Passenger Clothing would like welcome Surfer Mark Boyd to the family.
My name is Mark Boyd, known to my friends as Boydie. I grew up surfing the frigid waters of Scotland's Moray Firth coast where I was fortunate enough to live walking distance to the beach. Living so close to a relatively popular surfing beach for the area, it was only a matter of time before my hobbies of snowboarding and skateboarding led to surfing...the transition to surfing was encouraged by friends at ESP which is the North of Scotland's longest running dedicated skate-surf-snowboard shop. I was the only surfer at my school and would only see other surfers at weekends, so progress was slow, particularly in the harsh Scottish winters and short daylight hours, meaning surfing after school was not an option during peak swell season. As a surf stoked kid, sponsorship from ESP was a great encouragement. Its a pretty tight network of dedicated surfers in Scotland and I'd soon know most. I spent as much time as possible on the North Coast of Scotland around the Thurso area in my early teens and began travelling through to Fraserburgh for the 'Broch Winter League' which at the time, before the reformation of the Scottish Surfing Federation, was the hub of the competitive surf scene in Scotland. I won contests as a junior and got the competitive bug.
When I left school at 17 I chose to study in Aberdeen to be as close to Thurso as possible - Aberdeen is also on the coast and living there introduced me to surfing swells out on the North Sea on the East Coast. I moved to Thurso on a permanent basis at the earliest opportunity after graduating university and became sponsored by Alder Wetsuits.
Living in Caithness comes with its pros and cons. World class reef breaks, beautiful coastline, big heavy hollow waves, lots of sheep, whisky and good craic. But like all of Scotland, the winters are dark, long and freezing. The weather can be harsh with gales and snow and the summers are prone to flat spells.
Contrary to popular misconception the waves are no longer uncrowded these days but there is something special about surfing world class waves with your friends in this remote part of the world and its something I won’t be giving up in a hurry.
That aside, I do love to travel and surf new waves in warmer climates...and colder ones! I love to experience different cultures and see different places - there is so much coastline in the world that these experiences can always be intertwined with surf trips. I have surfed in India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Portugal, France, Spain, the Canary Islands, England, the Channel Islands, Wales, Ireland, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand, the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii, the Republic of Congo, South Africa, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Panama and even in Norway, Iceland and in a wave pool in the UAE! But I have spent more time in Indonesia than anywhere else and have travelled extensively throughout. Fortunately peak Indo swell season is during the Scottish summer, which makes it the ideal location for a trip and one of the reasons I keep going back.
Despite my appetite to travel as much as possible there are undoubtedly untapped waves closer to home. I have spent a bit of time in the Scottish Isles like Orkney, Shetland and the Hebrides, but nowhere near enough.