grate of his comments were compounded when I learned he had only been in the country for four days. My first impressions were confirmed and the conversation that ensued with his twitchy, dread-locked ego proved no more pleasurable than trying to itch a peeling sunburnt back with a red hot fish scaler.

Almost delirious with the travel and the exacerbated pain of of the situation I was in no mood to question or query some of his more warped observations and steadied myself, content enough to roll along with their program and save myself the taxi fare. Not surprisingly the scrapyard visit did not pan out and after a dusty hour of waiting in a greasy cesspit somewhere west of Agadir we got going again; they without the promised grill and me safe in the knowledge that my companions, far from being expert travellers or love soaked hippies, were rude, impatient and with only a vapour thin concept of how such situations inevitably pan out in Morocco. Next on the bucket list was a jolly trip to the Metro Market, a sprawling European mega-mart, chock full of illicit alcohol and forklift trucks, a characterless utensil which was unsurprisingly deserted. It felt barren and clinical, despite its uses I could not escape the feeling that the place had no business encroaching on those first few cherished hours of Moroccan life. The supermarket was followed by the souk. Once inside the walled enclosure the subtle lifeblood streaks, the beating pulse of the country, finally edged to the fore. I felt myself slipping back into the mystique of an alien culture, feeling again the tingle of anticipation and ore as each barrage of noise, every optical stimuli, washed over me and rushed past with a melodic Maghreb hum. The zip of a pedal scooter pin-balling daintily down  a bustling lane, the crackling tit for tat ensemble of  hawkers touts and vendors, saffron and cumin and harrisa piled technicolor high against the low methodical sprawl of vivid fresh cut fruit and vegetables. A chaotic equilibrium so natural and organic that its order is maintained without effort, each piece merging together with an abstract normality. The Filtered sunlight glinting through the mazy high slatted roof gives a dappled secretive complexion to the whirling kaleidoscope of  image, action and place. Eyes half shrouded in shadow flit toward, followed quickly by clipped Arabic or soft Berber murmurings, a negotiation already begun.  I could feel my senses rekindling, the nurtured boundaries of an English winter being teased away and banished as I soaked in the everyday chaos of the  market.

By this point I was engrossed, a mere passenger to my hosts, who picked up on my lack of conversation and felt obliged to enquire whether I was “freaked out.” I said I was not. They probed, asking whether I was “ staying at one of the surf camps for a week break.” I pulled hard on my cigarette, dropping the butt and smudging it with my foot as I smiled politely at them. My reply was measured, I was not. They nodded, a little confused and returned to their shopping. Again I bit my tongue, the up-welling urge was to snap viscously at there veil of assumption, to let them in on the idea that my problem was not with the wild, organic, hell for leather frenzy of a Morocco market place, but with them and their blinkered musings. The temptation was to go along with their ideal,  play into the hands of the stereotype they had so kindly moulded for me,

“yes I am here for a week, its nice to be abroad, thanks very much for asking.”

“Oh.. I see, first time”

“ Yup first time in Morocco, gonna learn to surf, wow yerr I don’t have a clue, sShit is that a goats head! Jesus! So freaked out right now, this is intense, pretty cool though  huh!”


“ Well you know, I have a family, plus i have be back at work next week, hopefully going to have a great time though, been saving for ages.”


“ Is that OK with you guys? You don’t mind do you!? I mean I know I don’t live in a van exploiting those local guys you call your friends. O and I don’t actually pride myself on spending nothing, squeezing every penny I can from generous people way below the poverty line, O yer and I don’t speak French, or have dreadlocks, or were stupid trousers that only seem to look right if i’m juggling fucking fire poi! But I can still come here right? That is cool isn’t it! Good. Glad we cleared that one up.”

The moment passed however and after getting what they wanted we moved out of the walled souk and into the bright sunlight.



Tris Surf Shop, Porthtowan, opened it’s doors in the early 1970s and is still going strong some forty years later. We are a hardcore surf shop where the ethos is still driven by a passion for surfing, the ocean, and the lifestyle that rolls out with it. A far cry from the commercial surf retailer of the high street we take pride in passing our homegrown knowledge on to the customer and providing quality surfing essentials to those that need them. From our hazy beginnings in the hippy era, through various incarnations of glory or disrepair, to the sandy emporium of the present day, we always aim to stay true to our ideals. Surf as much as possible, enjoy it while it lasts, and don’t take things too seriously.

Twin Fin Madness, Cornish & Open Surf Contest