The Watersplash St Ouen's Bay Jersey
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Surfing at The Watersplash

Jersey has been a surf destination for eighty years and for a few years was one of the most important surf spots in Europe. At one stage, Jersey was considered to be the surf capital of Europe. In the 1960's thousands of people packed St Ouen's Bay to watch the British Surfing Team riding boards made locally by one of Europe's only board manufacturers, Freedom Surfboards. The first Jersey Surf Club was created in 1923 by Nigel Oxenden and a group of friends, this was probably Europe's first Surf Club and surfing is still taught in the same place today at the thriving Splash Surf Centre.

Surfing at The Watersplash

 The first surfing championships in Jersey took place at the Watersplash in 1963. In the 1960s and 70s Jersey was a surfing mecca, hosting a number of European surfing championships. In 1968 five out of six of the British surf team who travelled to Puerto Rico for the world championships were Jerseymen and over the next two years the club staged the first two European Championships, both being won by Jersey's Gordon Burgis. During the 1970s Jersey was also one of the most renowned places for shaping surfboards. Steve Harewood started Freedom Surfboards when there were only a couple of other places making surfboards in Europe, Bilbo and Tiki in the UK and Balin Rot in France.

Surfing has kept its base around the Watersplash and continues to thrive. In more recent times Jersey Surfboard Club has hosted a number of large scale surfing events, with one of the larger events being the 2009 European Championships with Ben Skinner winning the longboard title. The Jersey Surfboard Club has approximately 500 members, with over half being juniors so the future of surfing in Jersey is looking bright. Come and join us!

Many thanks to Dave Ferguson of the Jersey Surfboard club for his help with the photographs.

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