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Beach Grit

London to become surf powerhouse!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Move over Australia and Hawaii!

I’ve been to London a good handful of times in my life and have always thoroughly enjoyed. The weather is mostly dour and the food tastes like boiled underpants but there is something about The Big Smoke that speaks to me. Maybe it is because I’m over 50% English, or so my grandmothers told me. The grandmother on my father’s side even told me I am 9th cousins to Queen Elizabeth. I spent some of my childhood wondering how many people would have to die for me to be King of England.

The other under 50% is German. A 60/40 split or possibly even 70/30. I don’t know because I haven’t done the genetic testing thing that tells everyone they’re 1% North African yet.

Have you? Genetic tested? Any surprises?

Well, there is a surprise coming from London. For today it was announced that the city is seeking to rival Hawaii and Australia as surfing powerhouses. Let’s read from Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun:

Swanley – 15 miles from central London and within the M25 – is being considered for a £20million artificial surf lagoon with cutting-edge wave machine.

Surf loving local Joby Ingram-Dodd, 37, who has been surfing for over 20 years, is fundraising £1.5m to get plans off the ground.

He made the decision after growing sick of making the 550 mile round trip to Newquay, Cornwall to take part in his favourite sport.

After years of struggling to find time to get to the coast, the father of two decided the most logical option would be to bring the ocean to the town’s 21,000 residents.

A crowd-funding project that aims to raise £20million to fund Surf London would pay for the cutting edge wave pool technology that creates the perfect artificial waves for surfing.

The proposed London Surf park will contain scuba and freediving pools, a climbing area, and a flowrider – a plastic wave that water is pumped over to surf on.

Joby said the park would provide school children and Londoners with the chance to try out extreme sports, such as surfing, that they otherwise may not have access too.

“I think it would be amazing to have an Olympic surf champion come from Swanley or London or wherever having learnt on a wave pool rather than coming from Cornwall or California.”

So? Are you excited for the champ from Swanley? And seriously, this little bit really made me think that once wave tanks are ubiquitous and basically the entirety of professional surfing then rich little nation-states can buy their way right in. If Dubai, say, built a Surf Ranch for every ten people then we’d have a Saudi champ within two decades, assuming the Saudis decided against getting as fat as they possibly can by eating powdered sugar donuts by the boxful.

Fucking Saudis. They are by far the worst.