In the heart of Newquay’s town, tucked away behind the towns busy exterior and vibrant beaches, lies The Surf and Skate Lab, situated on Tor Road. I spent the morning with Ashton Wadey, board shaper, laminator and film maker. Who opened my eyes to the world of surf and skate in a whole new light. You see, a laboratory it really is, a place for creativity to flourish, for ideas to be elaborated, for experiments to be carried out.
I took a stroll down to the Lab whereby I was greeted instantly by a hot cup of coffee, a friendly face and the sweet, yet strong smell of board resin! The smell of adventures waiting to be had, the smell of explorations, the smell of pure stoke when you surf a newfound wave. The smell of surfing and skateboarding.
The factory, obtains a level of professional yet personal ambience. Of course, the lab is a place where boards are hand crafted, repaired and adjusted, but it’s simply a place whereby you can escape the claws of society and dive into a haven of creativity. That is what The surf and skate lab is all about. Breeding creativity.
A laboratory is somewhere you carry out investigations, adjustments and experiments, somewhere to be creative… and all of the above are certainly embarked upon within the four walls of the factory.
Take, for example, young Sam Tooth. Sam’s a sponsored young stoke searcher, team rider for the Lab itself, shredding tarmac gnarlier than the pressure of upcoming exams and surfing breaks from the local bay, to the reefs in Barbados.
Sam Tooth aged 13 is truly living up to his ‘young grom’ title and is spewing creativity from the seams and is full of new ideas. He took it upon himself, with advice from his Dad, to create a totally unique board, personal to him to fit his style.
Ash and Sam have now made a hybrid board that some people would say isn’t possible… yet together, with inspiration and motivation have bread a new breed and Sam’s shredding till the stoke runs into sunset.
You see, this may appear to be simply an article about the surf and skate lab and what it stands for, but the message is so much more than that.
Within the world of surfing and skating you’re faced everyday with the chance to be creative and flourish in your own unique way. You’re not expected to live up to the expectations of the ones above you or perform ‘just like others’, you have the chance to produce your own pathway and make the sport you own. You’re free to experiment, you’re free to be yourself.
If we look at Sergio Yuppie, legendary downhill skateboarder, he conforms to no one, he slides down hills with his head to the floor creating sparks through gritted teeth! That, in society wouldn’t fit the ‘norm’ of downhill longboarding, yet Sergio’s made it his own.
Board walking upon waves wasn’t originally the ‘norm’ within the surf world and looked upon as utter madness, yet now, board walking is a huge part of the surf world.
So what I’m trying to say through sheer rambling and getting lost in a sea of creativity, is that Surfing and Skating is a totally free sport, you can do and be who you like and forever experiment within the sport as you never know when you’ll find another piece of you, you never even knew existed.
Photography credit: Ape House Media at the Surf and Skate Lab