Event Reports

Search Our Site


camping area view from Sno Zone

Here we are at Beach Break Live again; for ExPix, who are media partners with many student extreme sports organisations, this is the perfect opportunity to catch up with all friends as 20,000 students descend on an unsuspecting country park in South Wales to party, go wild and enjoy the end of year celebrations. This year is slightly different with more of an emphasis on the extreme sports, so keep checking the updates to see if BBL managed to pull it off.

Another long drive for the ExPix van straight of the back of a trip to and from Holland saw us rather tired and in need of some refreshments along the way. A post on our FB page got a response from a long-time friend and Monster rep Lyndsey who was working at a place on our route, so a quick pit stop to meet her saw us refuelling with some Monster goodies on board.

Arriving in time for the snow competition we quickly threaded our way through the event site to the Sno Zone where real snow had been shipped in for the competition. With teams from all over the country, competition would be fierce for the BUCS points on offer and last year’s champions Manchester would have to put on quite a show if they were to retain their title.

Things started off relatively cautiously, with a mix of dry slope and snow it was difficult to gauge speeds for take-off and landing, but very soon there were some huge tricks with flips, transfers, in both switch and regular. As the heats progressed Manchester and Cardiff were the ones to watch, consistently being 1 and 2 in each round and as expected when the final three were left it was Leicester, Manchester and Cardiff in positions 3 – 2 – 1 respectively.

Then the big shocker Leicester pulled out a great run first in the heat leaving Manchester and Cardiff no option but to go for it. Manchester tried and nearly managed a fantastic run but came unstuck on the landings leaving Cardiff a little breathing space if they wanted; THEY DIDN’T! Back flip transfer along with 360 transfer saw the male female team take top points in the semi and through to the final knocking out last year’s winners and favourites Manchester.

So with a final of Cardiff and Leicester it looked like a Welsh win was on the cards. Leicester in their heat couldn't match the previous run and had an average score, then it was Cardiff and again with a backflip transfer and a back flip it looked like they would take the win but it wasn't to be. On landing the backflip female rider landed badly face planting into the dry slope material, her body bent like a scorpion as her momentum carried her down the slope. For safety reasons she wasn't moved for a while even though she was ‘ok’ a few scrapes and bruises for her efforts but nothing too serious. So to the score cards and even though Cardiff’s tricks were far superior in technical ability Leicester took the win because of the Cardiff fall. Here are a few of the pics from the event but we'll publish more when we get back to the office!

A quick visit to the camping area found our friends from the SKA and Uniwake who were there running kite surf and wakeboard competitions along with some stranger visitors to BBL . The Uni clubs have been working hard to organise the competitions for BBL and we can’t wait for the rest of the week to see what the guys will get up to on the water with the kites and on the pool gap with the wakeboarding. More coming as the event unfolds!

The rain that started last night was still in the air and with heavy downpours throughout the night a lot of students awoke to drenched clothes, flattened tents and puddles on the inside of their festival dwellings.

The pool gap looked in a sorry state as the tide had washed away a lot of the sand being used to make the walls of the landing pool. With two big rips in the liner and no support it looked like the wakeboarding may not happen. A massive effort to back fill the gaps and re seal the liner began and thanks to the weather nothing was interrupted as the rain kept people away from the beach. The kitesurfers tried to have a free ride time but the gusts and the rain made for an uneventful session. Throughout the day the rain kept coming even if it was a little lighter but the atmosphere was becoming more miserable as costumes and makeup stayed in their bags. As the evening wore on the skies cleared, the sun came out and a sunset over the arena lifted everyone's spirits.

The animal bike tour provided some action with a dusk display increasing the danger factor as Martyn Ashton and Sam Blake were struggling to spot their landings with the darkness and flashes blinding them.  

