I’ve been wanting to take a surf lesson for ages but have simply never built up the confidence to do it.
Cornwall is obviously famous for its surf culture; we are spoilt with amazing beaches and it would be silly not to take advantage of that! Amazingly, I’ve never even tried it. Of course as a child we used to go body boarding, but it’s not that same, and I’ve turned into more of a kayaking kinda gal since then.
I guess I’ve always put off taking a lesson because a) they can be pretty expensive!, and b) I’ve just felt a bit intimated by how much I have to learn about the whole thing. Being a total beginner can be daunting and embarrassing.
I’ve been following Corinne on Instagram for a while – she’s pretty well known throughout Cornwall, being a surf/fitness model (she’s stunning!), co-editor of Surf Girl Mag, and events manager at The Wave Project – and I noticed her posting about her Yoga and Surf days throughout Cornwall and the South West.
Specifically for women, her events can be tailored for beginners or more advanced surfers, and they’re super good value too – so I bit the bullet and booked myself onto her Newquay event last weekend at Great Western Beach!
I’m so glad I did; I had the best day! I got to meet some wonderful ladies, and a few I’ve ‘met’ before on Instagram or via email but have never got to chat to face to face. Everyone was so nice, and really patient with me as I was a total beginner (I wasn’t the only one, a few others were in a similar position!).
We started the day with some yoga on the beach with the lovely Jodi from Wave Strength Yoga. Despite the slightly grey and mizzly weather, we warmed up quickly with some fast flowing movements combined with some longer ‘Yin’ yoga poses. Jodi talked us through how each pose was beneficial and relevant for the strength and balance needed for surfing.
After our yoga session, we all went and grabbed some lunch at The Slope; a brand new beach bar and kitchen just next to the Newquay Surfing School. Corinne had high praise for this place, and we all received 20% off which was amazing!
I had their vegan seitan burger and it was THE BOMB; apparently their known for being the best vegan burger in town and I have no doubts about that. Would totally recommend checking this place out for pre-surf fuelling or post-surf recovery! It certainly gave us plenty of energy for the rest of the day.
^ Photo by Checkered Photography
After lunch we got into our wetsuits and headed down to the beach and split into two groups based on our abilities. Corinne gave us an introduction to the board, how to carry it and position ourselves on it, as well as pop-up techniques and safety instructions.
Then we got into the water! I think we were in there for a couple of hours, staying in the white water and not going in too much further than waist height to keep it simple, and practicing our pop-ups with help and critique from Corinne and Jodi.
It was so much fun, and after a couple of tries I actually managed to stand up a few times! I wasn’t expecting to achieve that on my first time so was pretty chuffed. I could see straight away why it’s so addictive; as soon as we got out to get changed I wanted to go back in again.
In the wind and rain, I was super glad to have my DryRobe to get changed and dried in. I was sent one by SimplySwim a few months ago and I hadn’t had the chance to try it out yet as I haven’t really been in the water, but I have to say it was pretty great to have on hand to get warm after our surf!
It also made it really easy to get changed; the surf school changing room was getting pretty busy, but I was able to just head outside and get undressed in the open thanks to this thing! Simples. I can totally see why this is a necessary addition to your kit if you’re out surfing in Winter.
Once we’d all got dressed again, we met up once more in the cafe to say thanks and goodbyes. Corinne has prepared gift boxes for each of us, which was so sweet, and also gave out a few prizes for our skills on the day. I won ‘Most Determined Surfer’ and came away with this epic MyProtein gift box!
Again, I had such a great day and met some truly awesome people. It’s so good to finally get a foundation in some surf skills, and I can’t wait to get back out in the water again to practice more! Who knows, maybe I’ll get hooked?
If you’re interested in learning to surf and generally having a fun day with some yoga and great people, check out Corinne’s Surf Tour website for future dates in Cornwall, Devon and Wales!
* I wasn’t sponsored to talk about this experience, I just loved it! I was, however, given the DryRobe to try from SimplySwim, but all opinions are my own :)
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