SRFACE Diaries gives you a peek into the lives of our ambassadors. Because we all surf but have so much more that makes us interesting human beings. This week: Surfer, photographer and student Izzy Henshall from Cornwall, United Kingdom. Images by Raskal.
How did you start surfing?
I started surfing about thirteen years ago when my dad pushed me into my first wave at four years old. As nearly my whole family surfs, I have always been in or around the sea whether I was surfing, swimming, bodyboarding or taking photos. But I’d say that my proper obsession for surfing started about three years ago when I started longboarding.
Why do you surf?
Surfing has become a part of my life now and I can’t imagine living without it. There are so many things that I love about surfing but I think the best thing is the feeling of gliding along a wave and only having to think about what’s going on in that moment.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
On a typical day in the summer if it’s looking like the surf will be good in the morning, I try to get up early and go. I’ll often have some fruit on the way to keep me going. The beach is a 10 minute drive from where I live. I spend at least a couple of hours surfing and then walk up to my grandparent’s house, who live above the beach, and hope that I’m there in time for my grandpa’s legendary pancakes haha. Then I’ll often spend the rest of the day either down at the beach or working at the surf shop (Sennen Surf Co).
That sounds tropical! What about winters in the UK?
In the winter when the days are a lot shorter, the weekends often revolve around what the surf is doing. There’s always a lot more swell and strong winds, which means we have to work out which breaks will be sheltered, and sometimes have to travel a bit further than we would in summer. My best days this year have been this summer when I’ve been able to surf all day and then meet my friends to go fishing and catch our own dinner.
What’s your favourite surf spot?
Living in Cornwall, which is on a peninsula, means that we’re surrounded by lots of great spots so there’s nearly always somewhere that’s got good surf. My local is about a 5-10 minute drive and that’s my go-to spot, I grew up surfing there and the landscape is beautiful. I always know other people in the line up which I can talk to and share waves with.
My favourite board
My 9’3” Zennor model by Parry Surfboards which James Parry and I shaped just before Christmas last year a few days before James moved to Australia.
Do you have a favourite surf movie?
I’d say that my favourite is ‘The Present’ because I love everything about it! I like the style of surfing, filming, and music. I think I actually downloaded most of the music from it after watching it for the first time a couple of years ago. Watching surf films always makes me want to go travelling because I would like to have the experience of surfing waves like these. But this is quite tricky at the moment while I’m still in college and also due to the current climate situation. I also love the film ‘Surfs up’… but who doesn’t, haha.
Any surfers who inspire you?
Having been surrounded by so many amazing surfers it’s impossible to narrow it down to just one. My Uncle, Sam Bleakley, is and always has been very inspirational to me. And my favourite thing is getting to surf with him and the rest of my family. Mike Lay is also an incredible surfer, I could watch him surf for hours and he’s always super friendly and often calls me into waves. I think Mike is one of the most stylish surfers around. James Parry has inspired me a lot with both surfing and photography: He’s been like a mentor to me over the past year or so making my boards and giving me lots of tips and is also one of the best all round surfers to have grown up in the UK.
Any people we should follow on Instagram?
There are so many accounts that I could mention but there are a few photographers and videographers in particular that really inspire me. Check out @nickpumphreyphoto, @gregwdennis, @warbey and @mr_guesty for some stunning photography.
Is there anything that you would give up surfing for?
Still deliberating on this one…
Time for pancakes?
Let’s go! 😀
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