Winter in the UK bowed out with a bang this year, with the last week of the meteorological season delivering a solid swell and offshore winds for the south facing coasts under clear blue skies. Tuesday February 28th, the very last day of winter, was a particular stand out and as a result most of C-Skins’ UK team riders and supported surfers congregated along a particularly well known and heavily photographed stretch of reefs. All got incredible waves. Photographer Ben Hartley was swimming that day, and managed to line up with a few of the guys on the main peak, so for this Session of the Season we’re featuring three surfers on three waves from one very special day.

Date: Tuesday February 28th, 2023

Swell height and period: 4-6 foot

Wind direction and strength: Nor’easterly, 20 mph

Location: Cornwall’s South Coast

barnaby cox getting barrelled at porthleven

Barnaby Cox

Board: 6’0” x 18 ¾” x 2 7/16” Pyzel Ghost - it was actually my first surf on the board so I was figuring it through the day.

Wetsuit: Wired 5/4 (hooded), 3mm Wired gloves and 5mm Session boots.

Tell us about this run of swell…

I had just landed at Bristol the night before after competing in Morocco for a few weeks, and was getting busses throughout the night to get home. It was freezing cold outside and I didn’t really get any sleep, but I was buzzing because I knew it was going to be firing the next day. My friend and filmer Charlie Key picked me up from my house as soon as I got home and had sorted out my stuff before driving to the spot.

When I arrived…

I saw big powerful peaks unloading across the reefs. I was surprised it wasn’t as busy as I’d imagined, and after travelling for nearly 24 hours I was looking forward to jumping in the cold sea to refresh. I found it quite amusing that after travelling all around Europe for the QS, the best waves I’d found so far had been at home.

Can you talk us through this wave:

This one was just before I got out for my 30 minute break. I was getting more and more confident through the day, and this was only a smaller set wave, so I decided to pose for the photographers and put my arms up.

joss ash getting barrelled at porthleven

Joss Ash

Board: Brand new 6’2 Carl Welton round tail.

Wetsuit: Wired 5/4 hooded

Tell us about this run of swell…

The swell had been large for a number of weeks at home in North Cornwall and I was pretty surfed out running up to this session. On a small day surfing with my girlfriend, I’d dived off into the shallows and went head first into the sand. My neck had been super stiff and I had been surfing gingerly for a while.

When I arrived…

Reubyn’s [Joss's brother] birthday was on the 1st of March, so having seen this report we’d decided to head south and make a little holiday out of it for a few days. We woke up in the morning to the arrival of the swell, perfect offshore lines marching their way towards an excited crew. As the morning progressed the lines got thicker and more substantial. All the line-ups were working and spread the hungry crowd out. We waited until midday to get in as we knew that as the tide dropped and the swell increased we would get the best of the conditions.

Can you talk us through this wave:

I was selecting the slightly smaller, deeper, lefts that would come in every three sets. They would run along the reef giving a shallower more perfect barrel. I was still feeling very cautious about my neck, so I was guaranteeing my make rate of barrels. This wave was one of a row of perfect little peaks that swept in, adding to a nice afternoon of tubes - fast little take-offs straight into beautiful almond shaped barrels. It was feeling like the start of a fun week of waves. I got out to save energy for the evening, to eat and chat to old friends. We had the sun on our faces and everyone was stoked… Cornish winter swell at its finest!


surfer dan 'mole' joel in the barrel at porthleven

Dan ‘Mole’ Joel

Board: 7'4" Jim Banks "Hit The Road" (I was a bit over gunned to be honest).

Wetsuit: Wired 5/4

Tell us about this run of swell…

This was during a good week of swell. Before this week it had been a fairly lacklustre winter here. Then we had this good week. The two days before this session was bigger so I'd been on my 7'4" gun. I probably should have taken my shorter board in for this session. The 7'4" did help me get into a few nice and early, but I couldn't turn the bugger! The waves were a bit small and shifty and it was really inconsistent so hard to hook up with Ben. I got a couple though and one or two nice barrels.

When I arrived...

It looked better that it was! The swell was dropping and so was the tide so the waves were getting smaller throughout the session. I managed to snag a couple before the session went pretty flat. I remember it was blooming cold with that NE wind!

Can you talk us through this wave:

I got into this wave early, chose my line and tucked in. This one was gave me a good view but it pinched at the end. I remember I had a nice one the day before. Fingers crossed for a few more swells before it goes flat for the summer!