On episode 30 of The UK Surf Show, we chat to Sandy Kerr, a surfer from the north east of the UK, who spends 7 to 10 months of year working and then spends the rest of the time surfing big waves around the world.
Sandy is a proper down to earth chap whose love for surfing started from a very early age when his dad opened up a surf shop but says he didn’t actually start surfing properly until about the age of 15.
His love for the north east and especially Tynemouth shines through in this episode and he says he loves nothing more than surfing his home breaks.
He works as a lifeguard for most of the year and last year managed to work in New Zealand as a lifeguard and says that it was a slightly different experience to working in the cold waters of the north sea.
Sandy Kerr on Big Wave Surfing
Sandy talks about how he got in to big wave surfing and the progression from beach break to point break on to a slab, and then, a bigger point break or slab up to getting closed down on at Mullaghmore in Ireland, and what it actually feels like and when you come up thinking ‘I’m OK, I’m OK’ only to be faced with the next equally enormous wave coming at you 20ft behind.
Sandy talks about surfing in Ireland with friend of the show Peter Conroy and jokes about how Peter put zero effort into making him feel a ease for his first time surfing big waves in Ireland by winding him up with comments like “Have you got a life vest? You’re gonna need it!” to the point that the next day he wore 3.
Sandy also says he still gets nervous, not so much about the actual surfing big waves, but more about the build up to the day with the messages flying back and forth, checking the weather charts and all the banter.
Free Diving and Fitness
Sandy explains a bit about free diving and how it helps with big wave surfing and breath holding and recommends that every surfer to take a course in free diving to give it a try. He also talks about some of the things he does for fitness including running and cross training and believes that if you train for everything then you are always ready for anything.
At the time of recording, Sandy was just about to start the David Goggins challenge and run 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours.
Its Geet Cold in the North sea
Geet, you say? So did Pete when Sandy said it. It’s a Geordie slang word meaning ‘very’!
So you know, if you have a Northerner is telling you its geet cold in the North Sea, it’s probably fucking freezing and anyone from anywhere south of him will probably need to wear 2 wetsuits if thinking about going.
That said, he still says it’s one of his favourite places in the world to surf or, if he could pick his home town up and drop it in New Zealand, that would be even better.
Northcore and Finisterre
Sandy’s been a team rider for Northcore for over 10 years now and an ambassador for Finisterre for about 5 or 6 years and says he absolutely swears by the products of both companies because they make stuff that actually works and lasts.
Sandy was an absolutely fantastic guest and is welcome back on the show any time he likes and we cant wait until we can get to surf with him at some point even if is just so he can laugh at how shit we actually are!