Monthly Archives: January 2012

Surf Academy

From July – September 2008, 12 children from Rest Bay Lifeguards Club worked with author Tom Anderson, illustrator Dom Williams and Chris Morgan from Canllaw Online to create a digital Graphic Novel. It was shown as part of the Surf Cult Exhibition in Porthcawl Grand Pavilion from 13-23 September 2008.

The project was a partnership between Academi, Bridgend Arts Development, Canllaw Online, Rest Bay Lifeguards, Bridgend Libraries and Harris Printers.

Rest Bay Lifeguards were encouraged by Tom Anderson to write a selection of poetry, news stories and short stories about surfing and their experiences of lifesaving. They worked with graphic artist Dom Williams of Malarky Arts to create a series of images to illustrate their writing.

These were then used to compose a digital graphic novel, designed byAndre Van Wyk, Bridgend Arts Development Officer. A further workshop included recording the stories with Chris Morgan from Canllaw Online and ultimately producing an audio digital graphic novel which was a major component of the second Surf Cult Exhibition at Porthcawl Grand Pavilion. Harris Printers, Porthcawl sponsored the production of 200 copies of the CD and a small booklet version of the Graphic Novel, which was gifted to interested people during the Surf Cult Exhibition.

As part of the Surf Cult Exhibition, over 1500 people were also able to enjoy an Academi relaxing reading corner, which contained a selection of surfing magazines and books supplied by Bridgend Libraries, as well as scrap books detailing the work produced by the Rest Bay Lifeguards for the Surf Academi Project and a selection of Surf Diaries.

Visitors comments included:

’Very impressive and varied – nice mixture very enjoyable.’

’Nicely put together. Alot of thought and imagination. Well done.’

’Excellent Presntation. Great photographs and displays 10/10 for presentation. Come again please.’  Town Mayor

Peter Finch said: ‘This is an exciting new project, which shows how writing can be part of the language of the real world’.

Surf CultAndre Van Wyk said: ’The Surf Academi project was a great addition to Surf Cult ’08 as it directly engaged young people in a meaningful and creative way. The end result was superb and I think it’s a great example of making the arts relevant to the lives of youth.’

Surf Cult Tom etcTom Anderson said: “The fact that Academi asked me to help create a graphic novel based around surf culture shows how things have changes since the days when being a surfer meant you were an outcast. I think the ocean is one of the most inspirational subjects any writer or artist could ever look to, and encouraging the youth of Wales to grow up with a love of the sea is something I’ll always be keen help out with.

The stories and poetry they came up with were incredible, and the end product completely blew me away. I’ve been sitting at home thinking of characters for a graphic novel now – I’m totally sold on the idea.”

Surf Cult Creative Writing

Frank the Great

The bright-red alarm danced across the bed. It was 8am of the last school day that week – about time Frank got ready for school.

By the time Frank was on his way, his face was as red as his alarm clock. The reason was that Frank wore his wetsuit at all times – school, bed, in the bath, out at parties, on the bus – even to his grandparents’ house for Sunday lunch.

This way, any time the surf came up he could be in there in a flash. You see, nobody knew about his passion – it was a total secret. Like Superman or Spiderman, he could just tear off his shirt and tie, and transform into his surfy alter-ego.

Everybody thought he was a nerd. He had big round glasses with a chequered suit and brown school trousers that were held up to his chest by a cheap leather belt. The trousers were always tucked into a pair of white socks that had had his name embroidered into them: ‘Frank Simons.’

But, unknown to the rest of the world, Frank Simons was the best surfer ever to set foot in the earth’s oceans.

There were ten surfers at school who all the girls loved and wanted to be around. On the hottest day of the year everyone turned up for morning registration in shorts, skirts or bikinis (except Frank of course, who was still in full uniform to hide his wetsuit).

However, as the day went on, Frank’s face got redder and redder. In the end he could take no more, and he ripped off his uniform. To the amazement of his fellow pupils Frank was now standing in the middle of a Science experiment in his pure white, short-sleeve wetsuit.

He ran for the door – but the ten coolest surfers got there before him, and wouldn’t let him out – until he’d faced up to them in a massive surf competition.

The next day the red alarm clock woke him as usual at 8am. He jumped out of bed, and ran to his garage to get his surfboard. He ran to the beach, where the ten best surfers were waiting, also in their wetsuits and with boards under-arm.

They ran to the sea and a huge wave suddenly appeared on the horizon. It was the biggest wave any of them had ever seen. It turned out to be a tsunami. Nobody could believe it – especially when Frank caught it! The biggest wave that had ever broken on the planet.

It was all over the news. He became the coolest guy in the school. And the girls no longer wanted to know the other ten surfers – whose abilities were nothing compared to Frank – the greatest surfer of all time. A boy who still wears his wetsuit, day and night, so that when the waves come calling, Frank is ready and waiting…

Surf’s Up

The surf’s up high,
Where’s my board?
The sky is blue,
Oh, my Lord!

The tide is in,
My wetsuit on.
Must race to the beach,
and join the throng!

Everyone’s there,
The excitement is high.
Waves crash to the shore,
Spray rises to the sky.

Must catch a wave
And try not to fall.
No time for errors –
Must keep standing tall.

