With more people staying in the UK for their holidays and even more people taking up sport following the success of this summer’s London Olympics, it’s possible that surfing could be the next big thing for active Brits.
There are some great surf spots along the UK’s coastline, especially for beginners who have never set foot in a wetsuit before, but the best place to learn to ride the waves comes without doubt, with a Cornwall holiday. The south coast receives the finest waves, sunniest weather and has a whole load of facilities and experienced companies who are well established and ready to get you waxing those boards and cresting the surf like a pro.
If you’re going to try your hand, or perhaps more importantly, your feet at surfing, there’s a few things you need first.
1. Be a Competent Swimmer
Surfing is a reasonably safe sport and you won’t find any sharks or killer jellyfish in the water off the south coast. But don’t let that fool you. Any water sport requires a reasonable amount of fitness and swimming competence and you need to feel confident in the water before learning to surf.
2. Get the Right Kit
Don’t buy surfboards or wetsuits when you first start out; surfing is not a cheap hobby. Wetsuits vary in thickness and should be chosen based on the temperatures of the water you plan on surfing in. Quality wetsuits could cost you anywhere between £50 - £250, while boards range in price from £100-£800 depending on the material they’re made from, the design and the maker. When starting out, the best option by far is to hire kit from a surf supplier. Once you get to grips with surfing and figure out if it’s a sport you want to pursue, buying second-hand gear is a cost-effective way to start building up your own collection of equipment.
3. Get Lessons
It will save you a lot of time, pain, and swallowed sea-water to get some lessons from a qualified instructor. There is a large of community of surfing experts on the south coast and if you’re visiting the region on holiday, some of the campsites in Cornwall offer lessons as part of their accommodation packages. The Perran Sands Holiday Park is just a few miles along the coast from Newquay and you can graduate there from the surf-school of this resort. From the comfort of your beach based yurt or safari tent you can stroll onto the sands, rent your equipment, take advantage of some training and get your surf experience off to a flying start.
4. Get Down With the Lingo, Dude
Once you’ve got the skills, you can get your aloha spirit on and grab some air on the gnarly impact zone like an authentic beach bum or betty, dude.