Friday, 16 April 2010

All Puffed Out

New camera arrived today!! Yippee - a Lumix LX3! Cute little number - I take a lot of photos, wanted something small to keep on me all the time. Battery charged, sun going down, I hopped on the bike and hurried up to Pentire and then onto the Rumps to catch the moment. The bike is a fixed gear jump bike - bit of an effort getting up to the headland, but coming back..... weeeeeeee! That was fun! Not sure I'm allowed to cycle on the coast path, but hey yo, you just catch me!! No, it was a one off..... promise!

Si from Cornish Rock Tors was running out there at the same time - I got him to take this snap. Rubbish sunset in the end, so no money shot! I blame the ash! Never get bored of the view. That's Libby's tail, not mine!

Hm, boys bit overtired me thinks! A bit of rough and tumble going on in the hallway - and that's after six hours of football training today...! Their feet smell very cheesy. Off to watch Plymouth Argyle on Monday night against Newcastle. Been a few times recently. This is the big one - lose this and they're down.

All part of the Journey

“What do your instructors go onto to do when they leave Surf’s Up?” is a question that we’re often asked. Well the answer is that some go off to instruct at other surf schools around the world or set up their own. South Africa and Portugal have been popular stops in the past. More recently though, South America has become ‘the’ destination. I think seven of our past instructors have worked / are working out there - consistent surf, warm water, teaching in Boardies - what’s there not to like!... and two have set up their own operations. Pioneering stuff - it’s one thing setting up on a beach in this country, it’s quite another to do it in a foreign land.

Ru, set up Innocent surf school four years ago and currently corners the market for Surf’s Up! instructors working abroad and why not. He worked with us for seven years, becoming senior instructor and our right hand man on the way. He did a fantastic job. One of the best surfers we’ve ever employed with a great work ethic, it’s been no surprise that he’s gone on to set up the most dynamic operation at Nosara. Knowing the instructors personally that are over there working in his team, I can assure you that if you pay a visit you’re guaranteed to get a very high level of instruction and a very friendly reception - they’ll look after you for sure. So if you’re heading abroad, then Ru’s Innocent Surf School in Nosara is a must. ( 

And then we have Evie who’s set up - this is a new enterprise so I don’t know too much about it. Evie learned to surf with us and taught for us last year. She’s a one off - in a good way!

Dawsey set up in NZ following a Surf’s Up! New Zealand gap year tour. Although the trip was a success it worked out quite expensive so we decided that in the current economic climate we wouldn’t run another for a while. So Dawsey set about opening up his own operation on his local beach - - which I think is going well. 

And then Kelly, our Elite Coach, set up his own school in last winter also in NZ on his home beach! - again, if you’re headed that way, be sure to look him up, but not until November, as he’s here until then! Long way to go to find he’s here!

That’s what some of them get up to! It’s great to watch their own journeys from afar. Now in our 16th year we understand from first hand experience that there are plenty of good days and bad days that go into making a successful operation. Just because you’re on the beach doesn’t mean that there won’t be challenges on the way. It can be tough and you have to keep the faith. Polzeath, for example, is a hot bed for beach politics. Everyone wants a slice. In the words of the wise old sage, Wetherspoons Chief Exec Tim Martin, “You got business, you got problems”. You just have to revel and thrive on the journey.

So what of Surf’s Up!? Good question! Myself and Janey have found a very happy balance between business and the family. We became the largest surf school a while ago, quite by accident - and the shop and beach house have also been part of an evolution of good fortune. There’s been no real plan! Business consultants would struggle to copy the formula - as there isn’t one. No matter - it’s worked, and with the support of strong staff, we’re able now to come and go with some freedom. To spend the amount of time we have as a family, is very, very special. It’s a privilege that few enjoy and something that we really appreciate.

Talking of freedom - I took Billy, Fin and their cousins up onto Dartmoor a few days ago! We've been up their loads this winter - you can see why, it's a special place! Always an adventure. I often worry (often would be an exaggeration) (as would worry) that my blog isn't surfy enough! But, hey, it's all about a balance. 

Let's throw some politics into the mix! Did you see the Leaders Debate last night? Interesting stuff - Clegg was alright, wasn't he? Lib Dems are big down here! Really didn't think much of the other two - early days though. No decisions made this end as yet.

hm, sun's out, lovely day but the surf's flat! Hence a decent length blog! Which reminds me - last night I cycled down to the beach to do the final trailer pack. I was wearing a head torch as it was dark. And through the beam I could see tiny white particles falling out of the sky. Must have been this ash I guess. No sign of it this morning. 

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

catch up

Where do I start? Masters - great to watch. Big up Mickelson, you see that's a great story right there. I couldn't have been the only one in tears as he cuddled his misses on the 18th? What a tragedy it would have been if Tiger had won. This was a much better story. Hope she makes a full recovery.

And then we have the election. It's non stop isn't it? I fancy giving it a go one day... maybe next time around.
Here's Billy on the Flowrider at Retallack, 15 mins from Polzeath. Great fun. Just opened.

Back on the beach it's been fantastic. The weather has been sensational. And everyone's down for the Easter hols. But it's a funny kind of busy. We've had extremes, one day packed, another quiet. Unlike most years, no rhythm to it and that makes it difficult to judge for staffing. Wailin and Mikey have worked hard to get it right and I think they've just about nailed it. Of course the shop wasn't open this time last year, so that's been a big bonus.