I moved to Woolacombe a few months ago and taking a surfing lesson was definitely on my “must do” list. I became fascinated with watching the surfers and those having their first go in the water. I love the idea of riding waves and being so close to nature. I love surfing culture, the vibes, everything about it. I want to be part of it.
I can swim well yet something about the ocean makes me nervous. I want to have a go at surfing so I need to overcome this.
A bit about me…
My name is Keira and I work in the holiday reservations team so I may have helped you with your holiday booking. I was offered the chance to take one of our surfing lessons and then be able to share the experience with our guests and my fellow team members. My journey to live in Woolacombe from the Isle of Wight was via Australia and that’s the spiritual home of surfing.
Getting ready for my first surfing lesson
I felt quite nervous and not too sure what to expect, worried I was going to make a complete fool of myself.
I was greeted by the most enthusiastic, encouraging and friendly bunch of surfers. Rich was our instructor and he was full of infectious energy. With a real passion for surfing he got the group fired up and ready to go, before we hit the beach. It really helped and put me at ease.
We got fitted for our wetsuits, 8 of us in the group, a wide range of ages and abilities, once changed we were ready to go. We grabbed our boards and headed for the beach.
Hitting the surf
Rich introduced us to basic surfboard knowledge and beach safety. He started us off with some simple principles in how to ride a white water wave to the shore. It sounds simple but I discovered accomplishing this is no easy task. I discovered that riding my first wave to shore can be fun as well as frustrating.
We went into the water, waist deep and we jumped onto our boards, paddling hard. I hurtled towards the beach at what seemed like 100mph. I felt like it almost took my breath away. I climbed on my hands and knees, where I remained for a few seconds, before wobbling and I tumbled off the board with screams of laughter.
I continued like this for nearly an hour, watching others in my group were up on their feet, my whole body ached. And I kept on getting knocked off. But I was loving the rush and determined to stand up!
Then it happened… I paddled harder and faster than before. I wobbled a little, pushed into the board and I was on my feet, I stood riding the white water for only a few seconds. It felt like I was flying. Before I knew it, I had fallen off and was raring to get that rush again.
After my surfing lesson
I ached from head to toe after the lesson but I had the biggest smile on my face. I am still struggling to describe the sense of achievement. I really did feel AMAZING!
I learnt a valuable lesson too about taking the leap. I have proved to myself that when I force myself to do something outside of my comfort zone, I found something I love. I can say honestly what an incredible 2 hours.
Booking your own surfing lesson
When you are staying at any of our four Devon Holiday Parks you can easily try surfing during your break too. You can pre-book your lesson with your holiday to guarantee your space. A half day (morning or afternoon) session lasts 2 hours and costs £32 per person while a full day session costs £62 per person. Surfing lessons are provided exclusively by Woolacombe Surf Centre at discounted rates when you add your surf lessons to your Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks booking.
What you need to know:
- Suitable for ages 8 to 80 years
- Families welcome
- Lesson costs include equipment and wetsuit
- Photos of your session included
- No surfing experience required
- Beginner, Intermediate and Advance level coaching
- RNLI lifeguards supervise Woolacombe Beach
- Flexible session times available
- Woolacombe Surf Centre also has a surf shop with board and wetsuit hire