Picture this if you will: driving in your VW camper, the sun shining, surf board strapped to the roof, the window down, the Mamas and Papas belting out California Dreamin' and the sign for Newquay appearing just on the horizon -heaven! For many, this is what they live for. As the swell builds up in Cornwall, you will see processions of VW campers making their way down there. Assorted colours of vans - orange, blue, green, yellow and the occassional custom painted masterpiece - pass one another on small country roads. Even the most die-hard of cynical motorists can’t suppress a grin!
To meet this market demand for the surfing lifestyle, there has been a growth in VW camper hire, especially in the West Country. There are specialists in all fields waiting to help restore your old bus or dub, to sell you one or just to hire it out. There are also plenty of small businesses offering replacement pop-top bellows, VW lock repairs, replacement roofs, bespoke curtains and fully designed interiors. Why? Because the VW camper van has a loyal and devoted following. There is something magical and carefree about driving a VW camper van down to the coast to catch a few waves. Parking on a seafront will possibly capture more admiring gazes than your surf style!
As more and more surf wagons propagate the roads, this is a clear indication that this is a growing culture! The West Country welcomes the VW camper and the surfer, they go hand in hand. Unlike larger campers, the saying ‘small is beautiful’ is absolutely spot on when it comes to the V-Dub bus. Fellow motorists tend to forgive the VW camper as it slowly chugs up a 20% hill in Devon or Cornwall. During the summer months the West Country is full of tourists, but it is mainly in the month of September that serious surfers and fans appear. For in September the British National Surf Championships takes place at Fistral beach, Newquay. They head down to the surf hunting for that special wave which will set their blood rushing and their heart thumping. There is one particular wave known as the Cribbar or the ‘widow maker’; this wave is found just half a mile offshore from Newquay. Once a year, the sea and weather conditions produce a wave which can reach over 30ft. As Britain’s only legitimate big wave surfing spot, this small Cornish town has taken its place in UK surfing folklore – it may not be Hawaii, but you really can feel that buzz!