Chris Guts Griffiths on the Gower

 

Chris Griffiths Walking It -Jamie Quin bkg.250506

 

Winner of the O'Neill Classic Open Cody Craig is from a new breed of soul surfers who have inherited their love of surfing from their fathers and grandfathers. Cody's father Tom has been surfing since the late 50's and his father, Doug was a surfer in the 30's and was a member of the famous San-ono-fre Surf Club in California.

Aged 22 and from Cayucos, Southern California, Cody is amazingly (and refreshingly) mature for his age. Perhaps the premature death of his friend and fellow longboarder Jay Moriarity last year and his worldwide travels in search of the perfect waves have something to do with this. The O'Neill Longboard Classic is dedicated to the memory of Jay Moriarity and Cody is wearing a fish tatoo as testament to that. He tells me that Jay was a very intense person who loved the thrill of big waves and wanted to go bigger every time. He thinks about him most days - he was a big influence on Cody and had travelled with and encouraged him.

Tom and Cody Craig

Cody Craig

Cody has been surfing since he was two and a half and says he instantly fell in love with surfing. Tom agrees that Cody would stand on a boogie board at that age. His favourite wave remains his home break of Cayucos which is a reef break similar to Backdoor Pipeline - being a horse shoe barrell break.

Cody won his 1st contest in Santa Cruz in a Surfarama when he was just 15 - it was a 60's style contest with heavier boards. After that he really got into longboarding through fellow longboarder Wingnut, another mentor, who took him to Europe and as he says "opened my eyes". Travelling has been very important in shaping his life - "travelling shapes you - you can't be a mean person when you travel". That and being in the O'Neill Surf Academy since he was 15 has convinced him to make surfing his life career. With the support of his family - they are very close, especially Tom, who is in Wales for the first time and is impressed with the beautiful scenery and friendly local surf crew, Cody is still intent on doing that and with his result today he is well on his way.

Watching him in his heat, Cody is certainly impressive with his radical on the edge style. His fin first take off in the semi's is captivating and his genuine love of surfing and the ocean shows as he passionately gives his all. He is exciting to watch. Cody also shortboards and plays the drums.

Tom Craig - Winner of the Masters

 

 

Chris Griffiths alias 'Guts' has won just about every UK longboard prize there is. Between shaping boards and travelling the contest circuit he found time for this interview .

 

Q. When did you first start surfing and where?

A: In 1976 at Llangennith, where my parents had a caravan.

Q. What is your best contest result?

A: 5th in the ASP World Champs. held in huge waves at Guethary in 1996 or winning the EPSA Tour in 1999.

Q. Name you favourite a) wave b) manoeuvre c) surfing break and d) surfing video.

A. Sandreef at Langland, Roundhouse cutback, Langland and the surf movie Big Wednesday.

Q. Recall your most embarrassing moment in or out of water.

A. TOO MANY TO MENTION!!!!

Q. Tell us something about your board shapes with respect to performance related design.

A. I am trying to create the best all round longboard possible - one that is a great nose rider but also can be put on the rail and surfed hard and tight through the most radical manouevres. I am working closly with Sam Bleakley, current English Champion and his boards are very low volume and superlight but the very specific rocker and rail combinations that we are using, ensure that he can get radical whilst still maintaining excellent nose-riding, even in tiny waves. I am also incorporating a lot of concaves and roll into the bottom shapes. There is also a resurging popularity in the old style cruiser which is great. You can never have enough style while riding longboards and the old stylers perfect your stall and trim your riding style.

CLEANING UP OUR OCEANS

SURFERS AGAINST SEWAGE

Click to link

 

Guts' distinctive style, allways marks him out in the crowd

The Boiler

Q. You are a Director of Surfers Against Sewage. What's the current state of affairs?

A. Recently there has been some good news since the definition of 'Bathing' in the Draft Bathing Water Directive has been changed to.. any direct body contact with water involving head submersion and for risk of ingestion of water. This has obvious repercussions. For further details of SAS activities and aims click here.

Q. What do you make of the new generation of longboarders such as Beau Young?

A. I think that they are proving that mals are a functional board to ride in all conditions which is evident from the way that Beau charged to victory in 15 foot Puerto Escondido on a 9' triple stringer. People like Bonga surf big backdoor and see that them busting down the barriers of radical performance and the misconceptions of a lot of shortboarders that you have to be an old fart and failed shortboarder to want to ride a mal. At the end of the day there are bad surfers riding all sorts of equipment not just mals and one should judge the individual, not the board he is riding.

 

Visit the girl's page at www.surfsup-mag.co.uk (see features) for interview with Ladies Longboarder Champion - Nan Beason