The Broadcast / Frazer Riley: Why I Founded QSC

Frazer Riley: Why I Founded QSC

In recent years the surf world has wrestled with an uncomfortable truth; our blue spaces aren't always welcoming. However, a positive shift is now emerging. Surf collectives like Bennie's Club, Textured Waves, and many more have sprung up to challenge the status quo of straight white men dominating the lineup and surf culture.

One such community in the UK is Queer Surf Club. Having collaborated with QSC to shape our Pride campaign, we spoke to their founder, Frazer Riley, about opening up the ocean for everyone to enjoy.


3 min read

Written by Fiona Miller

Images by Bella Bunce

This summer, we’ve been working with the Queer Surf Club (QSC) to find out what Finisterre can do to support surfers from the LGBTQIA+ community. The elephant in the room is that the industry, and surf brands, have helped to create a surf culture that encourages a specific demographic - straight white male surfers - to dominate the water and the culture. Ultimately this has resulted in discouraging those that don't fit this stereotype to take part in the sport, or even access blue spaces.

Frazer Riley, aka Frazzle, decided to use his white male privilege to encourage a different kind of surfing community to exist. From a landlocked sofa in London, Frazzle had become frustrated with the options to find community as a queer person. Searching for like-minded outdoorsy people, like many of his fellow LGBTQIA+ community, he found it impossible to track down spaces that weren’t orientated around overtly sexualised and hedonistic nightlife. So he started his own. The Queer Surf Club now has 867 members. The meet-ups and online community bring LGBTQIA+ surfers from across the globe together and support each other in their love of surfing. The club offers subsidies to help would-be surfers typically priced out of accessing the sport by location or financial means.

As a white cis gay man, Frazer openly understands that he has benefited most from the pride movement, with bill changes and the financial opportunities he can access due to his privilege. He says, “There are still members, particularly in our trans community, under attack. If I can make a haven for them in our QSC community, then that is the thing I’m most proud of.”

Favourite surf spot...

"Saunton sands, north devon. That is where surfing clicked for me. Saunton has a beautiful, mellow wave - that felt less hardcore than where I've been before.

It's so expansive, I once surfed until 11pm under the wildest sunset and last light on summer solstice. It was magic."

Why surf brings me joy...

"For me, it’s taking a moment out in the lineup at meetups. Even at 100 metres down the beach you know that you can paddle up to someone and chat to them. The first hour in the sea is usually people just chatting to each other, people barely even surfing. Then the next hour you hear this screaming and cheering as everybody celebrates someone just catching a wave.

Surfing can be a solitary and isolated sport, QSC is the opposite."


Whether you're looking to kick start your surfing journey or are an experienced surfer looking to share your passion with a like-minded community, find out more about QSC and all their upcoming meet-ups here. 



As part of our Pride campaign we put out a census to the LGBTQIA+ community to better understand the barriers they were facing to accessing the sea.


With over 100 responses so far, one key finding was that over 1 in 4 have witnessed some form of harassment in the sea.

We want to gain an even sharper picture, so please; jump in, take the survey, share it far and wide. It just takes a couple of minutes, and we’ll continue to share data throughout the year as the results come in.


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