Gran Canaria is already a favourite getaway for many Europeans. Year-round sunshine, virtually no rain and an abundance of home comforts have the tourists flocking in by the thousands. But Drift discovered a far better reason to visit - literally hundreds of hidden surf spots that can be yours alone to enjoy all year round.

Dreamt up over 20 years ago by Renaud and Thomas Cardinal, two French brothers with a passion for board making, UWL has grown to become one of the biggest factories in Europe, while building a reputation based on performance and quality. Rui Ribeiro talks with Renaud about the past, present and future of UWL...

In Senegal the deserts of North Africa meet the jungles of the tropics. It's an open–minded Islamic country of many cultural experiences and idiosyncrasies; it's also one of the safest and democratic countries in Africa. And of course there's the surf... Words: Mark Sankey Photos: Alexa Poppe

Photographer Ben Thouard joins the Oxbow team aboard the Windward as they trawl pristine Pacific atolls in search of adventure, virgin waves and new opportunities.

Tucked away at the top of a hill near Gwenver beach in Cornwall, Skewjacks was the definitive 1970s surf camp. Drift took four of its founding fathers - Dicky, Harvey, Jamo and Mickey - to the pub and reminisced about good times gone by. Words: Jamie Bott Credit & thanks to Graham Shephard & Mel Sedgwick

Rebel wave riders on a mission to enlighten the Western world to the true culture of the Middle East, blakkbox redefine the notion of surfers as beach bums who only care about the next wave. Photos: Cole Estrada & Anthony Allen

A worthy addition to European surfing culture, the surfilmfestibal festival attempts to connect the global surfing community through moving picture, art and education. Words: Howard Swanwick. Photos: surfilmfestibal

Championed by surfers in the know for over 30 years, but largely ignored by mainstream riders; has the time finally come for the Bonzer to shine? Words: Steve Croft & Mark Sankey Photos: Alexa Poppe

A surfer from Noosa's sun drenched shores obsessed with the dark world of gothic horror, Jai Lee's personal struggles and addiction to noseriding have twisted his creativity. Words: Chris Preston Photos: Thomas Robinson (pp 1&3), Andy Staley (pp4)and Dane Peterson

Chris Brunt chats to west Penwith's prodigal son and professional journeyman Sam Bleakley about his thirst for adventure and love of longboarding. [All photos by Chris Brunt.]

Luciano Burin catches up with Junior Faria, a pro surfer breaking the Brazilian mould, whose atmospheric photographs capture the happiness and freedom of surfing.


Should you be dreading the dredge?


February 06, 2013 | Words By: Hugo

Surfers Against Sewage is calling on communities in North Cornwall to submit opinions on a massive and potentially devastating coastal dredging proposal.


Marine Minerals Limited are applying for a license to remove millions of tonnes of sediment from North Cornwall’s sea bed as little as 200 meters offshore at some of Cornwall’s premier beaches, including; St Ives Bay, Porthtowan, St Agnes and Perranporth.

If you have any concerns about this proposal, please register them with the Marine Management Organisation by Friday, 8th February. The case officer at the MMO is Ellen Moir.

SAS first raised concerns about this issue when the new Protect Our Waves petition was launched in August 2012. There are many potential adverse impacts associated with a proposal of this type, but SAS is especially concerned about threats to vital coastal processes, the marine environment, marine wildlife and local surfing resources. The North Cornish coastline is a valuable natural environment, already supporting thousands of jobs and generating millions of pounds for the region. Surfing alone brings in £64 million to Cornwall’s economy and supports 1,600 full time jobs.

The dredging proposal targets tin reserves stored in the sand, washed out from Cornwall’s historic mining activity. The dredging areas Marine Minerals Limited has identified are also some of Cornwall’s premier beach resorts. The proposal requests permission to dredge as close as 200 meters from the shore. Several millions of tonnes of sediment will be removed, with approximately 5% of the sediment refined for further use and the remaining 95% returned to the sea floor.

Throughout the licencing application the MMO has an obligation to identify the potential worst-case scenario. SAS are contacting the MMO and listing the following concerns.

Coastal Processes:
Removing and replacing several millions of tonnes of sediment has the potential to disrupting the natural build-up of sediment. This sediment plays a vital role in encouraging waves to break offshore, dissipating the majority of the wave’s energy before the waves reach the shore.

Disrupting the sediment could also impact on sand levels in the intertidal zones and above the high tide line at the beach. This could significantly reduce the quality of surfing waves and impair the beach experience for local residents and tourists.

Reanimating pollutants:
Disrupting the sediment around the river mouths at St Ives Bay, Porthtowan, St Agnes and Perranporth could also reanimate pathogens associated with Combined Sewer Overflow discharges and heavy metals used in mining. These could have serious impacts on the health of water users and the wider environment

Flora and fauna:
Removing millions of tons of sediment, processing it, then dumping it back on the seafloor it will impact biodiversity in the area. The species potentially at risk include seals, sharks, dolphins, crustaceans (crabs, lobsters etc.), sea fans and many more. They all play important roles in regulating our marine environment and support wildlife watching eco-tourism and diving. The special flora and fauna obviously support the important fishing economy, culturally important to the region.

SAS Campaign Director Andy Cummins says: “Disturbing and removing significant amounts of sediment from the North Cornish coast has the potential to devastate the fragile and complex environments that support surfing, tourism and fishing. SAS are raising these concerns and will continue to engage through the licencing application and we urge any interested parties to do the same.”

SAS will continue to consult on the proposal and ensure that surfers, waveriders and coastal communities are represented throughout the licencing process. You can support SAS’s concerns on this dredging proposal by signing the Protect Our Waves petition at protectourwaves.org.uk

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