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All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

- JRR Tolkien


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Cold UK Surf Produces the Perfect Wave

Ever wondered what it's like to surf in the cold water of the North Cornish Coast? Pro windsurfer Sam Sills takes it on and stumbles upon an epic day.

WRITTEN BY

Sam Sills

When the planets line up and a blue moon shines, North Cornwall offers world class surfing conditions. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s one of the most beautiful places imaginable.

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Rare light from the low clouds and fast moving storm

An afternoon in April 
From the North Cornish shores

It was just one of those days that never happens: the only people in sight were a handful of frozen surfers on the cliff, we got out the car and climbed up to join them. In this situation there’s always a strange tension in the air, everyone’s starring, no one’s speaking, all pondering on the same thing…

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The passing storm

Go or no? Casually, the break explodes and a massive 6ft barrel peels 100m right to left, quite clearly answering the question in our minds. Five strangers instantly turn and run back to their cars, instructed by the ocean. It’s spring tides so we all knew there wasn’t much time before the break disappeared. Putting my leg through the wetsuit arm sleeve and tripping over my leash (classy), I rushed to get down the beach.

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Getting ready on the rocks

The tide was coming in and the current was ripping like a river already. For the first five waves, I got absolutely smashed, not catching a single thing. After 30 minutes of mindless paddling, this terrifying peak arrived straight to me. I turned and paddled like a maniac getting naturally pressure washed in the face, the offshore wind was so strong! It broke and I was in heaven.

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The perfect wave

I had this surge of immense adrenaline during the session; the atmosphere in the water was so alive because of the wind. After every wave it was like a mini 10 second storm and the low fast moving clouds added something extra I haven’t really experienced before. It’s hard to put into words. I think the best way I could describe it is that feeling you get when you go for your normal boring shopping trip and then there’s some incredible street musician or artist, you know the type of random performance that you’re not expecting and ends up being totally mind blowing? I guess it was similar state of “wow-ness”. The rest of the session unfolded like a gift and the 5 of us strangers shared an epic hour of waves.

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Surfer about to climb 200 ft back to the car

There’s only one thing better than these random amazing days and that’s catching them on camera. Big thanks to Martina Reino from Gran Canaria, she nailed it.

Images © Sam Sills and Martina Reino

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Welcome to the new OutdoorJournal.com

A reflection of our new team and iterative process of regular updates to our design, editorial content, business model and much more.

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WRITTEN BY

Apoorva Prasad

In order to achieve our long-term goals, we’ve had to learn some hard lessons, undertake pivots and become more of a tech startup than “just a magazine”. I’ve personally had to go from being “just a journalist” to being the CEO of a tech startup, raise outside funding and relearn software development, nearly 20 years after I quit engineering school in Maryland to climb in the Himalayas, travel and become a storyteller.

You’ll start to see a brand new look to our website and other properties, as well as be able to undertake trips on The Outdoor Voyage (www.outdoorvoyage.com), which we’re also launching via trip pages on The Outdoor Journal itself.

Call us what you will, but The Outdoor Journal & Voyage stands for one thing: to educate, inspire and enable all peoples to enjoy and experience wilderness.

This is also an acknowledgement of the reality that the media industry as we knew it for the last hundred years is essentially dead, that nearly all advertising dollars are scooped up by Facebook and Google today, not independent media businesses like ours; as well as the fact that our readers have constantly asked us who the best travel companies are, globally, and how they could book with them. Our business model is henceforth evolving into a hybrid travel + media model, where a sales commission from a scalable travel booking business is what (we hope) will fund our honest, authentic and independent editorial journalism. Importantly, our travel side seeks to promote ethical travel and sustainable development in local communities globally – Booking.com awarded us their second-highest startup grant award last December. Some links you follow may earn us a commission, and we will continue to have some sponsored content or advertising on our channels, but we will always strive to be transparent and explicit about what’s honest, genuine journalism, and what’s not – a rarity in most travel and outdoor media.

We’ve remained a family & friends-funded startup, but sometimes we pitch ourselves to investors calling it a “Wirecutter for adventure travel” and other times, a “HuffPo + Expedia for Adventure”. Call us what you will, but The Outdoor Journal & Voyage stands for one thing: to educate, inspire and enable all peoples to enjoy and experience wilderness. That is our purpose, and we will continue to build and grow towards goals that help us achieve it.

It’s been a long journey, and I invite you to retrace my steps, by reading all of the previous Editor’s Letters, which can be found under Journal.

Finally, should you wish to support our journalism, and everything we stand for, then please subscribe to our print magazine here.

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Recent Articles



Editors Letter. Issue 14. Winter 2017.

“Memory conspires against nature. The forgetting can begin in the instant that a change takes place… if you’re unaware of the animals’ past presence, then their absence will seem perfectly natural, and the question of whales* in the future simply will not occur to you.” J.B. Mackinnon, The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be.

Editors Letter. Issue 13. Spring 2017.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” JRR Tolkien

Editors Letter. Issue 12. Autumn 2016.

“The condition of man is already close to satiety and arrogance, and there is danger of destruction of everything in existence.” Kalyana to Onesicritus, 327 BC

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