Thursday, 21 July 2016

38 day count down

The Tickets have arrived... if you've ordered one, they're being sent out tomorrow and will be with you by the weekend. These are golden tickets, full of surprises! Latest update is that we've secured the services of DJ Jamie the Barb.. OMG how exciting! The funkiest vinyl man on the planet and quite possibly the hardest man to track down! But track him down we have. He's on board and I've already ordered a new pair of dancing shoes.. coz me old ones simply won't last the night! I recommend you do the same. Surf's Up! Band Mahoustic played last week.. we're heading to the big smoke of Plymouth for a final pre-gig, gig (come join us)... we're feeling good, prepped, ready to rock!
If you haven't got your tickets yet but want to join a vast number of past and present staff, clients, Boardriders and locals for what will be a night of Unshackled Surf's Up! celebration.. give us a call on 07760 126225. We'd love to see you there. The count down has begun! Bring it on! 21years... who'd have thought it! That is all. PC

Monday, 4 July 2016

Kiss those boots goodbye


A massive thank you for the support you're showing for our 21st Anniversary Party on the 27th August! Response has been overwhelming, the phone has been going nuts and we're already well ahead of schedule on ticket sales. Over the next couple of weeks we'll gradually start releasing details of exactly what's happening on the night. Two live bands and a DJ is all I'm giving you right now. It's going to be such a crazy night. We're frothing! Call 07760 126225 to reserve your places.


Yep, the water's warming up super quick so it's off with the boots and gloves, heaven. Who likes surfing in boots and gloves? Simple answer, no-one! End of. The thick rubber just feels so clumpy on the end of your digits...and unorganic. Less is best. Just boardies would be the go, but this is Cornwall and May, so a snug fitting winter / spring suit is the order of the day. We've got 'em if you need 'em!


As for the surf forcast this weekend and week, it looks like it's going to be small, in the 1 -2ft range, which is perfect for beginners and improvers (now where have we heard that before?). Bring sunscreen, the big ball of fire is going to shine shine shine, just how we like it. Lessons are everyday at 10am, 12pm and 2pm .. call 07760 126225 to speak to Gorgeous Elle or Curly Beau in Bookings.

Tickets on sale now

Surf's Up! 21st Anniversary Celebration, The Point

27th August 7pm - 1am

 Early Bird Tickets available NOW! CALL 07760 126225

£10 Adult      £7 Under 16's

Back in 1995 when myself and Janey first drove on to Polzeath beach car park, little did we know that we'd still be here some 21 years later. We began in an era of no mobile phones, no computers, no internet, no websites, no emails, no credit nor debit cards. Enquiries came in the form of hand written letters and we'd reply with hand written letters. The phone box at the entrance to Coronation gardens was our office. As one of only eleven surf schools in the country then, we're one of 100 today.

Since those early days we've taught over 200,000 people to surf, quite incredible. To do something that we love, in a place that is so special, has well surpassed any humble dreams that we may have had. We feel truly blessed.

On this journey we have met many incredible people.. clients and staff, associates and those who have simply been there in support and observed our journey from the shore. Life long friends have been forged and life long memories shared.

We're marking our 21st anniversary with a very special party. We're inviting you and people from all around the world who have been part of our journey to join us in a night of celebration, presentations, dancing and live music. Come and meet up with your old instructors and friends. Come dance. Come rock. Come reminisce. Let the mind unshackle, set it free. The date for the evening event is set for the 27th August, the Saturday of the bank holiday, up at The Point. The venue for the marquee is spectacular. With only 600 tickets available, you'll need to get on it! This is going to be a night to remember, a complete one off! We're going all out, and I mean...all out! We're going big! And we really hope you'll be there to join in the fun.

To reserve your tickets, please call the ticket hotline today on 07760 126225.

Proceeds to be split equally between Chicks and the Wave Project.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

New Website not that far away now

We continue to work through the new website, page by page. Really love the look of it, just need to take our time getting the functionality right. Myself, Janey, Wailo, Elle and Emma have been pouring over the nitty gritty and I hope that by Whitsun we'll be good to go for the launch.


The Surf's Up! 21st Anniversary is coming together nicely. The site up at The Point could not be better. The marquee's been ordered. The food's sorted courteously of Gary Dutton. The beverages pulled and served by The Point. Stage, lighting and PA are boxes ticked for the bands and DJ's. The Surf's Up! Band members of Mahoustic are all practicing hard, as are former Surf's Up! instructors Kit and Planty who will be entertaining us with their band too. They assure me that they sound like Muse! Everything seems to be in hand... I think!

