Thursday, 22 July 2010

Frogs on the path

Phew, all blogged out from yesterday. Can't tell you much about the beach today - splash and dash this morning (literally, it was pouring - actually not true, it was pouring whilst Wailin and Mikey were unloading the trailer and I was lying in bed listening to the torrent against the window pane! By the time I got down there it had cleared up!) Bad management! - I am quite often first one to unload a few signs and I was down at 6.30am the previous day to help sort out the drippy tap - so I don't feel too bad! Anyway when I went to leave the house there were frogs all over the road - it must have been raining for sometime!

So not a beach day today - with Billyman and Fin having already broken up (the school decided to take all their teacher training days on one hit, broke up one week earlier than most Cornish Schools), and despite the fact that Thursday is my golf day at St. Enodoc, I put aside all thoughts of hitting fairways and joined the family for a day trip down to Truro (it's what dreams are made of!) Truro is okay, there are worse cities, but the main attraction is the very good outdoor skatepark. Billy's got right back into it - so we're more than happy to take him down and sit on the side for a few hours.

Sorry, that's it. Not much more to report.

ps my continuing recession coverage of Cornwall goes as follows. Truro? Absolutely dead, no-one around - except for the cheese shop. They said they'd been really busy. Bought a nice slice of Cornish Blue. Cheese man got me try some St. Laudus from Menallack Farm near Penryn "a farmhouse cheese rodded with a blue culture and matured on for a seriously unveined blue cheese." Apparently best served with a dessert wine? Mm, tasty.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Polzeath - it can get pretty windy

I'm on a roll - some of you will have seen this one. I was just looking through a few of our old vids. This was taken on Pentire, right hand side as you look out of Polzeath. I did it as a Christmas Promo!!! Hilarious!

Surf's Up! Instructors

I've got to show you this video - not just because of the content. But because this was a first attempt at video editing by two of our e2e girls, Tertia and Milly. Tertia was only with us for a couple of weeks but she made a huge impact. I hope she takes on board that she has a talent for this - she required minimal guidance to get her going and then she just put her head down until it was finished. Tertia (if you're reading this) this would be a very good path for you to go down.

Keep your focus on your strengths, your talents and your abilities. Rid yourself of the negative, it's wasted, unproductive energy. Stay positive

Okay so the video - this was a staff party. Take a handful of Surf's Up! instructors, some rubber dinghies, throw in some cool surf and let's see what happens. The reality was that it was really difficult to paddle the things out the back! Apologies to anyone who was trying to surf that night! It was great fun!

My Girls

Just a short amateur video of the girls who've been coming to visit us once a week for the past two terms. I think the world of these young ladies and am really proud with what they achieved, they've come such a long way. The course has been deemed so successful that they're coming back again in September and if I can blow our own trumpets for one minute, this is what the school had to say about us ..."The feedback that Nicky gave me this morning was fantastic and I think that it’s no exaggeration to say that you are changing lives". All I can say in response is "It's been a privilege".

Doggy do's and doggy don'ts

Surf at 7am - sun and surf

Word on the street is that some local residents are on the dog warpath. How they fit this into their hectic lifestyles heaven only knows! A selfless act for the good of the community! Get a life! "Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the observance of fools". No complaints from me during the peak times re. my black lab. Off the beach she is.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Staff Kelly Training

Great fun - couple of feet, perhaps the odd three footer thrown in! We had the whole Surf's Up! team out surfing together, all in student vests. Kelly on the cliff top videoing. Video sessions are invaluable when you get to a certain level. And Kelly's input is from the top drawer. I think everyone benefitted. You know it was just great to be in the line up with the crew.


Insane!! Just used our Skype feature on the home page from my house to chat to Kit in the office... and I can see him!! - so this is absolutely perfect for your guys... you can ask us about the surf; about surfing lessons; availability on the beach house; the Bali Adventure; we'll even try and answer your questions on anything to do with your own surfing technique!!

What we also have planned is that at a set time during the day we'll run a forum type session where you can come on-line and chat to one of the instructors - like a video forum. For example, we might get Kelly to do a Q and A about high level surfing; Wailin to do a session about the Bali adventure.... lots to chat about..

.. this is soooo exciting!

Kit - what are you doing in there?

Hm, never a dull day at the surf school! This morning I arrived to find Kit with his legs hanging out of the Beach House bathroom window. The story goes that he needed to get in to sort out a leaking tap - it was no big drama, but access was essential. He knocked on the door... no reply. He knocked again. Still no reply. He entered the door security code, but it was bolted from the inside. Thinking that the team had gone for a surfing lesson he took it upon himself to take decisive action. So he prised open the bathroom window and began to climb through. Imagine his surprise and that of the guests who were in fact standing there in the hallway in just their jimmy jams!

Christmas will soon be upon us! We have to think ahead - so orderin
g for us happens about now. Got some wicked plans for new lines, but would welcome any input from you guys. If you can think of any lines that we should be doing then please drop us an e-mail. We always welcome your input. Cheers big ears.

Staff training tonight. All the instructors get to do a Kelly session as a group once a week. This will be the first one this year. The surf is perfect for it today - 3-4ft clean as! Should be fun.

Got to show you this photo - last night 6pm! How busy is this? Now this is remarkable based on two facts 1) it's low tide and as we all know all holiday makers prefer high tide, no idea why except that it's not as far to walk. 2) it was drizzling, another sure reason for people to stay away - and again that's madness because you can get some of the best surf when it's raining! So this was actually good to see! Anyway I took this shot from Tristram - I was watching the Junior Elite and chatting to their parents. I spend quite a lot of time up there watching the team though. It is absolutely vital that we monitor the team in the water - and to be honest, they were doing a really good job! Which is just as we like it!

