SUPERFIT GRANDAD: Meet the 70-year-old surfer who refuses to settle into ‘old age’ – and will hit the water come rain, shine or SNOW

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A 70-year-old surfer is refusing to hang up his board even though he’s too old for every competitive category in the UK.

Eric Lee Davies, 70, from Knowle, Devon, started surfing in 1969 after a school friend was given a 9ft Malibu board. 

Without knowing much about the sport, they began to learn on the Gower Peninsula in Wales.  

“Initially surfing seemed impossible,” Eric told Jam Press.

“We didn’t know about board wax, which helps you grip. I felt elated by the feeling of surfing and Mother Nature’s free ride. 

Pictured: Eric Lee Davies in 1977

“I didn’t know it at the time but I was hooked for life. 

“Passion became obsession and I’d do it all again.” 

Now, over 50 years on, the grandad-of-four still loves catching waves and even surfs throughout the winter despite many others, young and old, taking a break from the water in colder months.

He said: “I’m definitely not the stereotypical OAP – ‘pipe and slippers’” 

“There’s a slang word in surfing called a Grom and it refers to a young kid who’s mad keen to surf, surf again and if there’s time go for another surf!

“I’m often known as the Grom – which I take as a huge compliment.” 

This dedication has earned Eric numerous championship titles as a professional surfer. 

In 2013, at age 62, he was still surfing competitively and took home the British Longboard Union GrandMasters title.  

Pictured: Eric Lee Davies

Between the ages of 49-53, he won the British Longboard Union Masters title five times.

He described the competitions where he beat younger competitors as “exhausting but so rewarding”. 

As there is no competitive age category for those past their late 60s, he has now retired from contests. 

Today, he prefers being a “free surfer”, choosing when and where he surfs with “no rules or timescale”.

He credits his energy levels to Woods Health supplements, which keep him mobile enough to surf.  

Pictured: Eric Lee Davies

His favourite surf beaches are Saunton in the UK and Playa Guiones, Costa Rica, but he has also surfed across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Mexico. 

Throughout his life, Eric has done seasonal work that allowed him to surf and work as a beach lifeguard during the summer and then worked on his other passions as a ski instructor in the winter.  

Now, he is using his skills to teach his four grandchildren to surf in Devon. 

He describes surfing as “great for their water confidence – especially during wipeouts when they part company with their board.” 

Eric added: “Surfing is the best place for my mental and physical state, you get totally immersed in the ocean, leaving your issues on the beach.

“I’ll keep on keeping on! 

“Just surfed five days in a row and it’s looking good tomorrow.”