What We Ride: Part 2

In part 2 of what we ride we managed to catch up with one of our close friends, South Coast charger and all round nice guy Pete Geall.

Name: Pete Geall

What do you do? RNLI Lifeguard / Finisterre Warehouse Deckhand

(Photo Cred: Jason Dreyer)

How long have you been surfing? Long enough to be better than I still am! Still out there any opportunity I get mind. I just had a fairly wretched surf at 2ft Harlyn in North Cornwall. I reckon the first winter I surfed through was around when I was 13 to 14, once I'd put the yards through a winter that's when i really felt identified as being a 'surfer'. I used to bodyboard if it was bigger than head high and ride my standup if it was smaller, I'm always surprised more people don't take that approach now, bodyboarding is a great way to fasttrack your surf knowledge and timing.

I grew up in SE Cornwall, despite being 40 minutes from the coast I was fortunate that my Dad was a surfer and school teacher. We used to hit the water every weekend and after school in the lighter months. Full drop everything when the school bell would ring. Some of my most stoked surfing memories were sat outside my school gate waiting for my dad (he worked in an adjacent town) to pick me up to go surf whilst eating peanut butter sandwiches. Unbridled joy.

First Surfboard? A 6'2 'Best Ever' early 80's thruster - believe they were shaped in the 'badlands' of cornwall, around St Agnes. I cant remember the shaper, but imagine Joe (owner of Mango Surf) would know. It wasn't to bad for a grommet to be honest, fairly forgiving full rails and close on 3 inches thick, flatish rocker.

My parents recently moved house and my dad put said surfboard up for sale at a local auction house, it sold for €22 which turned out to be €16 after the fees. Cheers Dad - unsentimental old git.

Notable Surf Trips? I've been fortunate to live through a period of time when surf travel has been incredibly affordable. People often talk through rose tinted glasses about the past, but the access to affordable, quality equipment and travel has never been easier than now. That being said, as I enter my thirties I am becoming more conscious of my impact on the planet and have tried to reduce my air travel and travel by car/ferry where possible. Barring the yearly blow out to Western Australia, where my girlfriend is from (no one is perfect).

My first proper surf trip was with Joe who now runs firstmasonicdistrict alongside Star Surf Camps when I was 18. Nothing that adventurous (although it felt it at the time) but a true right of passage trip to Bali, Indonesia. Joe had not only been the year before but was a few years older than me, he seemed like a sensei of surf knowledge back then. I'm stoked he is able to share his passion for surf travel with Star Surf Camps and firstmasonicdistrict.

I have spent much of my twenties in WA, lifeguarding around Margaret river. The variety and consistency of surf, coupled with the access to space and wilderness is unparalleled.

In terms of true adventure, a few years ago me and my pal Harry hiked out to the most remote beach in the U.K. In the NW of Scotland. We had to take all our supplies (budget style), camped out in shepherds shelters, dodged MOD live firing ranges and drank a lot of whiskey. That was the hardest, most beautiful surf trip i've ever been on. We surfed places most people will never even see.

Current Equipment? I've been fortunate enough to have been supported by Formula Energy Surfboards for about 5 years now. They are based in Tweed Heads, Australia. Eden Scallan who runs the operation has always been very generous with his provision of team seconds, and assorted odds and ends that come from the factory.

(Photo credit: Luke Gartside @Lugarts)

(Photo credit: Josh Bystrom - Cloudbreak, Fiji)

The surfboards I have been riding are of USC construction, which consists of  carbon fiber taped rails, stringerless blanks are vacuum glassed. All in all they are incredibly versatile, well built surfboards which have an average lifespan much longer than a typical surfboard. I've only snapped one in 5 years and that wave would have broken an Ox!

I tend to put any second hand surfboard through the racks at firstmasonicdistrict so keep your eyes peeled. It's so good to see a fully stacked rack of second hand surfboards in a surf shop, I can't quite think of another like it in the SW. Perfect for student frothers and testament to the surf froth of Joe and Ross who run the show.

Any final thoughts, inspirational quotes ect? I see Joe's passion and belief in the value of a physical surf shops manifested in firstmasonicdistrict. Bricks and mortar surf shops are busy figuring out their place in our 'brave new surfing world' but a surf shop for the local community will always live on. A student town like Plymouth deserves that place. Somewhere you can drop by for a browse, buy a block of wax, do the under arm test on a full rack of second hand surfboards. Dream of a freshy, a birthday present for a girlfriend or a chin wag about how bad the surf has been in the U.K. Support Local.

At Mango we love to surf, so if you need any more help about which model or size surfboard will be best for you, or anything else just drop us a call, an email or a facebook message. We want to help find you that magic board, set of fins or wetsuit:

Phone: 01752 229624

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: firstmasonicdistrict

Instagram: firstmasonicdistrict

Live chat: firstmasonicdistrict.com

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