July and August were widely referred to as the worst months of winter in the UK, with the jet stream (the undulating air current that blows west to east around Earth at an altitude of 5-7 miles high, that strongly influences our weather) sitting further south than usual and allowing a succession of low pressure systems to move over the UK. The result was many days that paired bad weather with poor surf. There were occasional windows of opportunity for surfers however, and sticking to the unseasonal theme, one of the best ones saw the south coast’s premiere winter break light up following the first named storm of the season in early August. Storm Antoni brought gusts of winds that reached almost 80mph to the South West, but before it made landfall it also sent a pulse of swell that peaked at 24 feet at 14 seconds. C-Skins team rider Adam ‘Bearman’ Griffiths normally has his hands full in early August running multiple beachfront businesses in Newquay, but the beaches were red flagged and few people were venturing out, so he was able to take a day to go barrel hunting.

adam bearman griifiths pulling into a barrel at Porthleven in early august

Bearman channelling a winter mindset in mid-summer. Photographed by @rtshots

Date: 3rd August 2023
Swell height and period: 12ft @12 seconds
Wind direction and strength: NNW
Location: Cornwall’s South Coast
Board: 6’4” Skindog Betta Twin
Wetsuit: Rewired 3:2 Mens Chest Zip Steamer

Tell us about this run of swell…
This definitely was a bonus summer swell. I hadn’t been surfing much in the run-up as it’s peak season for my business so I’d been busy with work, but this day came up and Tom Butler was keen for a surf day. We ended up having three surfs at three different spots down south that day.

And this particular session?
It wasn’t a perfect solid swell - it had peaked overnight so the swell was fading and it was an outgoing tide. The wind had picked up a bit again, although the faces were still clean, and there weren’t many other surfers out. There was a small 40-minute window where it turned on and I managed to snag a few waves.

Can you talk us through this wave:
On this particular wave I got a roll-in to the inside section which turned into a little nice little tube. It was certainly a rare thing for this spot at this time of year, and felt strange to be surfing here without booties on, so it was something to be grateful for!

Photos captured by @rtshots