On the hunt for uncharted British Isles waves

This is the main edit from Pro Surfers Oli Adams and Micah Lester, who travel to the northern British Isles on the hunt for adventure and uncharted cold water breaks. With the help of a Jeep Wrangler Overland, they are able to tackle the tough terrain quickly, leaving more time for exploring and more importantly, surfing.

 

With UK’s surfers, Oli Adams and Micah Lester.

It all starts with a computer these days. I wake up and the first thing I do, even before having a wee is check the chart for seven places scattered around the entire circumference of Britain and Ireland. In about thirty seconds I have enough information to make a picture in my head of the waves at every break in the country. It never used to be this way, you used to just turn up and hope for the best, maybe you’d score, maybe you wouldn’t.

Unfortunately for fellow Pro Surfer Micah Lester and myself our trip to the outer isles of Britain had a two day window that couldn’t be moved for anything, meaning we were at the mercy of the surf gods. This trip though was always going to be different thanks to fact that we had a brand new Jeep® Wrangler to play with and no matter what the surf was doing we would have every chance to find it, get to it and most importantly maximize what was on offer thanks to this wonderful off road machine.

I’ve built up an unhealthy obsession with the islands of Britain over the last eight years. I guess it all started probably by watching Coast on BB1 with their helicopter shots making my imagination run wild, and then later finding pictures on line, posted under fake names of mental empty line ups somewhere in Britain. I knew then that this was the life for me, I had to find these waves and I had to find more!

Soon after that I set off on my first mission. I was going to go on my own but I happened to bump into a grom from Newquay called Josh Hughes who at the time must have been about 15. He asked if he could jump on the trip, and since I thought it was probably safer to have someone to surf with if we did find a heavy wave so I said no worries and off we went.

There are hundreds of islands off the coast of Britain and getting to them is definitely where the real adventure starts…certainly that’s what we felt the first time we were on a ferry heading out to the unknown. On that trip we walked miles and miles of coastline – never knowing what was lurking behind each headline or bay. I don’t think there is any better feeling than the expectation of finding new waves in places hardly any surfers have been before. Its a feeling that keeps you coming back for more and one I’m still looking for constantly. After walking for two days, we ending up on a bit of coast that had a perfect flat reef and what seemed like four world class waves. I have to say that this sort of changed the course of my life. At the time I was competing full time on World tour and was spending most of the year chasing contests to some of the worst waves in the world. To find empty waves this good so close to home made me throw in the towel with competing. Instead I decide to focus my time and energy into finding new waves in Britain and Ireland, and work out and score waves I already knew about. On that first trip I caught the island bug!

Since that time I’ve been walking the islands, constantly trying to find new waves in between the storms and it really is a fickle business. Having the Jeep® on all of these trips would have made things so much easier! The weather is the main offender as it can change without warning and very quickly. I’ve traveled numerous times for a whole day, just to realize the wave I’d come to surf doesn’t work on the swell direction that was running. The same scenarios have occurred because of the tides and wind. Eventually all these mistakes are ticked off and put down to experience. That is where the real pay-off starts and the empty barrels are ridden. In those moments, there is nowhere else I’d rather be!


We jumped at the chance to explore using the Jeep; to really search out and get to spots that would have been a long walk or totally inaccessible without it.

So, back to our current position – me and Micah are in the islands again, Micah has caught the bug too! We jumped at the chance to explore using the Jeep®; to really search out and get to spots that would have been a long walk or totally inaccessible without it. The chart wasn’t looking great, although we did have a small window where the swell looked half decent. Even so, just being there was enough, the place is beautiful with massive mountains, flat plains and water all around you. It really is a magical experience.

The first day was the only day with swell, so bei


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