Jools Matthews is a veteran surfer and shaper based out of North Devon. He is a much loved face in the UK scene exuding a youthful charm and energy that befits his positive outlook on life.
In 1993, after surfing around the world, founder Jools Matthews came home to Devon and set up Gulfstream Surfboards to help support his surfing habit. 25 years later, Jools is still a regular in the line-up, he is an award winning Shaper and Gulfstream are widely respected as one of the leading board builders in the industry.
Jools got into surfing when his family used to come to the beach as a family in the early eighties, spending the whole summer on the beach and surfing.
“What made me fall in love with surfing is being outside. For me it only really became an obsession, when I was 18, when you can actually leave home and do your own thing. And that's really, when I think it counted”
Woolacombe in North Devon is one of the finest beaches in the West Country. The rolling surf brings unbroken Atlantic breakers from across thousands of miles of ocean to pound on this three-mile long stretch of golden sand. The sheer length of the beach means it is possible to find quieter places in the surf even at the height of summer.
This unique place has been a life long home for Jools and his surf brand. He is fortunate to be able to surf here every day and all year round.
“When you get out of the sea after surfing, you've got the salt on your face and salt in your hair, you feel amazing. It just makes you feel really special. And actually the surf is better when it's winter, less people and more waves. ”
Motivating yourself to go surfing when you're older must get harder, especially in the cold UK winters.
“With the benefit of getting older, I've been able to think more carefully about how it makes me feel. A day outside and keeping fit, my wellbeing, mindfulness and that sort of thing. And so making sure you get that time built in to living is really important.”
Surfing offers a sense of freedom and escape that many outdoor sports can offer but what seems to set it apart has to be the idea of gliding on top of a wave powered entirely by the forces of nature.
“It's like this thing that eludes you. You've just caught an amazing wave, your whole body and head is telling you that it was fantastic. And then you instantly try and remember it and you can't, it's gone, it's a feeling, it's what it is.”
Its an elusive feeling that many adrenaline sports aficionados speak about, it's a moment and then it's gone. You can go months and months without getting that feeling so keeping that enthusiasm has to be tricky.