ALL SEEING EYE
HOP ON BOARD FOR A BIRDS-EYE VIEW OF YOUR FAVOURITE SURF SPOTS
The Caithness coast of Scotland is home to Thurso, the last town of any size before you head west along the stunning north coast. It is of course famous for its worldclass wave, which sadly is a very rare beast. Hence why it's so treasured by those that devote their lives to it.
1 The gatehouse The sign you've really arrived at the legendary spot is the joint on the junction to the farm. A mere 828 miles from Cornwall, 264 miles from Edinburgh. Fun fact Hossegor is closer to Cornwall than Thurso is.
2 The castle The brooding remains of the castle are intrinsic to the experience of surfing here. Not many places in the world you can surf under a castle. The ruins are from the last incarnation of the castle built in 1872 and demolished in 1952. There's been a fortress on the site since the 12th century.
3 The farm The farmer is a legend and always be aware it's a working farm and don't park or act like a dick.
4 The line up Thurso has many moods depending on the swell direction, size and tide. Learning which ledges do what on certain conditions is the lifelong puzzle. Best bet is just to watch the locals and gradually earn your spot for a good one.
5 The jump off The soft option is jumping off the end of the reef and getting washed out in the rip. But you can end up pretty much back in town when big. The cognoscenti jump off behind the peak. Time it right or you'll get rinsed. And remember, just because you've paddled out in prime spot doesn't mean you're at the front of the queue.
6 The car park The small car park got smaller when the farmer built the barn about 15 years ago. It then got a lot bigger when they gravelled it for the O'neill Highland Open WQS which was arguably one of the most popular events ever held on that tour.
7 Shitpipe (just out of shot) Anywhere else the Pipe would be considered a good wave. But it's the ugly sister to the glamour across the channel. More mellow vibe than TE.
8 Cafe Tempest (just out of shot) Haggis for brekkie, awesome cakes and hot beverages on tap Tempest is a lifesaver. The soups are a real winner also.
9 Skinandis A rite of passage for any surfer in Thurso on a weekend. You need a 'wild night in Skins' story in your surfers anecdote arsenal.