Back on the beach we had a terrific couple of groups on the weekend. Plymouth Argyle U13's enjoyed the small but perfectly formed surf. As did Wailo's son Elliot's rugby team a better later in the day! Lots and lots of laughter and happy faces, which is what we love. And lots of juicy burgers on the BBQ.


Saturday, 30 April 2016

We're rocking it in 2016!

If you think I, the Big Cheese, has gone a bit'd be right and wrong! Let me explain... we've started the year here at Surf's Up! with a new steely resolve and at staff meetings (of which there have been many and will be more) we've challenged ourselves over the next five years to see 'just how good we can be!' In order to do this we're working incredibly hard behind the scenes to ensure that if you grace our shores, you'll enjoy an even better experience than of any of our previous 21 years. We're not worried about getting bigger, we just want to get better, and I think you'll notice the difference.
Speaking of 21 years... let me tickle in some hot off the press news... stick this date in your diary.. 27th August... we're hosting our 21st Anniversary Party, a massive reunion for all those who've either been surfing with us, supported us or worked for us since 1995! How exciting! This evening event will take place up at The Point where Dj's and the Surf's Up! band Mahoustic, to name but two highlights (!) will get you rocking in the monstrous marquee. We're going to party like it's 1999 and we very much hope you can come. Tickets will be limited and will be available the day our new website goes live....(which is very soon).

New website? Yep, our new website, interactive with lots of video and audio.. is a huge forward step that we're so excited about. we've always been the industry leaders and we hope you love the look and changes we're making. We're pouring a huge amount of time and energy into this to make it cutting edge. Our old one was cool, but outdated. That's about all I can say about it at the moment. I'm sure you understand.
Other developments. I had the good fortune to go to Hawaii this Winter with Janey and the boys. If you haven't been...go! It is everything that you think it will be and more. Standing on the beach at Pipeline watching grinding barrel after grinding barrel was like a religious experience. So much history, the place where legends are made. As if that wasn't enough my eye was caught by the sight of sponsored riders running out from the Volcom House with these soft short boards tucked under their arms. It's like the next evolution of surfing. Now as you probably already know, I've long been a fan of the Swelly surfboard... so to watch these pros tuck into barrels on these tiny chubby softboards, well.. it made me very happy! Very happy indeed. So I thought, "Hey, those would be awesome for the surf school!" Not only have we bought a load for you to try but we've become the exclusive test centre for Catch Surfboards, the very one's they were using! If you want to see someone riding them check out North Shore legend Jamie O'Brien's website, dear lordy he's a complete nutter.. just how we like it. We have some of his boards arriving for Whitsun, on sale in our shop.

So yep, having taken a couple of years out, I'm back! And frothing! So excited about this year.. hey, you may even see me walking around with a pad under my arm, making notes, jotting down ideas. I know, crazy! But here's the want to know who inspires me... you do! From that very first day when myself and Janey pulled onto the beach back in 1995.. it's always been our philosophy that when you come for a lesson, you leave having had the most incredible time and are super happy. That's our gauge, there is no other. Let me tell you that in 2016, super happy just got happier!
I'm joined in the quest by Janey: co-founder, warrior and the true rock of Surf's Up! unlike me, she never went away.. Wailin: you could not wish for a better right hand man, a most incredible long hair and leader of the pack! Elle: the font of all office knowledge, systems and who has this incredible ability to swear and smile at a disfunctioning modem at the same time (Clare is on hand to assist)! Emma: on fire in the shop with new products and new ideas, watch this space. That's the management team... we also have your favourite senior instructors on site now... Waimea Jonny, Hair Dye Shaff and Josh the Maple Leaf, with others joining the team in time for Whitsun. They're all here, buzzing, waiting to welcome you on to site!

Okay, so that's enough from me. Quiet, yes. But only because we're working on so much new stuff. Oh and I'm on detox.. day 16 of 30! More greens? Really?! Lost a stone and an 'arf! Even a sniff of a Jaffa Cake would do! This is the last time you'll hear from me in this dull written format. Next time you see the words 'Surf's Up!' make an appearance in your Inbox, I hope when you click on it you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Don't forget, 27th August.. it's gonna be huge!!
As you were, thanks for listening, I'm here every day.... Pete


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Trimming a bush

Couple of bits of news before the normal chit chat begins! We’re trying to be more proactive with our Facebook page ( so we’d love it if you check in … latest beach news and surf reports etc. I’m not a selfie social media kind of guy, but it seems to be a good way of spreading the word. That’s what I’m told. Apparently you ‘like’ the site, you don’t become a ‘friend’. So lots of likes and kind reviews most welcome.
Had a Surf’s Up! staff gathering on Monday… great team. One of the best, nothing is ever too much trouble. Everyone’s really happy up at the Surf’s Up! HQ… clients and staff alike. Was a great move for us. Big thanks to Wail for rocking it as Beach manager, he really is a rock. To Elle, who’s taken the Office Manager’s job and shaken it down, we’ve never been so organised! She’s been doing the ordering for the shop stock and the hoodies, tees etc which look fresh and amazing. And to Little Sam who just keeps coming back, can’t get rid of her!

