THE KING OF COOL

RIP STEPHEN HUD­SON

Carve - - FOAM - Louis will be con­tin­u­ing Stephen's legacy and is now the proud owner of Tynemouth Surf Co.

Stephen Hud­son, also known as Hur­ri­cane Hud­son, owner of Tynemouth Surf Co, leg­endary surfer, the epit­ome of cool, man of the sea and most im­por­tantly, my dad. Sadly, Stephen passed away on Au­gust 10 2017.

Stephen was one of the first surfers in the north-east. He ac­tu­ally learned how to surf from his fa­ther Ron­nie, who was the first surfer in Tynemouth. Ron­nie was in the navy and he had trav­elled to var­i­ous places, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia where he saw peo­ple surf­ing. He then started it over here. When Stephen was young, he was part of a hand­ful of young hippy surfers who spent their youth surf­ing and skate­board­ing. Stephen had a nat­u­ral tal­ent, es­pe­cially on his long­board, which he surfed with style and grace. He of­ten went to Corn­wall for com­pe­ti­tions and when he was 28 he came fourth in the Bri­tish Long­board Cham­pi­onships.

In 1991, Stephen and my mum, Me­lanie, went on a surf trip to Bali with sev­eral oth­ers from Tynemouth, in­clud­ing his best surf­ing buddy, John Stores. At that time, Bali was pretty much an un­known des­ti­na­tion. He hung out there for three months, surf­ing Padang Padang, eat­ing Nasi Goreng and liv­ing on a shoe string. They vis­ited Lom­bok, Nusa Lem­bon­gan, all be­fore they were built up and long be­fore the tourists vis­ited.

In 1995, Stephen and his friend Mark Ward trans­formed an old cafe on the sea front into a surf shop and Tynemouth Surf Co was born. They also hired the beach hut on Longsands beach from North Ty­ne­side Coun­cil and set up the surf school which is now one of the big­gest in the UK.

In 1995, Stephen and Mark Ward, who had just qual­i­fied as surf in­struc­tors, were work­ing at the beach hut when they saw a rib set­ting out into treach­er­ous seas. The boat cap­sized and Stephen and Mark im­me­di­ately went to their res­cue. Stephen pad­dled out on his long­board and braved 400 me­tres of fierce fif­teen foot waves to get to the four year old boy and four men. He got hold of the boy first and grad­u­ally got the men one by one to hang onto his board. He held onto them un­til the he­li­copter came and winched them to safety. Stephen and Mark re­ceived brav­ery awards from the Prime Min­is­ter, John Ma­jor, at an awards cer­e­mony at 10 Down­ing Street and also re­ceived brav­ery awards from Princess Anne.

My dad was an idol to so many oth­ers. Joel Gray, wrote the fol­low­ing:

“Two of my most favourite peo­ple, Louis Thomas-hud­son and Steve Sur­fco. I can’t be­lieve that Steve, the ab­so­lute beat­ing heart of the Tynemouth surf com­mu­nity has gone. This one is go­ing to bruise. He was just the rad­dest dude ever and of­fered noth­ing but hon­esty, loy­alty, pride, ded­i­ca­tion and af­fec­tion. There’s so many tales that I cher­ish but a strong one is from my first proper surf at Hart­ley as an awestruck teenager. Filled with hon­our and nerves just be­ing out there be­hind the big boys all I could do was won­der how to catch one of th­ese fright­en­ing waves. Then from deep be­hind the peak came this lanky frame, back knee bent and knocked in - al­ways knocked in, both palms down, style pri­ori­tised, he swung tight off the bot­tom and snapped right un­der the lip be­fore stand­ing bolt up­right in the bar­rel right across the reef. It was the first tube ride that I ever saw and just the most beau­ti­ful thing ever. Thanks for the mem­o­ries Steve. So many good mem­o­ries."

My dad was piv­otal in help­ing to boost the pop­u­lar­ity of surf­ing along the Ty­ne­side coast. In 2004, he won an award for bring­ing Tourism to the area.

Pete Warne, Tourism and Events Man­ager, North Ty­ne­side Coun­cil wrote the fol­low­ing:

“Stephen was a true am­bas­sador for tourism in North Ty­ne­side. We’d of­ten have jour­nal­ists want­ing to write fea­tures on the area and we’d al­ways send them to Steve for a quick surf­ing les­son or a pos­i­tive quote.

He’d never ask for any­thing in re­turn. What­ever the re­quest, the an­swer was al­ways ‘yes’ and we knew that any­one we sent his way would leave hav­ing had a warm wel­come, a great ex­pe­ri­ence and a glow­ing en­dorse­ment of the re­gion – even if the surf was flat! He played a char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally hum­ble yet piv­otal role in mak­ing

Tynemouth the trea­sured place it is to­day and truly was at the heart of the com­mu­nity. It was al­ways re­as­sur­ing to know he was there. We’ll miss him greatly.”

We held a pad­dle out as a trib­ute to my dad. The amount of peo­ple tak­ing part was over­whelm­ing. It has brought me a lit­tle bit of so­lace to know that so many peo­ple loved and re­spected my dad. Noth­ing made us hap­pier than when we were rid­ing glassy to­gether. I hope you are rid­ing some glassy waves above.

“We all come from the sea

But we are not all of the sea

Those of us who are

We chil­dren of the tides

Must re­turn to it again and again Un­til the day we don't come back Leav­ing only that which was touched along the way”

BY LOUIS THOMAS-HUD­SON

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