Our surfing guru

Champion surfer, Robyn Davies © Myles New

Champion surfer, Robyn Davies

Robyn Davies
Surfing Co-ordinator
Devon & Cornwall

I instantly fell in love with surfing when I was 13, just watching those little figures out there on the big waves.

Since then I've been five times British champion and competed all over the world. I nearly died on one wave in Hawaii. But once I knew I'd survived I paddled straight out to catch another.

It feels so pure when you paddle on to a wave. You're just living in that moment, you and that wave. It's almost spiritual. Every time I go surfing I feel honoured that I'm able to do it. It will always be part of me.

The environment really matters to surfers. We love the adventure of finding a new wave in the middle of nature and just leaving footprints in the sand when we leave. Yet so often overseas I see how developers can destroy the paradise you're there to discover.

But a lot of surfers don't realise that without the National Trust so much of our own coast would have been ruined. They think we just run the car-parks.

My new job is to reach out to the whole water-sport community - not just surfers, but canoeists, body-boarders, windsurfers, kite-boarders and rock-climbers. I want them to understand what the Trust does, join in our work and share responsibility for the coastline we love.

We must all pull together to protect it. Already we're partners with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. We're talking with Surfers against Sewage, and the British Surfing Association have agreed we should be their 'green partner'. Our Trust beaches will host next year's national surfing events.

Until I joined the Trust, I was like most surfers - I had never had a proper job. I thought it might seem strange, but everyone in the Trust is so keen and open to suggestions and firing good ideas at me. And my old surfing friends are really interested in what I'm doing. I'm loving every minute of it.