If you wanted to talk about Vintage our next rider would be front of the que! Not that I would ever want to offend anyone(sorry buddy😉) but I remember our next rider when I first picked up a bodyboard 31 years ago and I remember him being one of the founding Brits to charge the North shore of Hawaii in 93 paving the way for fellow Brits to follow the legacy in the years to follow.
A lot of us looked up to him and he got regular coverage in British bodyboard mag "Threesixty" but disappeared off the scene for a while.
I can happily report that like so many of us, that Bodyboard spark has been reignited in his belly after 17 years and he has been seen charging this winter and hopefully he will stick around on the belly for a while.....
Please let me re-introduce Colin Stirling.
" I’m 47 years old and live in Carbis Bay Cornwall, I started bodyboarding in 1985 aged 13, at the time my parents had a hotel in St.Ives and I bought a ‘Morey Boogie 139’ which had screw in fins from a local guy.
I started bodyboarding at my local break Porthmeor, removed the fins from the boogie board and I was hooked.
About 12 months later I bought my first original Mach 7/7 and by 1988 had entered a few local competitions.
I was pretty much the only bodyboarder at my local break for a few years and I remember getting the imported American Bodyboarding Magazine issues when they came out and basically was blown away by what Stewart and others were doing.
I remember being influenced by Stewart’s style and because I was bodyboarding with mainly stand up surfers they also influenced my riding.
A healthy crew at St Ives started and we would all push each other and have loads of fun and we would just bodyboard the waves on the Cornish North and South Coast and travel together.
I was more into my free surfing but ended up doing the British tour with Dan Catten and others and ended up winning a few competitions.
I went to University for 4 years and trained as a teacher and in between travelled and competed and worked as a beach lifeguard.
In 1992 I represented the British Team at the World Amateurs in France and came 26th, I remember Brian Wise was runner up at that Competition.
I got sponsored by Morey Boogie and got a Wildcard entry for the Morey Pipe contest 93/94 and spent 6 weeks on the North Shore with fellow Brit Johnnie Wells. I ended up surfing in my first heat against Mike Stewart in small Pipe and didn’t progress but had an amazing experience.
I continued to bodyboard and travel up until 2002 when I stopped bodyboarding, I was settled teaching in Cornwall and wasn’t travelling as much and needed a fresh challenge so took up stand up surfing at the age of 30 which I continued up until a few months ago before getting back on the bodyboard and have been so stoked again, having a blast bodyboarding the Cornish waves again.
There are quite a few guys who I used to bodyboard with who are back on it which is really motivational. At the moment I am riding a Science Mike Stewart Loaded but am looking to add more boards to my quiver.
I’ve been really lucky and have body-boarded and surfed many places over the years: Indo, Auz, Hawaii, France, Canary Islands, Morocco, Ireland, Scotland, California, Portugal, Fiji and will be trying Costa Rica later this year, with my wife and two sons aged 10 and 13 who are getting into their bodyboarding.
For the last 9 years I have been working as a Response Police Officer for Devon and Cornwall Police. I work shifts and this means I get plenty of water time which is great, I have kept fit doing the odd triathlon here and there and have kept my running going which has helped my bodyboarding.
My favourite bodyboarders would have to be Stewart, Macca and Ryan Hardy. I just love their style, where nothing seems forced also, some of the stuff Hubbard and the other guys bust now is insane!
I only went to the North Shore once-Winter 93/94, these were the only photos I got from Hawaii!
The Board in the pics has a story behind it, I was on the North Shore for the first and only time for a 6 week trip- within a few days I had my Morey Mike Stewart Turbo 3 x Flex Core stolen from where I was staying. I saw Stewart on the beach and told him my problem. ‘No worries’ he said ‘Meet me at the road near Backdoor tomorrow at 8am and I can get you a board’
I asked him how much he wanted for a board? ‘50 bucks’ was his reply.
The next day I waited by the side of the road where he said and he turned up in his car,opened the boot and said ‘ You can have this board that I have been riding!’It was his Morey Turbo 3 X Flex Core with some elbow creases on the deck. I gave him the 50 bucks, used the board for the trip - but stupidly sold it when I came home for £50- can’t remember who I sold it to or where it went! But Mike Stewart made my trip memorable!
I remember meeting Johnnie Wells there and we were the only two bodyboarders on the North Shore that season. I watched Tamega win the 94’ Pipe contest in that famous giant out of control Pipe with his infamous charging and ‘Death Roll’.
Unfortunately I didn’t go back but a load of Brits went the next year: Damien Prisk, Mark Stevens, Rob Barber, Martin Craven, Johnnie Wells, James Hardy.
I would like to thank the continued support of " Off the beaten track surf shop" in St Ives they were my first ever sponsor and still sponsor me to this day....
By the way Stewart still ripping in his 50s is inspirational!
Colin it is inspirational you are back on the Lid and if you keep it up for just 3 more years you will be in the same league as Stewart, thanks for the interview bro 😎🤙🏻
Photo credits include: