What happens when you cross one of the north-east of England’s premier wave lensmen with a Scottish surfer who knows his coastline like the back of his hand? The answer - Turas. An atmospheric visual journey through winter in Thurso with Scottish Nationals winner Mark Boyd, or, “Boydie”.
Turas - which translates to ‘journey’, is a thoughtful and visually striking surf film. Well, actually, more like a piece of art than surf film. It perfectly captures the dark days of winter in the cold and hostile north, where no amount of neoprene can make you comfortable.
Lewis Arnold does a stellar job of telling a story of Boydie’s winter in a perfectly poignant package. Check it out by hitting play, above. And once you’ve done that, scroll down for a convo with this flick's protagonist.
Spot guide: Thurso.
"The north of Scotland is a beautiful place to live but the winters are cold and dark.” Says Boydie.
“We can, at times, have as little as six hours of daylight, during which you can get your surfs in, which makes it tricky to get spots on the right tide and we have to deal with a lot of wind and sub-zero temperatures.
“Lewis Arnold comes up here a fair bit. We get on well and he’s been working on his latest project, GLASS; doing the book, making films and the first film he did through GLASS was HOME, with Aussie Rhys Smith about surfing life in the north east of England. I thought that was cool and Lewis was keen to do a film about Scotland, so we got together to make ‘Turas’.
“The idea was to do something different for both of us. It’s maybe more surf-heavy than Lewis usually does, but there is depth and hidden layers in there.”
So what makes Thurso such a special wave, and place? And how does this translate to Boydie’s relationship with the cold water Nias?
“The wave is obviously special to a lot of people - so its never uncrowded these days! On the other hand, we are lucky to have such perfection on our doorstep despite having to deal with the elements. Thurso is a great town with good craic and the surrounding area is quiet and desolate with spectacular hills to the west and cliffs to the east.
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“Thurso is undoubtedly the wave that has shaped my surfing and where I feel most comfortable. You get to know every subtlety, nuance and character of a reef-break when you spend enough time surfing there and my relationship with the wave is such that reading the wave and the conditions, and how they may change with the tide or wind, becomes second nature.”
And his favourite element of Turas? “I really enjoy the atmosphere and tone Lewis has been able to set with his editing and some of the lifestyle shots really give you a feel for the area. Its also really cool to look back and remember some fun sessions that Malcolm and the other photographers (Mike Guest, Adam Norris, Thomas Horig, Oscar James, Sam Howard and Andre Silva) have captured throughout the season.”
A photographer dream team! So what’s the plan next for Boydie?
“I've just recently become a Dad so that’s my latest project! So aye, not too much planned just yet, which makes a change for me! but I will be doing some coaching work for Renegade Surf Travel on a Maldives coaching trip later this month and plan on making it to Cornwall to compete in the Boardmasters WQS in Newquay in August.”
“I really enjoy the atmosphere and tone Lewis has been able to set with his editing and some of the lifestyle shots really give you a feel for the area.
“People can expect to get a real feel for what Scotland and surfing in Scotland is like, as well as enjoy the chilled arty mood Lewis has created. Hopefully folk will enjoy watching something a bit different.”