In 1981 I first started to show a real interest in the weather and its implications towards that of surfing. As surfers we are at one with nature so we understand swells, conditions better than most and this took me to gradually develop my skills as a surf forecaster and oceanographer.
In the 1980’s the late Sean Collins in California guided me with his work towards quality surf forecasting and it was not too long after that by the early 1990’s I was doing live surf reports for the BBC as the official surfing correspondence for the south east. This ran for some 16 years where every Saturday and Sunday I would provide a live surf forecast of the conditions at 8 to 10 key surf spots and in the later years also a few international surf spots round the world. At my peak I was broadcasting on 4 radio stations and one television station.
During 1994 to 1998 I developed and ran and online surf forecasting website where I provided accurate surf reports for the south east region of England and then eventually the worldwide.
It was a sad day for me when after 16 years I threw the towel in and retired from official surf forecasting after the constant drain on my health of every Saturday and Sunday just took its toll and eventually I threw the towel in. I think at the end of the experience I was no longer getting the enjoyment from forecasting because everyone seemed to turn into a forecaster overnight with the birth of the internet, wave buoys and so much more, the real art of forecasting and the fun was taken out of it – it was now a high tech business. I was a traditional old skool style forecaster, I would look at the ocean, the weather systems, the sea bed and make calls live and instantly! I still believe that forecasting is an art and not something a computer software can get right all the time.
I was once called upon to predict surf for a surfing event, it was flat and they were going to cancel the semi’s and final that were to beheld that day, I correctly forecast a swell of 2 to 3 ft would arrive between this two hour window and it did… the event was a great success and a lot of fun. I remember the event organizer coming up to me that day and saying “mate, that was magic… knew you would find us waves”!, I am not a magician but I can try and find surf if there is any about to find.