Unleash your inner wave rider and head down to Newquay on England’s west coast to give some of the best surfing in Europe a try. Book onto lessons with some of Cornwall’s top surf instructors at the Level 4 Approved Escape Surf School, available through our Newquay hostel. We teamed up with the Head Coach there (this guy below), so he could provide the ultimate beginner's guide to surfing. He'll have you riding the waves like a pro in no time.
Mike Young is the Head Coach at Escape Surf School . We’ve asked him for his expert tips that will give you a head start on the other rookie surfers ahead of your lessons.
’s Surf N’ Stay package.
Mike Young, Head Coach at Escape Surf School
Never surfed before? Take his 8 tips on how to get started...
1. BOOK LESSONS WITH A SURF SCHOOL
It's important that when you choose to learn to surf you are taught the correct technique right at the start, so you don’t develop unhealthy habits. Learning correctly at the start will mean your journey to becoming a surfer is quicker and less frustrating! Come to Escape and we’ll have you standing on the board way faster than you’d think.
2. DON’T BUY A SURFBOARD IMMEDIATELY
Beginners often buy incorrect surfboards for their ability, and will therefore slow the learning process down dramatically, and sometimes not even allow you to get started! It’s the perfect example of “all the gear, no idea!” If you are insistent on buying a surfboard, speak to your instructor who will usually give you honest advice, and don’t believe the surfboard salesman!
3. WEAR A SUITABLE WETSUIT
In the UK, you really need a wetsuit for all year round: 2 or 3mm in the summer and 4 or 5mm in the winter, along with boots, gloves etc. Wearing the wrong kit can be dangerous as your body temperature could drop severely. If you’re lucky enough to be surfing in warmer climates, always wear a rash vest to keep the harmful sun’s rays off!
4. BE IN YOUR BEST POSSIBLE SHAPE
There are exercises you can do before surfing to improve your core, paddle strength, flexibility and stamina. Speak to your surf instructor or gym trainer who will give you tips and advice. Squats are a good place to start, as bent knees are essential for surfing. Swimming is another good all-round preparation exercise.
5. BE PATIENT AND LISTEN
Surfing is a waiting game, and so is learning. Every day is different due to the tides, conditions, wind, your mental state which can be frustrating. Being patient and accepting change will mean you’re in a better mental state to progress.
6. LEARN ABOUT AND RESPECT THE OCEAN
The ocean can be a dangerous place. Make sure you are aware of the weather, surf forecasts, tides and surfing conditions. Remember if it looks too big for you, it is. If in doubt, don’t go in.
7. BUDDY UP
Always surf with friends, ideally of a similar ability. You can spur each other on and have much more fun together, as well as look out for each other and tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back.
8. LEARN SURFING ETIQUETTE
There are “rules” for surfing which you need to understand and ideally abide by! “Don’t drop in”, “don’t throw your board” and so on. Learn and understand these!
Now you know some basics you're basically ready to get out on the water. Check out our where you can surf and stay on one of the UK’s most beautiful stretches of coastline.