Wind, some sunshine and incredible live music, made for a fantastic weekend for the SWA at Beach Break Live. Duncan Dumbreck reports from the event.
The Dragons Den is a program that many of you will be familiar with, and has lead to many new products and businesses in the UK. Alongside Reggae Reggae Sauce, Beach Break Live has been one of the Denâ€™s biggest success stories. The festival sold exclusively to students, and based on an 8km beach in Pembrey Country Park, south Wales and for the first time hosting the Student X Games sounded like a party that the SWA ought to be involved in.
The festival nearly 20,000 strong featured big names such as Dizzee Rascal, Chase and Status, The Futureheads, Ben Howard, DJ Fresh, Maverick Sabre, The Maccabees, Friendly Fires, Labrinth and an SWA favorite Will and the People.
With a lineup like that it was never going to disappoint and with a howling 30 knot forecast for the first two days the SWA posse were loving the festival weather. While tents were blowing away we hit the water and showed off ourbest skills in the cross (very) onshore conditions. With near perfect forward loops being landed by Sam Sills, Jony Price and Sam Latham the competition was hot for the freewave competition. It turned out to be Ali Masterâ€™s relentless rocket air campaign that sealed victory in the single elimination. Sam Sills then led a ruthless comeback through every heat of the double of elimination eventually beating Ali Masters at his own game leading to a super final. In theÂ end the result of the super final went Aliâ€™s way as Sam struggled to land anything cleanly and Ali took the initiative sailing a solid heat to secure first spot.
With the SWA adding to the list of big names with the help of Andy â€˜Bubbleâ€™Â Chambers(JP, NeilPryde), Sam Ross(Tushingham, Starboard) and Jay Manning (Fanatic SUP), coming along to show us their skills, help out with the judging and demo the latest kit.
On the second day we had another solid day with the wind turning more onshore (if that is even possible) it was decided that a master blaster style format would be adopted with competitors racing to finish in front of a small crowd of braveÂ (or foolhardy) festival going onlookers. We even had a kitesurfer join in to test his speed. Rigging around the 4.2 mark, the competitors mostly chose to adopt wave kit in order to get through the whitewater with speed. A special mentionÂ has to go to Ed Strang who clung onto a 5.2 on a 120l board as it was his only kit. The winner was no great surprise with Sam Sills securing first place with his vast racing experience.
After the racing was over Mark â€˜Dingâ€™ Glendinning from Supersaturated took to the water with his water housing and SLR to get a few pictures amongst the salt spray and rain showers.
On Sunday Jim from Pura Vida arrived with some more SUPs and some nice weather allowing a windSUP wave expression competition to be held. With solid performances from Beaker Lindley, Sam Sills and Ali Masters once again an on form Sam Sills took the win.
The prizes for the event were provided by OnePeice and Supersaturated for all winners providing some much needed clean clothes to travel home in.
We had a truly epic four days and would like to say a massive thanks to all at Beach Break Live, especially Mark Carless the organizer of the Student X Games, and Lisa Kingston the SWA/BBL rep. There is already talk of how we can do it bigger and better next year. Watch this space.
All images courtesy ofÂ Burst Official Event Photography. For more images from Beach Break Live, check out our previous gallery courtesy of Supersaturate here.Â