Rof, the Surf Reporter

COLUMN: Meet Rof, the Croyde Bay Surf Reporter

Stephanie Conway

As North Devon has recently been announced as the UK’s first-ever world surfing reserve, I’ll be using my weekly column to highlight the stories of local people within the North Devon surf community.

The first is Anthony Rofner, who provides a daily morning surf report for Croyde Bay through his brand, UK Surfer.

“Surfing is so liberating,” says Anthony Rofner, known locally as Rof. He’s a regular fixture at Down End, a place where local surfers often gather together at the outdoor seating area before paddling out to the lineup in Croyde.

“When I moved to Croyde in 91, it was this bohemian hippie trail,” he said. “Everyone I met had these incredible surf stories from all over the world, and I immediately knew that I wanted to build my life around surfing.”

Rof has a reputation as a brilliant local surfer, and has also lived the #vanlife dream before it was cool. He’s travelled all over Europe in his trusty Mercedes 410D, with his pet dog Brodie, a border collie, in search of the best waves that the continent has to offer. But as borders closed at the beginning of the pandemic, Rof battened down the hatches to surf at his local break in Croyde Bay.

“I’ve always looked for work that I enjoy doing, that helps me do what I love doing the most – which is surfing,” explains Rof. “But I knew that eventually I wanted to become an entrepreneur in my own right, so that I could have autonomy over when I could paddle out for the best waves.”

Rof and Brodie are often found working at the Down End car park. He’s a regular fixture, managing the overflow of parking spaces and performing site maintenance of the on-site facilities.

He’s spent a lot of time at Down End, carefully studying the conditions and learning the best times to surf at Croyde. He has developed a strong local knowledge over the years that he has dedicated to surfing, and the time he’s spent watching for the optimum moment to paddle out and catch the most satisfying waves of the day.

“I will look at the different reports, and analyse magic seaweed, the met office, wind guru, and I’ll use that along with what I see happening in real-time at Croyde, based upon experience of understanding the waves here to provide a summary of what is going to happen that day,” explains Rof, who then films a morning surf report, which is then posted to his Instagram account.

Using his profile, @UK_Surfer, Rof hopes to share his knowledge with others, so that they can make the most of the waves of Croyde Bay. He has already started to cultivate a cult-following of both local and further-afield surfing enthusiasts, who are keen to hear his insights on what the day ahead looks like at Croyde Bay. In a short space of time, UK_Surfer has amassed 577 followers and counting.

“I’m blown away by the positive reaction from our surfing community,” admits Rof. “My videos aren’t about me. I just want to make UK surfer inclusive to anyone and everyone.”

Rof is also branching out into surf merchandise, and building a website to complement the current social brand presence and help grow the UK Surfer brand further. He then plans to begin filming interviews to help highlight the stories of local surfers in the area. If you’d like to help support Rof and UK_Surfer, give him a follow on Instagram: www.instagram.com/uk_surfer.

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