Skewjack Surf Village

It’s your first summer as a lifeguard at Sennen and the year is ‘74.

Thankfully, you’re not the only rookie – Skewjack is also about to burst on the scene.

This ex-RAF WW2 camp will be your social, cultural, recreational and sexual mecca for the next decade, along with every other hedonistic surfer in Cornwall’s far west. It’s also a tourist surf trap for 100 unsuspecting good-time girls + boys (adults, that is) wanting to grasp the sport. 

One morning you meet the surfer-owner of Skewjack, Chris Tyler, on a wave that’s already his and learn that dropping in on a local is a big no-no.

He bears no grudge and suggests you join Sennen Surf Club, Britain’s first club devoted to surfing, where you meet founders John, Mike & Tony, and a mob of teachers-cum-surfers, including Pete Urquhart, aka PT, aka Dr Fun.

That night is your debut at Skewjack and you ‘baptize’ the place with beer and wake up in the bed of someone you don’t remember meeting.

You then find out that you did an Arab spring over the bar, which somehow landed you a job there and a chalet to live in (with an ‘all night, any night’ party clause). 

You work the beach and Skewjack for the next few summers, chasing the waves in SE Asia in the winter, and doing the odd month behind the bar at Penzance Winter Gardens, another surfer-owned nightclub famed for its chaos on the dance-floor.

Along with most of the lifeguards, you become fixtures and fittings at Skewjack, doing stints in Le Bistro, behind the bar and the twin decks in The Sunset Bar (old Nissan hut) and in the shop if you’re too wasted to man the beach the next day. 

Visitors to the village willingly join in greasy pole wrestling, wet y-front v wet t-shirt contests and boat trip pub-crawls around the peninsula, as part of their surfing tuition.

Such fun cannot last forever and numbers dwindle to barely a dozen hardcore party rioters a week by the mid 80’s.  

Chris sells up and although it survives another 4 years under new management as an adventure holiday resort, 1986 is the last wild year, so you ‘retire’ and become a tree surgeon.