Then came the headliners with Tinie Tempah and Zane Lowe. Tiny Tempah saw the largest audience so far on the main stage whilst Zane Lowe who is always a great crowd pleaser and got the crowd bouncing and then stopped his set half way through as two rogue males climbed the tent poles almost to the top. Flexifoil must be pleased at the extra coverage of this daredevil stunt ;-)  however ExPix are not happy that we missed this display by minutes as we left to upload images.

Saturday morning and the weather was slightly better with some heavy showers; the pool gap once again had been battered by the tide and was looking in a sorry state.  The guys running the wakeboarding turned up and put on a brave face with a last ditched attempt to salvage something for the competition.

With a army of students and some good luck, as well as graft, they managed to rescue the landing pool and quickly built a barrier around the whole area to try and stop the next tide.

Meanwhile the kitesurf competition was underway. With ExPix sponsored rider Ali Barrett (to be honest they are all sponsored by us from a media point of view as ExPix have been media partners for the SKA for a number of years now) standing out from the rest with big board offs, and low technical tricks even with a dodgy ankle.  Others to mention were Carlos with some really nice raileys, grabs and boosts, Harry who was trying to get in the pics and Ros who despite saying she was ‘cr _ _ ‘ still managed to look good on the camera.

The wakeboarders managed to rescue the poolgap and begin some test runs. After a tentative start the big moves came with Tantrums and 360's and it wasn't long before Louie ended up breaking ....... a finger! As he came out of the pool all he wanted to know was did we get the picture? Well check below... !!!!

After a long day on the beach it was time to head back for Beardyman, We Are Scientists, Example and White Lies on the main stage and another beat fuelled night in the dance tent. With the wakeboard competition tomorrow and the kitesurfers free riding I’m sure we will get more good action images for the collection.

Saturday night was messy; with some great music the students began to really party hard! Beardyman was amazing with his impromptu mixing taking the crowd by storm, whilst Example and White Lies whipped everyone up even further. On the way over to ‘Merlins Forrest’ (dance tent) we stopped off again at the animal bike tour to just tweak a few images in the dark evening light which we think turned out pretty good! 

In the dance tent we caught up with the SUKS, SKA and the Uniwake guys and gals who were going for it. With Sub Focus headlining it was building up into a great night.

Early next morning and the weather had changed once again. The sun was beating down and as we got to the beach the pool gap looked a lot better than it had done the previous days. The barrier that had been built had kept the tide from damaging the landing pool any further and with the flags and branding it looked good to go. One or two of the students were a little nervous after the previous day's test runs, with one of the lads making a quick trip to the hospital with a broken hand. Not bad really when you consider what they were doing but even so a danger notice was written on one of the sliders in blood! With a reasonable crowd cheering them on the students threw down some sick tricks, with tantrums, 540’s crow mobes and front flips/back flips on knee boards. Now this is a shame because we so want to put some of the pics up on here or in the galleries but ….. some are so good we are looking at the mags so can't show you them all just yet but here’s a teaser.

With a little time to kill before the ceremonies ExPix went over to the landboarding where Flexifoil were teaching students how to fly power kites. A short demo in what was very light wind did however produce one or two quite nice images. Will, Dave and Craig were all trying very hard to get some air infront of the cameras as you can see below.

At 6.30 the presentations were held on the main stage and the kitesurfing podium was third place Carlos Rae from Plymouth, 2nd place Tom Shaw from Bath and first place went to our very own ExPix sponsored rider Ali Barrett from Southampton Solent .

In the wakeboarding the judges were very strict with the technicalities so some people may be surprised with the results but in 3rd place with a crow mobe that nearly took him out of the pool was Ali Reader from Plymouth, Ben Clamp from RVC took 2nd place and in 1st place was Pierre Pettit on his knee board with some crazy riding from Leeds.

With an urgent phone call from the office we said our goodbyes (for now) and quickly packed up before heading up to Manchester to prepare for the next event! We'll be back with the students in a weeks time at the student wakeboarding event of the year, the Uniwake BUCS Nationals at Sheffield Cable and Water-ski centre.

Sign up to the ExPix Newsletter to get the latest news, articles, images, event info & exclusive offers!