The surf pumped and a quiver of raked single fins glinted in the golden spring light. Twelve of the UK’s most stylish surfers looked out across Fistral Beach. They had been assembled from the Celtic reaches for the 1st Annual Reef Single Fin Classic Invitational, a fitting climax to the Approaching Lines International Festival of Surf. After three days of film premieres that had excited, delighted and entertained, and with the sound of cinematic stoke still ringing in everyone’s ears, it was time to return the froth to the line-up!

For three nights, The Lighthouse Cinema in Newquay had shone brightly as a beacon of stoke, signalling to the clans that it was time to come together to celebrate the forthcoming season and it was packed to the rafters as we showcased a smorgasbord of the very best surf movies from across the globe, from homegrown talents including Tim Davies, Patrick Blades and John Eldridge who were in the house to present their premieres to international names.  Award winning Australian filmmaker Kai Neville and South African ripper Brendon Gibbens brought the UK Premiere of ‘Cluster’ to a fully frothed full house and were treated to a 6 mil surf the following morning with Archie ‘Vintage Grom’ Cross and Angus Scotney who showed the pair some good old fashioned UK hospitality. Multi-award winning ‘70 Something’ went down a storm, with the pure power of stoke dialled up to 11, bringing us a side of Brazilian surfing never before seen, mixing the history of the lifestyle with a slew of rad surfers ripping it up on old single and twin fins. New York producer and editor Isabel Freeman was on hand to present ‘Stephanie in the Water’ and explain the art of shooting a fly on the wall documentary with the 6x world champ. But it was the groms who maxed out The Frothometer Mark 2 – a device that uses NASA technology to record and analyse viewer stoke. Our “Saturday Groms Go Free” screening with Newquay BID, saw the gremmies raise the roof for the maxing barrels in ‘Iconic’ and the inspirational ‘Chasing the Dream’.

During the break the surf hungry hoards whet their whistles with a drop or two of Sharp’s finest ales and descended on the exhibition of vintage surfboards, curated by Alasdair Lindsay that highlighted the depth of surf culture that Cornwall boasts. These awesome boards by the likes of John Conway, Nigel Semmens, CJ, Tris and Chops Lascelles were from an era when the UK was the undisputed European surfing superpower. Martin Jackson showcased his amazing ‘Adventures in Lo-Fi’ surfcraft and to balance out the new school there was a super light 4th Surfboard Alan Stokes model as well as a Squire asymmetrical carbon fibre finless rabbits foot spoon with artwork by Stevie Gee.

Now, after 14 froth filled films we were ready to get wet. Assembled style-masters included Ben Skinner, James Parry, Alan Stokes, Gee Piper, John Eldridge, Tom Anderson, Toby Donachie, Sarah Bentley, Sam Lamiroy, Sam Boex, Neil Holland and Archie ‘Vintage Grom’ Cross. Each had a slightly different approach to the single fin brief. Alan and Toby were both riding stubby, light shortboards each with a huge raked foil, where as James and John both had longer more traditional steeds. In between was an amazing plethora of wave riding vehicles.

In true old school style there were two 40 minute heats of six surfers, best three waves counting. No priority, no WSL, just good vibes, good rides and good times. Sam Lamiroy laid down some huge gauging turns on his pulled-in diamond tail, Toby Donachie peppered his first right with a barrage of explosive off the tops, while Sam Boex slinked smooooth rail turns along the head-high walls. There was ultra styling’s from Mr James Parry, taking off a little to the south he picked some super long rights, littering them with big rail turns, sweet stalls and even some neat switch stance action. Gee Piper oozed pure speed and flow on his vintage ride, while Ben Skinner maxed some powerful carves, sprinkled with some old school panache.

No one envied the judges their task. It was Hendrix vs The Stones, Zeppelin vs Joplin, it was the White Stripes vs Royal. It was speed, power, flow mixed with stoke while balls out going for broke. And it was Alan Stokes who lifted the trophy and pocketed £200, after a backside attack that blew spray high out of the top of the wave, linking turns all the way down the beach into Little Fistral. The crowd whooped.

And so we ventured away into the fading afternoon sunlight, knowing our dreams would be filled with the finless spinning of Mr Derek Hynd, the stratospheric airs of Jack Freestone and the memory of staring up at Steph Gilmore, 20ft tall, charging huge hollow, deep Azure P-Pass with a huge smile on her face. For that is where surf films belong, larger than life, louder than life, all encompassing – making us forget the humdrum, spared the ping of other next email arriving, disrupting our engagement, it’s about total absorbtion, being in the moment, letting go and sharing the stoke. For that is the true essence of surf movies, and that is what waveriding is all about. See you in 2016!

All Images: Mat Arney except where credited

Film: Philly Lewis

Reef Single Fin Classic Invitational

Winner: Alan Stokes

2nd: Sam Boex

3rd: Sam Lamiroy

4th: Toby Donachie

Most Stylish: Sam Boex

Best Manoevre: Sam Lamiroy

Best Wave: Alan Stokes

Approaching Lines International Festival of Surf by Reef

Best Film: Cluster Dir. Kai Neville

Viewers Choice: 70 Something Dir. Rafael Mellin

Froth Factor: Expencive Porno Movie Dir. Tim Ojeda

YEEEEEEW! K Award: Seeking Ombak Dir. Tim Davies