Bude-born Barnaby Cox has been a part of the C-Skins team for three years. Within this time he’s achieved the title of British Champion, and more recently released his first film, Satori. 

barnaby cox layback slash photographed by luke gartside

The Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment, Satori is an ode to surfing through winter, where Barnaby finds meditative peace amongst the howling winds and pumping swell. “I wanted to show how special surfing is for me. It enables me to get out of my head and take life one day at a time, instead of getting caught up in the future or the past. Surfing has helped me so much with this - I reckon I’d go a bit mad without it!”

Barnaby sitting on his board in the water, smiling

Shot from both land and in-water by filmmakers Robert Blackett, Seth Hughes, Adam Norris and Malcolm Anderson, with the final cut and edit by Rob and Barnaby, they aimed (and succeeded) to showcase the epic conditions the UK shores have been blessed with over the colder months. The film follows Barnaby from Cornwall to Scotland, scoring the best our coastlines had to offer. “In the film you’ll see when some friends and I travelled right to the very north of the UK for a swell. We arrived late and woke up super early. Through the dark we could see the grey spray and white water of perfect right barrels. We surfed all day in the freezing water and I had so many good ones. Sharing it with the boys made it pretty special and very memorable.”

Icy road trips and solid days means surfing in the UK over winter isn't for the faint-hearted, with sea temperatures dropping to 5 degrees Celsius in the northern regions. “I find the start of the winter is always hardest, but by the time it’s at its coldest in January or February I’m used to it and don’t really feel it!” A good game plan is essential if you’re going to make it through unscathed, “My wetsuits from C-Skins are so good. If I do get cold after a long surf I just drive home in my waterproof Robie and get straight in a hot shower.”

Barrels, empty line-ups and heavy beach breaks; Satori certainly documents a fruitful winter filled with good waves and good friends at a few lesser-known spots. Whilst most people turn to hibernation and watching the storm through their windows, Barnaby explains how he keeps up his fitness through strength and conditioning training three times a week with his coach Jack Birch, “It can be hard when the waves are pumping and I’m tired but I’ll always try and get three sessions in.”

Barnaby doing an air

With the end of winter in sight, Barnaby is back out on the Qualifying Series contest circuit and stoked to travel and share waves with his friends, “When I’m doing the QS in Europe I always travel with the same crew.” We’re excited to see where his focus and ambition leads him through 2023.