NAME: TOM BUTLER
WEIGHT: 80 KG
LIVES: CORNWALL, ENGLAND
The story starts here… Pushing for an invite into a Big Wave World Tour event was lots of fun and was my goal for about 2 years. Being part of the 24 man international invitees at the first ever Nazare challenge left me feeling very proud and hungry to do well in the event. Perhaps a bit too hungry. The heat didn’t start great for me. I like to steady the nerves and get off to a fast start catching a good wave within the first 5 minutes of a heat. This is how most good events start for competitors. From there on you build on that first score. Time went by during my heat and I hadn’t caught a good wave. Through frustration and adrenaline, I turned and went on a big ugly wave and took a heavy wipeout! The result was 5 days in the hospital, I suffered a Pneumothorax and nearly lost my left ear. Until you go you don’t know! Many lessons have been learnt from this incident. My love for the sport is at an all-time high and I’m really looking forward to returning back to Nazare to tackle the monster at the end of this filming series. For now…Enjoy the breakdown of my Nazare challenge experience, plus watch a few completed waves from past big wave seasons surfing Nazare.
I had to stay out the water for around 6 weeks after my Nazare wipeout. Returning to the freezing Atlantic ocean in the middle of February had never felt so nice! Stuffing a cut up camping roll mat down my wetsuit provided a little more cushion for my still tender ribs. Away I went, first into the Valentines memorial contest competing against a lot of good friends… A little set back with a tweaked back the week after the valentines event left me needing to lick my wounds a little longer… A quick fix for anyone is when your friend/board shaper calls you up and says let’s go board testing at Supertubes, the trips on me! This episode concludes at the English nationals held at the end of April. Surfing my way to a 3rd place finish left me fairly content, I’d bounced back from the Nazare wipeout and had plenty of fun along the way! Enjoy episode 2 of Think Bigger.
Surf therapy works fact, for the children for you and I. At the start of this episode, ‘m getting my fix of surf therapy surfing my favourite wave, Mullaghmore Head, Ireland. Fast forward to the middle of the episode and the children at the Wave Project can be seen tackling their own monster waves. No matter how big or how small that wave may be it’s still a challenge, rise to the challenge and embrace the challenge. The kids on my first 6-week course did exactly this. A huge shout out to my team of surf mentors who are to blame for the success of the Mid Cornwall project so far. Thank you all so much 🙂
Every surfer starts longboarding at some stage in life! 🙂 This summer I’ve been calling one of my best friends on the regular, asking to borrow his Longboard. The Bearman pro has come to the rescue many times. Using my 5’9 Burger fish has been my second go to board this summer. Keeping surfing fun is the most important factor. Using extra floaty boards works so well in the UK’s weaker summer waves. I’m about to collect my own Longboard any day now and can’t wait to have this discipline of surfing in my quiver! Think Bigger and beyond any board haters 🙂 The last part of this edit is a quick road trip mid-summer, very needed to score some barrels at this stage in the year!
This episode shows me returning to some bigger waves for the first time in 2017 – At home surfing the Cribbar reef in Newquay! Here is the link to the training section of the video. The episode finishes in Nazare. I’m warmed up and ready for the Nazare challenge 2017 / 2018. It’s time to face the demons and put last years wipeout behind me.
Filmed and Edited by Danya Schwertfeger