Meet your instructor: Joel at West Country Surf School
If you book a lesson with Westcountry Surf School, you’re going to meet Joel.
Cornwall born and bred, a qualified RNLI Lifeguard and a seasoned world traveller, Joel’s enthusiasm for surfing naturally led to him teaching others and founding his own surf school in Watergate Bay, near Newquay, in 2015.
But if you’re thinking about booking lessons with Westcountry Surf School, you probably knew all that already so we decided to get up close and personal with the surf school’s head instructor to give a bit more insight into the man behind the hut on top of Watergate Bay.
How long have you been surfing for?
Since I was 10 and I’ve been coaching for several years.
Why teach? What’s your favourite part of your job?
Teaching came naturally to me after lifeguarding for several summers on some of the busiest beaches in Cornwall. My favourite part? Probably watching people grow as surfers. It’s something special to watch someone progress from their first time standing to being competent, decent surfers in their own right. It’s also a great way to meet new friends and some interesting characters, you never know what opportunity is coming next! Above all it’s a privilege to watch someone pick up a hobby and a clean healthy lifestyle.
What’s the most common mistake you see in the water?
It’s not really a mistake but a lot of students think too much when they first start out. They put a lot of pressure on themselves to be up and out back as soon as possible but surfing doesn’t work like that! You have to relax, let go and go with wherever the experience takes you that day. It should be fun as well as challenging!
Why Westcountry Surf School?
I guess in a way the school’s biggest advantage is myself- you get my passion. I have tonnes of experience and grew up learning in the cornwall, I have never lived anywhere else. That’s quite an advantage that really helps me keep students safe. I am also committed to keeping the group sizes small and personal. The Westcountry Surf School Trip Advisor page etc is full of reviews that show people really appreciate that.
I feel it’s important for student to get the best of me and feel safe in the water no matter what their experience or level. Smaller groups help me achieve this and is one of the key reason our students do so well.
Best thing about Watergate Bay?
It’s a super safe, super beautiful beach that works on all tides. It’s got a great long surfing area which gives students time to experience waves before they hit the beach. It’s also got a great local vibe with good chill out places for before and after surf. It’s out of the way with a nice crowd, but close enough to Newquay if you need anything. It’s connected but chilled.