Here comes the chit chat!…
Don’t be fooled. I’m no cool surfer dude. Not anymore. Whereas once my low slow gait was a visual representation of a laid back attitude, the very same gait now represents tight hammies and rock solid achilles. Sadly, those cool surfer days have dripped through my fingers like a double choc chip dipped cone on a summer’s eve (you want a flake in that?). It is a wonder that I make it through each day. Business consultants talk about a five year plan? I’ll just take 24 hours at a time thanks. Seriously when I put my jim jams on and retire for the evening, I do a quick head to toe body check just to make sure that I’m still here. Up to this point I’ve enjoyed reasonable success.
The truth is that I am the clumsiest person on this planet. I spend most of my day rectifying what I’ve just broken or tripped over. This may come as a surprise to you, so I shall provide clear evidence and a strong case.
Last week, a wonderfully spirited elderly lady that I know needed her bush trimmed and unable to do it herself she was on the hunt for someone who could get on top of it. This was something that I felt I could take into my own hands, so I volunteered. I arrived at the house at the prearranged time complete with my new electric hedge cutters, extension lead and “Topiary for Dummies” handbook. We walked around the back where she showed me the offending bush. It had indeed got a bit ragged around the hedges! 
In true Poldark fashion (just the very mention of Poldark and I see the ladies have perked up!), I stripped off. Shirtless, I battled the unsightly bush, swashing and swathing for a good hour in the midday sun. It was starting to look great, starting to take shape, there was much to trim….until that is, without notice, the motor simply cut out. Just stopped! Nooooo. This was not good, this was very bad. Especially as I was half way through topiarising her bush into the shape of a Brazilian… Ayrton Senna (page 21). “Can you check the plug socket for me please?” I shouted in the direction of the shed, the power source. Checked. Nope, wasn’t that. I wandered up the garden, cutter in hand.. and it was at this point that I realised that my walk was unencumbered by the electrical lead. I looked back. OMG! I’d cut through the electric cable with the blades of my double action Qualcast! It was now cordless. Why was I still alive? Why weren’t my ears smoking? We stood there looking at each other in shock at the two severed cable ends. It didn’t end there. In amidst of our shock she’d dropped the shed key and it had bounced under the shed… so I got down onto my hands and knees to go find it. I couldn’t. Wasn’t there? “That’s odd” I said as I rose from off my knees to my feet and then promptly clouted my forehead on a rusty hook protruding from the wooden door. We stood there looking at each other in more shock, as the blood dripped through my fingers like a double choc chip dipped cone on a summer’s eve! Such a clown.
It didn’t even end there either. Two days later I received a text… “Thanks for all your efforts.. I think you might have cut through my clothes line?” Apparently, there was only enough rope left for her smalls. What can I say? Except, I rest my case.
I’m sure there was something businessy I was supposed to say? Can’t remember… oh yes come on down and see us at the beach, call 07760 126225 to book a lesson, perhaps pop into the shop and try on some of the new goodies…the sweatshirts are my favourites. And don’t forget to visit the Facebook page……we’re going to be keeping right on top of it. Just like the bush.
My work here is done.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Pain au Chocolat

You know what it's like.. stopped off at the garage for a pain au chocolat (can't beat the smell and hot choccy chips... just the thought makes me gooey) and what do ya know? All gone! Deep disappointment. Without hesitation I went straight into Plan B. A sausage roll at that time of the morning isn't right. Neither's a bacon and tomato turnover. I closed my eyes, reached out to the counter and took a lucky dip grab at the line up of hot plastic bags. Jackpot! Turned out I'd won a sausage bap, I can go with that. Get to the counter and there's a two for one deal on the Giant buttons! Giant Buttons follow the Jaffa Cake rule. Once the seal is broken you have to empty the packet. It's always been that way. So I put on half a kilo just on my way to the empire this morning. And now I feel all lethargic and rubbishy! The empire won't run itself, let's crack on shall we?

