August 6-8, Newquay, Cornwall
For some, summer is spent ticking off the months until winter. For others, it’s those months with a longer, wider board for riding waves. Either way, for us in the UK, Relentless Boardmasters provides that love for everyone – whether you prefer riding solids or liquids… or just watching the action unfold.
Work commitments meant we rolled into the Newquay campsite at about 10pm on the Friday night, and having been too slow on the uptake to book into the sold-out official RBM campsite, we were in what could only be described as the ghettos next door.
As we tried to squeeze the van through the masses of fancy-dress-clad revellers, people jumped on the roof, bodies lay in our path, and there was a sea of fires, tents and general carnage spread out as far as the darkness. Music from every angle drowned the sounds of drunken shouting through the masses, while flares lit up the night sky. RBM was officially upon us and it brought smiles to our weary faces… we just had to find a place to set up camp.
Boardmasters hits all the good spots – you’ve an epic recipe of surfing, skating, BMX comps, all topped off with a gleaming cherry of ultimate music, so no one comes away disappointed. The British Summer provided us with a lovely selection of every element it could offer, so the campsite was battered with wind and rain, then left to dry in Saturday evening sunshine. But was anyone upset by that? Of course not.
After waiting two hours for the shuttle bus on Saturday (that was everyone’s only complaint – though Relentless did keep us comfortable with some tunes, beverages, ponchos, and freebies), we made it into town to join the masses at Fistral beach. Despite the wind and rain, spectators filled the sand, the surf looked good and the comp was truly underway.
The atmosphere was buzzing, particularly as the guys ogled the bikini comp, while we sipped cider on the deck overlooking the sea. The retail area was packed out, and the skate competitions kept crowds in awe.
The surf competition is a 5* event on the surf calendar, attracting riders from around the world. When the sun finally shone on Fistral on the final day of the competition, Frenchman Marc Lacomare was sent into first place in the ASP European ranks after his battle with Kiwi surfer Jay Quinn. When there’s only 0.23 points between first and second, you know you’ve watched some decent surf.
Following some Newquay-style shopping, it was time to head back to the ghettos for some BBQ fun and a pre-festival bottle of Jager to celebrate the final night at Watergate Bay. It was then through lamenting that we realized we all only knew each other through a love of snowboarding – good times!
When it came to the music festival up at the Cornish cliffs of Watergate Bay, nothing could have gone better. The rain and clouds disappeared leaving a remarkable golden sunset and the music went down as well with the crowds as the Jagermeister and Desperados.
There was no stopping anyone, with different stages, bars, a funfair, retail and plenty of dancing all round. For me, Chase & Status were my ultimate favourite of the Saturday night, after they saw the crowds into the night during the epic sunset at the main stage, followed by a very sweaty DJ set in the pumping Relentless Stage.
The word on the street was Duke were excellent, and having seen them at Freeze last year, I’d not disagree with anyone. We also remember enjoying some impromptu dancing at the dance stage with a cyber-man… Everything seemed to be going down on every corner at RBM.
As the sun rose on the Sunday, the previous day and nights seemed a mere dream. We seemed to have gone through so much in only 36 hours, with only the face of reality waiting for us back in London. Thanks to Relentless, Vans and Desperados, thousands of people were made very happy, and even though it already feels like a lifetime ago, there’s no doubt once we’ve sufficiently recovered, we’ll be thinking of the next time we’ll see all our new RBM friends – when the water freezes over in November at Freeze.