The Stable is proud to sponsor British women’s pro surfer Jessica Tuckman. As she gears up for a busy month of competitions this June, she tells us about the recent National Surfing Championships – and how even a seasoned surfer can get caught out by a rip.
My contest season kicked off at the beginning of May with the English National Surfing Championships at Perranporth. This is a prestigious event and attracts England’s top surfers, all fighting it out for the national title.
The first day of competition was glorious sunshine and clean, peeling waves – perfect conditions. I got to the consequential heats, as well as the women’s open quarters and the senior semi finals, on day two. On this day, the surf was more challenging; sets were coming in at a solid 6ft with a lot of swell. The surf was tough but I got out there in a heck of a paddle and caught waves.
In the seniors’ semis I was caught out by a freak wave that pushed me so far down I hit the sand. It snapped my surfboard leash (which is designed to withstand up to 8ft) leaving me out to sea with no board.
My surfboard washed close to shore where some other competitors rescued it for me. They saw I was still out there and alerted the lifeguards. I swam for a while but was being dragged in all sorts of directions and barely making any ground. I’m in the sea daily and understand rip currents yet still, with this amount of water moving it was almost impossible to get anywhere.
I decided the best and safest thing to do was go back out to sea where I could see fellow women competitors at the end of their heat, and waited for a jetski to take me to the shore. I got back alive.
I would have loved to make it to the final but I am thankful for the experience and happy to have the opportunity to compete in these tougher conditions; women have historically been put in the smaller, weaker waves. We have called for parity in conditions and in prize funds over the last few years and this is now being honoured in most UK contests.
All the action and adrenaline in this contest has left me ready to come out fighting at The Surfaced Pro event at Watergate Bay in Newquay next weekend (June 3 and 4), and the Night Surf here at Fistral Beach on June 16 and 17. The Stable is sponsoring the women’s division and I am stoked to represent them here at my home beach.
Thank you The Stable for supporting me and believing in me!
See you all at Fistral Beach