Wight Surf History

The Wight Surf History Project tells the story of how surfing arrived and evolved on the Isle of Wight in the early 1960s.

surfing, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, Freshwater, activities, West Wight

Photo: Albany Associates

In those days surfing was something of an experiment on the Isle of Wight. A small number of friends started out with belly boards or homemade wooden surfboards.

Small pockets of surfers scattered around the Island experimented in their own ways until they got together and tried to set up an Isle of Wight Surf Club.

During the late 1960s and 1970s Tad Ciastula and Roger Cooper started shaping boards on the Island and both went on to become renowned surfboard shapers.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s Dave Gray started to dominate the Isle of Wight surf competitions and went on to compete in the English National Championships.

In the early 1990s it was Stu Jones who took over the mantle as the best surfer on the Isle of Wight. He pushed the limits and started a new generation of surfers who wanted to do aerials. In 1994 Craig Sharp took the South Coast Champion crown from Stu Jones and was one of many who took off in search of waves and adventure abroad.