Westcountry Surf School in Newquay
Surfing. Possibly one of the most common words in my vocabulary. Since the age of 12 I have been hooked. Growing up in Cornwall, I have been surrounded by the ocean and its power and ambiguity.
Growing up, I never sat still. I loved all sports, especially football and spent hours kicking balls around the park with friends. It wasn’t until the age of 12 that I found surfing.
It was a boiling hot day in the Summer of 2002, I was on the beach with my family. My friend’s Dad came out of the surf, the sea and waves looked amazing. I thought for the first time in my life that I wanted to give surfing a go. I asked for a lesson. In we went and I stood up on my very first wave! Then, fell off within two seconds. Instantly, my competitive streak came out. I wanted to get better; I wanted to stand up for longer, all the way to the beach. I kept trying and trying but still falling off.
At home that evening, and every day for the next week, I pestered my Mum for my very own surfboard. My first ever surfboard was a foam board. Perfect for beginners. As soon as I got that board, I was straight in the sea. Come rain or shine, big waves or small. Football, which had been my main passion, was taking a back seat. I was hooked on surfing. I was going surfing with a group of older lads that had been doing the sport for a little bit longer than me. They were always that little bit better than me, giving me something to relentlessly aspire to.
As with anyone learning something new, I had good days and bad days. The unreliability of the UK’s waves didn’t help, but they didn’t deter me either and it was all worth it for the good days where it all just clicked. By the age of 14, I was obsessed with checking surf reports and found myself surfing before school, during school and after school. Truly addicted to the thrills of the ocean.
Why I love surfing and the life it has given me
For anyone that has tried surfing, they will understand the feeling of seclusion you get from the world, leaving everything behind but becoming completely part of the ocean, nature and it’s energy. It has enabled me to leave behind the stresses and pressures of modern day life which have become more evident getting older, and re-energise my mind and body.
At the age of 17, I had the chance to become an RNLI lifeguard, I successfully went through the training and they employed me that Summer. Over the course of the next seven Summers, I worked my way up to be in charge of some of the busiest beaches in Cornwall as a Senior Lifeguard. Through my lifeguarding, I met a great group of friends, also surfers. They invited my sister and myself out to Bali with them on a surf trip. I scored some of the sickest waves of my life and became addicted to travelling the world in search of the best waves for the following Winters to come. My life became an amazing cycle of lifeguarding on Cornish beaches in the Summer and travelling around the world in the Winter.
Throughout this time, friends began asking for lessons on my days off. This made me realise just how much I enjoyed sharing this life style and sport with other people. Throughout my time travelling, I began working for different surf schools around the world. Remembering how I began surfing instilled me with the natural passion for teaching people. Understanding the frustration and satisfaction of that learning process. I found this hugely rewarding.
Westcountry Surf School
So here we have it, in early 2015, Westcountry Surf School was born. Through my experience of coaching and lifeguarding, I understood and could empathise with the needs of families wanting to learn this sport. I decided to set up Westcountry Surf School with this in mind. I believe that one of the most important aspects of teaching surfing is to educate people about the dangers of the sea but how we can use and respect this power for our enjoyment. Westcountry Surf School has a strong focus on giving a personal service where everyone’s needs are met and supported. Small group sizes ensures a personalised service where each person surfing gets small succinct tips to improve throughout every session.
Now I can share my passion of surfing with people and give them the opportunity to experience what surfing has given to me. Starting you off on that path. It’s a great entity to get addicted to.