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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 November, 2004, 07:43 GMT
William is a 'surf dude' prince
Prince William with a surfboard
The prince was surfing near St Andrews, where he studies
Prince William has become a 'surf dude' royal after riding the waves with college friends in Scotland.

But the future king admitted board-riding is not his strongest suit.

On one of his first outings, the 22-year-old was guilty of "dropping in", or stealing another's wave - a cardinal sin in the surfing world.

"I was left spluttering in the surf," joked William as he told how his fellow surfer struck him on the back of the head as he "whizzed" past.

In recent interviews William has spoken of his desire to join the army, and of the pressures of being the future king.

But the prince, who is second in line to the throne, is also determined to be regarded as a normal human being.

The prospect of being king did not keep him awake at night, he said, but the "slipping away" of normality would be "very hard".

The geography undergraduate was photographed practising his new-found skills in chilly waters near St Andrews in Scotland in mid-October.

There's no noise. It's just you breathing. You're in a different world with the fish
Prince William
"It was a bit like putting your head in a freezer when you went under water, but the wetsuit I've got is pretty good," he said.

"I couldn't feel my hands for about half an hour. After a while they get so numb."

But the prince, who has been boogie boarding in Cornwall and Devon for several years, still relishes being in the sea.

"There's no noise. It's just you breathing. You're in a different world with the fish."

He said of some of his other surfing mates: "I usually surf with my surf buddies.

"There's one American guy who's particularly good. He keeps an eye on me."

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15 Dec 03 |  Photo Gallery


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