For these kids, street surfing must feel as if it's been sent from heaven. For starters, it's cool, and better still, anyone can do it, even those with poor hand-eye coordination. Indeed, six million children worldwide have now been taught how to street surf, with 250,000 taught in the UK alone. When you're the last kid picked for sports teams, it's horrid. I know because I was one of those kids. With street surfing, everyone's rubbish at first, but you suddenly get it and it's addictive, reports Fice-Thomson, who adds that the sport is increasingly used in training top snowboarders and surfers.
Fice-Thomson admits that the only reason they started the Surf Anywhere project was because 60% of top British surfers are from inner cities. We set out to find more of them, but we quickly saw that children ranging from the extremely overweight to the really reclusive ones took to street surfing as a sport in its own right, and it has in fact become the fastest-growing board sport around. Teachers often warn me, 'Well, it all sounds great, but I promise you that you won't get X doing it. He's never willingly put on a PE kit in his life.' But out of all the kids we've taught, only one didn't like it.