Let's get to the business end first. Last minute deal at the Beach House.... a weekend break. 10th /11th July £700 including unrestricted board and wetsuit hire. Sleeps ten. You know the score... give Elle a shout on 07760 126225. First to call with plastic seals the deal.

Now where were we....? Beach Licences? Remember that one, Polzy 2013! OMG what a trauma! Can't even bring myself to think about it. Stressy time. Let me bring you up to date... the council at the start of this year decided to roll out a licence scheme for all surf schools. Well all the surf schools perched upon land owned by Cornwall Council. So not all, but many. This didn't affect Polzy directly but it was a proposal that was deeply flawed and having previously experienced a council department that lacked experience and judgement and therefore one I lacked confidence in, I decided to put on my waders and get fully immersed in the battle. The proposal in itself was based on generating revenue and maximising council assets. No probs with that. However, the proposal was incomplete. And being incomplete it made the beaches less safe. I won't bore you here with the facts, hey I can do that by simply talking about what I've had for brekkie, but with 23 years experience of surf coaching it couldn't be more clear to me that intervention was needed. I trotted down to County Hall, fully wadered up and observed from the public gallery as the proposal was presented to the councillors. So incensed with what I was hearing, I stood up and started making verbal observations from the said gallery. Apparently this is not within the guidelines, the meeting was stopped and I was led outside by four burlies who highlighted the error of my ways. 

Prior to the second and final meeting in the main chamber at County Hall I wrote personally to each of the 120 councillors. The council department insisted it was a done deal. The feedback I was getting was that it was not. And so it was proved. The final vote was so close that the proposal in it's current form was not accepted and will need to be amended and re-presented at a later date. The sadness in all of this is that the council department responsible for the beaches put the proposal forward in the first place, it showed a huge void in understanding of how a beach works. They actually believed that what they were proposing was right and that's such a worry. Beaches are the most valuable asset Cornwall has, and the best and most experienced brains should be charged with protecting both their natural state and the safety of those who enjoy them. It is not good enough to simply paper over the cracks of this department. There should be no compromise on safety over revenue, none. To put forward a proposal that sought to do just that, is acceptable to neither me as a business owner nor you as a beach user. 

On the upside, what I can assure you of, and what I learned is that within the grey concrete fabric of the council buildings there lie some formidable council representatives as witnessed at County Hall on that final day of reckoning. And for that, particularly on this occasion, we should all be thankful. My faith in the council process was strenghened, not weakened. We live in hope that the next proposal is complete and restores our faith in a department that needs to get this right. This isn't about winning, it's about making the beach as safe as it can possibly be. Our door will always be open if they want to chat.

And where's that second bag. Need sugar.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Epic surf forecast for the half term

It's looking mighty good. The surf forecast. Early doors for sure, but if we're to believe what we're seeing on the charts then we're looking at head high with light winds for next week!! Not every day, but most. Mild too. It's what you've trained for. So if you're already booked to come down, you can allow yourself a bit of frothage! If you're not sure yet, it's time to commit! And if you're looking to commit and need to sort accommodation, it just so happens that the Beach House is available from this weekend, seven nights £650 sleeps ten (01208 862003 - first one to call with a card seals the deal). Bish bash bosh. Now that would be a great Valentine's Day surprise... "Darling, pack your bags. We're off to Polzy!" "Oh my god, I love you so much!" No thanks required.

With the season fast approaching I'm occasionally asked what's the best way to prepare physically. When I was a stone lighter I was asked more often! Anyway, you know, you come down for a couple of weeks, you want to make the most of your time in the splish splash. Three areas to look at: arm strength for paddling, flexibility for the pop; general cardio for the exertion. Gyming it and running through an overall fitness programme is going to help, as is swimming. But not everyone has the time to jump in the car and slip on the lycra. Perhaps there's something you can do at home. There is, and it'll completely transform not just your physical condition but also zone in on those bits you need for riding those waves... specifically your pop and your turns. Yoga. All the top surfers do it. There's a dvd called Surf into Yoga by surf pro Rochelle Ballard that's very good, but to fair there's so much free stuff on Youtube... just find something you like and mix it up a bit. You don't need to chant or surround yourself with candles. A bit in the morning when you rise and a bit in the evening, job's a goodun'. Makes you feel great too. If you already do it, you'll know the benefits. If you haven't tried it, give it a go. I promise when you hit the beach and you go for that first pop, you'll notice the difference.