Success at last!
Had the wave of the day,
And went home happy.
Hip, hip, hooray!


Nippers play in the sea and sand.
I sometimes see that dogs are banned.
People play and mess about,
But lifeguards still keep a keen lookout.
Come and join in with me –
You will have fun, you’ll see…

Hannah Gibbons

I wake up each morning
with surfing on my mind
I rush down to the beach
Ready to catch the tide
I paddle out with my board
all waxed up
Ready for the waves to blow my mind.

The surf is big and white against the golden sand
Crashing on rocks with spray on the land,
Top turns, bottom turns carving my name on the waves
Front side, back side doing my style,
The buzz is captured and memory saved.

Rest Bay Rap
Hannah Gibbons
As I stand on my board
Looking cool and chic
I’m ready for the wave of the day
To blow my mind away
Listen to what I say
Hey, this will be a good day.

Rest Bay Guards are cool and sweet
Ready for action always on their feet
Tooled up guys walking the beach
Ready for action on their feet.

Coz I need help
I know where to go,
The lessons are wasted
School is too slow
The Bay is the place
For action and style
As I strut on my board
With mile long smile.

Rest Bay Guards are cool and sweet
Ready for action always on their feet
Tooled up guys walking the beach
Ready for action on their feet.

With sun in my hair
I have to play fair
Goofy feet ,bottom turn
Front turn
Back turn
Front flip
Three sixty
They all look nifty
And so shifty

Rest bay you are so beautiful
Cool and sweet
Tooled up guys on their feet
Ready for action

I take a look at my life
Even my mum says I’m crazy
On my board looking wavy
And loud and so tall
I my fall
On the sand
Landing on my hand
Hey, watch my smile
It will last just a while
Or as long as a mile
I can see the Bay
And Hey,
This is where I want to stay
In the surf or the pudding
Movin’ an snakin’
Rollin’ an makin’
Hey,  is this my day?

Rest Bay Guards are cool and sweet
Ready for action always on their feet
Tooled up guys walking the beach
Ready for action on their feet.

Rest Bay rox
With their red an’ yellow sox
I see the blocks
Or the frocks
Looking at clocks
Makin’up mocks
Of the boards in my head
When I’m ready for bed
All I see is the white
Spraying and flaying an’
Swirling an’ gleamin an’
Sparking an’ frothing
Deep into the night.

Hey, this is the day
After day,
after day
Listen to what I say.
What I say.

Restbay Lifeguards
Joanne Morgan

The sun is out
The day is bright
All wetsuits are on
The sea is in sight

Sprinting towards it
Gasping for air
Strides getting shorter
Our feet remain bare

The water is icy
The waves are rough
It’s hard to breathe
But us lifeguards are tough

We battle the waves
Dive below to the sand
Passing waist depths
Now finding it hard to stand

Arms reaching out
Legs kicking like mad
Body’s are tiring
Aching real bad

The shore’s in the distance
Open water all around
But we cannot give up
Till the patient id found

We never give up
Never no way
We’re simply the best
And we are RESTBAY!

My First Surf
by Owen Leary

The day had finally arrived! My Dad had promised to take me surfing. It was a cold, dreary winter day, but I was so excited it felt like Christmas Day. As I was walking down to the beach I could see the sea getting closer and closer. I started to hear the waves like they were the roars of lions. The waves looked as big as houses. The closer I got the more excited I got – it felt like my head was going to explode. Within a matter of five minutes I was in the sea.

I was so cold my head felt like an ice cream and my feet like ice blocks. Then the moment came… I could see the perfect wave coming. I closed my eyes and heard my Dad cheering. I had caught the wave. I felt like I was on top of the world. When I got in to bed I prayed for surf tomorrow. I fell asleep sore, tired and aching but with a smile from ear to ear.

Surfer Girl
by Jessica Sutton

There was a little surfer girl,
She was small and very bright.
Her name was Roxy and surfing was her life.

She spent her summer holidays on the beaches of Porthcawl,
Hitting waves however big or small.

She worked long and hard to learn to surf as
she longed to be a lifeguard,
Spending her days on the golden sands and watching
The shimmering sea.

I loved the way she surfed the waves on a hot Summers night,
Her bright pink board standing out loud and bright.
She was easy to see as she surfed with glee,
Waiting for the waves to turn and break.

A brilliant Lifeguard she will make!

Killer Shark Attacks Surfer
by Zak Thackery

There has been a shark spotted at Rest Bay, Porthcawl by local fishermen. The shark, a great white, was spotted flowing through the water on New Year’s Day.
The local surf competition had to be cancelled, because a surfer was knocked off his board and bitten as he swam. His board was demolished by the shark. The local fishermen were out looking for the great white with stun-guns to stun the shark.
The shark is looking for food as it is a fierce predator. Rest Bay Lifeguards have closed the beach while local fishermen are taking their boats from the harbour and hunting the shark. The shark hasn’t been seen for days but last night a local fisherman was killed by the shark after he was knocked out of his boat and eaten alive.
The shark is still out there… somewhere, and must be caught before he eats someone else. A reward has been offered by the local mayor. If seen please contact your local shark watching team on 0800 111555.