Saltburn Surfing with VFX student Lewis King
Second year (BA Hons) Model Making & Visual FX student and surfer Lewis King, created a fantastic day out for his fellow class mates this month by joining forces with Saltburn Surf School and giving VFX students a taste of what you can do in our region!
We caught up with Lewis to find out more about the surfers day out, how surfing can encourage creativity & mindfulness and what is special about studying at The Northern School of Art.
Tell us about the surf day out for students, how did it go?
Saltburn has a thriving surf community and is an incredibly reliable surf spot. I had booked a group lesson with Saltburn Surf School where we were able to hire wetsuit equipment and suitable soft top boards and had a two hour session with two excellent instructors. We did a bit of work on land, learning the safety stuff we needed and learned about the rudiments of surfing. We all practiced our popups, positioning and overall technique before heading out into the water.
The waves were not that big, but they picked up over time and the dreichy raining skies were eventually replaced by some sun. We all had great one-on-one moments with the instructors who helped everyone catch waves and helped us get closer to standing up. By the end of the session, about a third of the complete beginners were able to stand up and ride waves into shore, but those who couldn’t yet still were all able to successfully catch waves with little help. There was a great attitude in the group; everyone getting to know each other, cheering each other on and laughing at the numerous bails and nosedives that we all had.
Why did you want to organise this event?
Surfing is an incredibly accessible sport/hobby and can be enjoyable at any level. Looking out at the not particularly promising waves before we headed in, we were all in agreement that we would be content just being in the sea, paddling on the boards if the waves didn’t pick up. It’s a great feeling just being in the ocean. The north east has some wonderful places to surf and I would love to introduce as many people as I can to this incredible hobby.
Do you have any plans for another group outing?
The season for surf lessons is over until April, so we wont go out as a big group like that until then, but the opportunity to hire kit is still open so we are keeping in touch and letting each other know when someone is heading towards Saltburn so that those who need can hire.
Is surfing a part of your creative practice?
I find surfing very relieving and mindful. It’s hard to be thinking about what you’re going to eat later, your personal relationship struggles, your creative blocks or any worries that you have when you are out in the water. All you can focus on is paddling out, waiting for a wave, catching it and riding it back into shore. It’s almost a kind of meditation that helps me reset and clear my mind, which can help creativity come through more freely.
Tell us about any creative projects you would like to share?
Growing up by the sea, the ocean has always been a big part of my life. As part of my course this year, I am looking back to when I used to work in a local seafood restaurant and am creating a short film featuring a realistic (alien) squid prop that is cut up by an (alien) chef. It is going to be slimy and floppy and gooey and is going to be a lot of work to pull off.
How is The Northern School of Art special for you?
It’s just awesome to be around so many similarly minded creative people. The proximity to the local beaches and outdoor spaces was a big pull for me to this course and I have met a lot of students who feel the same.
If you would like to come out surfing some time, you can find and contact Lewis on his Instagram @king_loue1 and can see his creative arts page @loue_is_making_marks
If you are interested in studying Model Making and Visual FX make sure you check out our degree page to find out all of the skills and opportunities our degree can offer you!