Not much else to report down on the beach except that the beach licence issues are back! Cornwall Council are tendering activity licences for every beach that they own. Good plan in my view. The council team has a different look to it with new faces and we're hopeful that they'll consider the many points raised by the 500 + letters sent in by your goodselves, who wrote so passionately in support of our situation and against the change in council policy at the back end of 2013. What we've already seen is the promise of a proper tender process (unlike the 10 working days we were given to prepare a seven year licence application) and a return to surf schools being restricted with maximum pupil numbers (we couldn't agree to a licence without this condition as a no restriction policy is totally contradictary to beach safety). However, a broad sweep approach would not work as every beach is different. Polzeath, for example, has three landowners. So I hope the council take their time to look at the needs of each beach and develop a policy that has support, is safe and improves the beach experience for everyone. Not an easy job, but one worth pursuing. 

Right that's me done. Time to light those candles and do some omming! No chance of getting me ankles stuck behind me ears at this stage, but it's not for the lack of trying.

As you were....

Friday, 16 January 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!! Hope you had a good one and are frothed at the prospect of pushing boundaries in 2015. Has a good ring to it....2015, don't you think? The numbers seem to sit nicely together. 2015... yep, I like it.

Did you get in for a splash and dash over the festive period? There were a few good days to shout about. 

Do I have any news? Yes I do... this is our 20th anniversary! How time flies! It seems like only yesterday that I drove the trailer on to the beach for the first time in 1996... actually it doesn't! I feel quite a bit older. The knees don't bend quite like they used to; my belly and moobs aren't under my control anymore; I have to wear designer face furniture to see anything within arms length; who knows where I've left the car!! I've taken to long walks to stem the tide, dog walks. Miles and miles I go. Did Twenty miles on Tuesday. I hadn't meant to... thought I'd walk up the river until I could find a place to cross. Eight miles in and I committed to the task in hand. Doesn't do anything mind... makes the knees achier, the tits saggier and the eyes runnier! But I do love it. 

My boys have been getting pounded in the shore break.... here's a few of their momentoes! Lots more of their stuff on Instagram

South Milton / Thurlestone on a stormy day... awesome beach cafe here.

Bantham... looking towards Bigbury

A gnarly one at Bantham... when it's on, it's on! Such a great wave... but oh so busy! Polzy has nothing on this when it comes to overcrowding. I turned up there with the boys just before Christmas, overhead, light offshore breeze, perfection.... except there must have been 150 people out the back sitting in the line up. Carnage! Billy went in, but came out after having caught only a few citing, well citing carnage! 

It's all quiet back here on Polzy Beach. The super bank to the left at the top of the beach has returned and redirected the stream over to the far right. A deep fast flowing stream following the recent rainfall... not seen it like that for a while. The bend cuts deep into the sand. The surf today is big and choppy... good for fish, and chips. It's sunny though, oh no it's not, yes it is. The weather's changeable.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

And here's the other one

And here's my big boy. Fourteen going on thirty five. If it doesn't involve a ball, he's not interested. His dream of playing professional football burns bright and if success was down to hard work alone, then he'll make it. But it's not as simple as that. It's a hugely competitive environment and a brutal journey. You need luck, you need to be in the right place at the right time, you need to stay injury free and your face needs to fit. I have huge respect for his commitment and desire, it's unwavering. All we can do is support him, feed him, chauffeur him to training and matches and see what transpires. I love the fact that he has a dream and isn't afraid to put the work in.

The shop is doing great. Sarah's got some pretty cool new stock in, including these slaps. I don't think one size fits all, but then I haven't really given that much thought. I would imagine there's different sizes in line with the fact that people have different size feet. That would make sense. Same with the hats, although head size would vary less than feet size wouldn't it? I'd say that in the shop we have less hat sizes than flip flop sizes. But that's a guess. I couldn't be sure unless I actually go on site and check. I need to lie down.

Spirits are high in the camp. The instructors are working hard under the management of Wailo. He's off to see Pearl Jam twice this week! Rock and roll. 

We've tickled up our lesson prices a touch. First time in yonks. From £26 to £28 for the two hour lesson. Still incredible value. I'm not entirely sure how we manage to squeeze any profits out of that, most surf schools are in the £36 - £40 range. At the same time we've reduced our ratio to a maximum of one instructor to eight students. It's often better than that to be honest. Don't forget that you can go down the private group lesson route if that's what you prefer. 

Right, I'd best get down to some guitar practice for this gig on the weekend. Last night I put new strings on my guitar and polished it! Gave it a right good buffing I did. Not done that before.