North Coast Wetsuits is proud to welcome Dan Taylor along to the fold. As part of NCW’s surfing team Dan will be rocking some top drawer NCW rubber and helping push the brand.
A keen and lifelong surfer Dan has done the rounds but we wanted to delve a little deeper and see what makes ‘Surfer Dan’ really tick.
With that in mind we sat the chap down for a grilling NCW style. Read on to find out more.
Give us a little bit of your surfing background – when did you start, where did you learn and what prompted you to take to the water?
Well, I started out in my teens on a trip to the beach I just rented a board and threw myself into it! After a lot of effort and numerous beatings I managed to get a wave and immediately fell in love. I remember having conversations with my dad and he explained how the ocean was in our blood – he was from the Isle of Wight and the sea was one of his passions. Swimming, surfing, fishing and boats – you name it he was into. So I was hooked. Anything I could find: surf books, surf magazines and surf videos were all consumed and from then on, any time I could spend in the ocean, I did. It then progressed to travelling to the spots I’d read about or seen. Before I knew it my whole life was revolving around surfing. And nothing’s changed…
Where’s your current local – is it a friendly beachie or gnarly reef?
My current local is Lespecier, a beachbreak here in France. It’s a huge beach with a lot of different breaks to surf and surrounded by forest so still really wild and natural.
Do you have specific spots in mind when you surf or are you just happy to be immersed in salty brine?
I tend to start off with a plan but it all depends on how conditions look when I get there. I’m super lucky to have loads of class waves only a stone’s throw away so moving locations isn’t really a drama. Generally I’m just happy to get wet whenever I can.
Got any bucket list spots you want to tick off in the coming weeks, months and years?
Hmmmm, I really fancy going to Hainan. No definite plan but watch this space!
Where’s your fave wave and why does it stoke your fire?
Good question! I love Outside Rocky Point in Fuerteventura. It just seems to go on forever when you get the right one. Also a couple of spots here in France – Lespecier and Saint Girons are just beautiful beaches and you can always find a bank producing something half decent. Wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention Saunton back in the UK too. It’s a while since I’ve been there. Oh, that’s four right…
Who’s your regular surf crew and how do they add to your everyday surf mix?
Haha! I guess I’m a bit of a loner in that sense as I just head out to wherever I’m going and see who’s there when I arrive. You tend to always see familiar faces wherever you end up, which is one of the things I love the most about surfing here.
What about surfing heroes in general – which rippers do you look up to?
Oh there’s heaps, spanning over a few decades. Nat and Beau Young, Joel Tudor, Ben Skinner, Dane Reynolds, Rasta and Pottz to name just a few!
Talk to us about the kit you’re rocking – what’s your set up all about?
I currently have four go-to boards in my quiver. 9’0 and 9’1 performance/ contest boards: lightweight, fast and really great to turn. One’s a thruster in traditional glass and the other a quad in epoxy. I also use a 9’4 and a 9’6, both traditional type longboards and both single fins. I’m also waiting on a 9’2 performance board with a 2+1 setup to join the party and an egg type creation around 7’4 to keep my rail game strong when it’s big and heavy here in the winter. I have to throw a big thanks to Utopia Surf Factory for my boards. David really knows his stuff and his boards are a pleasure to ride. Currently using the 4/3 mini front zip wetty from North Coast Wetsuits which is lightweight, warm and just a great suit. What more can I say?
How did you come across NCW and what do you love about the brand?
I’m not actually sure how I first discovered NCW. I’m pretty certain I was in the online market for a new suit and they initially caught my eye as they are a British company producing high end suits at incredible prices. Once I got hold of a suit I could see the quality of the products straight away and after speaking with Mark (NCW owner), I could really see the passion that he has. Great suits and great people, what’s not to love?
What does being a team rider entail? What are you expected to deliver in return for support from your sponsors?
Well, the basics are to keep them updated with photos of my shenanigans, obviously to use their suits and equipment and promote each brand where possible, have their logos on my boards and basically pimp, pimp, pimp. I’m happy to do anything they need and I’m massively grateful for them showing faith in me. Whatever I can do to help I will.
Got any winter surf travel plans? If so, where you heading?
No plans at this stage, it’ll be dependent on how the waves are here. If we’re not getting decent surf then it’ll just be a case of buy a ticket and go.
Do you do anything specific as far as training goes outside of water time – weights or gym work for instance?
Yeah absolutely! I train regularly, generally cardio on an elliptical trainer (less impact for my old knees) then a lot of work using my own bodyweight. Push ups, inclined crunches, dips, bungee cords to keep my paddling game strong, indoboard and loads of stretching.
Is it just surfing or are you in to any other sports? If so, what are they and how do they fit with watery shenanigans?
I’m really into longboard skating with the obvious similarities to surfing and I was racing mountain bikes for a period – which I’m slowly getting back into. The level of cardio you get from it is incredible! I’m also a massive rugby fan. Not that it ties in with surfing so much but still…
Quick fire time: bacon or sausage?
Sausage wrapped in bacon.
Blonde or brunette?
Can I have both?
Warm or cold?
Dogs or cats?
Dogs for sure.
Tea or coffee?
Curry or Chinese take away?
It’s a tough one but I’m gonna go with Chinese!
Any final shouts, thanks or praise?
Obviously all my sponsors: North Coast Wetsuits, Utopia Surf factory, Headfudge Clothing and the Boardbag Company. Also my children, family and friends who have all kept me grounded in life in their own way.
Dan mentions he’s going to be wrapped in NCW’s 4/3mm mini front zip wetty this winter. You can check out the specs for that by hitting this link – www.northcoastwetsuits.co.uk/new/product/gulf-stream-43-mini-front-zip-steamer-surfing-wetsuit/