In November just passed, I was lucky enough to join Hans and Vinny Schaap on a road trip through Scotland. It can sometimes be a blessing in disguise when the waves aren′t as good as anticipated. You spend more time acknowledging and appreciating your new surroundings and exploring different areas that you might not have visited otherwise.
The surf Gods were not on our side this trip. As amazing and versatile as the waves are in Scotland, it can be equally as unpredictable. The swells were coming in on the wrong angle for the particular coast we were on, meaning we were left to head out to the Orkney Islands in search of relief. Home to some amazing setups, we got to enjoy a couple of surfs, but winds and tides kept us land docked for most of our stay. As we were en route to get the ferry back to the mainland on sunset, we crossed this bridge only to look down and see head high right hander peeling from a cool little point break bay type setup. Not in a million years when looking at a map would you expect to find waves there, but the direction and size of the swell had it wrapping in perfectly. Getting dark and having no time to waste before the ferry, we had to swallow it and keep driving. That′s the beauty of travel, you sometimes have to learn the hard way and it helps prepares you for next time. Back on the mainland, we did have one fun surf under a mystical castle on the east coast that was incredibly scenic.
Wave starved, we found ourselves looking for thrills other ways. Majority of the trip it felt like we were standing on big open cliff faces. Scotland is so raw and beautiful and absurdly cold.
We spent loads of time on the road singing to Pete Murray and tons of 80s playlists. Hans would cook up oatmeal porridge every morning for breakfast which I had no arguments about.
The car was an absolute beast. It had a personality of its own, like the 4th member of the trip. It was so loud at first I contemplated buying a set of industrial ear muffs to avoid damaging my ears, but after a while it became soothing. It felt like driving a spaceship to begin with, there were 5 or more mechanical things you had to complete before she started, but by the end, we had all fell in love with it. There were 2 good bed options and one narrow long bed which we named 'the spine'. Every night we would play scissor paper rock to see who would be relegated to the spine for the night. Vinny, Hans and I are not the shortest lads either so there was some serious repercussions on the line.
Brett Burcher - Team rider Brunotti & Big wave surfer from Australia