It's been raining pretty well non stop today - but the surf is still amazing! All the instructors are chomping to get out there and be on the receiving end of some Kelly magic!

Monday, 19 July 2010


Surf was pumping tonight! Here we are looking from Tristram towards Stepper Point. This wave always looks great but just never really does it. Having said that I can remember some epic sessions. It's never busy - best on a super low. The tower on the cliff top is known locally as the 'Daymark' and is used by boats to navigate during daylight. Just to the left of this photo is the Doom Bar, a sand bar that stretches across the Estuary. Over the past two centuries many boats have gone down here, trying to seek shelter in rough weather or heading towards Padstow. The legend has it that they tried blasting the Stepper Headland away as so many ships were going down on the Doom Bar when they lost the winds in their sails. They stopped blasting when the engine was invented! I can't help but think that that's a myth!

A few years ago we turned up on the beach to find a sailing boat marooned on Polzeath Beach. The skipper had managed to confuse the lights of Polzeath with those of the estuary. When asked to produce evidence of how he was navigating, he produced an AA Road Map! Now that is true, I was there! Oh and then we had another one a few years later. Exactly the same except this poor fellow had just got divorced and had poured any remaining money into his boat. It was in bits. Feeling sorry for him, word got around and everyone locally downed tools and helped the mariner collect up as much of the remains as possible. These were then gathered on Martin Taylor's camp site (the Valley). Wasn't much left I'm afraid.

The most recent proper shipwreck happened on The Rumps. It was the Maria Assumpta, the worlds oldest working wooden boat and went down in June 1995 - our first year of trading on the beach. I remember seeing the news on the telly and running around to see the wreck. There were loads of people there. The boat had been taking a short cut between The Mouls and Pentire Point when the engine unexpectedly cut out. There was no time to get the sails up. When hearing the news that three people had died in the accident, it came as a surprise as the surf really wasn't that big. Enough maybe to cause panic amongst weak swimmers.... the boat had been due into Padstow where a big welcoming party was gathered. For weeks after, pencils with Maria Assumpta written in gold down the flattened edges washed ashore while we stood teaching in waist depth water. I remember rescuing a brass hinge as it floated by on a piece of flotsam.

Rip Curl Grom Search report

THE RIP CURL GROM SEARCH Report by Kelly O'Toole

The surf was nice cross on shore and just over head high on the sets... perfect conditions for the team to get to work. We'd all been working really hard in both competition training and technique training, working on wave slection, consistency and an average combined scores of over 10 in all our mock heats leading up to this event. Max, Liam and Rhys have all been doing really well, and this was reflected in their results. With all the boys entering their own age division and the age division above it was set for a big weekend of surfing for everyone. With a bit of luck on our side for once and some fantastic surfing from the whole team we achieved some great results even though on the last day the boys had to surf back to back heats! The boys were in good shape so it was no worries. Now for the Surf's Up! Elite results


1st Max Payne

3rd Liam Murray

4th Angus Scotney


1st Liam Murray

3rd Max Payne

4th Angus Scotney


4th Rhys Barfield


3rd Sophie Sainsbury

In the under 16s after been knocked out in the under 14s in the first round Rhys Barfield managed to man up and surf the hardest age division and nailed himself 4th and his first ever under 16s final - well done to Rhys. And not to forget the girls Sophie Sainsbury finished 3rd in her first final of the year and after putting in some good results during training - well done to her.

Okay it's me back again (Pete). Thanks Kelly. What fantastic results from the boys - and great to see Sophie back in the mix. Sophie's working in the Spar this summer (pop in and grab her autograph) and has plenty of time to get in the surf. Watch this space!! The elite crew train on Monday, Tuesday and Friday evenings 4pm - 8pm here at Polzeath - so come along and watch them in action - these are the best in the UK right now! But they deserve it - they've developed a very professional attitude and train hard! They've come an awful long way. Once again thanks Kelly and thanks to the teams parents for their support.

Max Payne on his way to a victory in the under 12s.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Two thanks. First to my mate Niki Dix who came and gave a chat about nutrition to a few of our girls who do a day release programme from school. How important is what you eat? It's so, so obvious that some kids put themselves at a huge disadvantage by eating rubbish - ie concentration levels, moods. I hope the chat helped them.

And secondly, to our neighbour of fifteen years, Carol. He's in his mid 80's. He's been taken ill and in need of care. We wish him all our love and hope to see him back here soon. We put in his Christmas card that we was the best neighbour in the world, my boys signed it. They're very fond of him and he's always coming home with presents for them. He was in tears when he read it! So thanks Carol.

The death of my old school friend in tragic circumstances a couple of weeks ago has got me thinking. Another school mate of mine who's gone on to do amazing things in the corporate world lives his life by this code. Imagine that your son is standing watching you. Don't act in a way that you can't justify to him or that would make him be ashamed of you. That's pretty powerful stuff. Love it.

The best things in life are free - like when your kids involuntarily give you a cuddle. Fin is Mr cuddles, Billy a bit more reserved. But even he has been very huggy recently. Love it!

Not sure what's happened to my legs. Very sore joints. Arthritis? Hope not - not at my tender age! Could be though. Took the bulls by the horns last night with a run around the field - finished with a full on Rocky Balboa moment at the top of the hill, arms raised, shirt off, sweat pouring off my lean torso! Janey and the boys were less impressed than I might have imagined. Might need to lose the belly!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Should have given that ten minutes!

I think yesterday would have to go down as one of the best days yet with the boys!! And that was despite everything we tried to do was either closed or cancelled! The morning was set aside for Torquay FC trials for both Fin and Billy. On arrival Fin was told he was too young and wouldn't be getting an invitation. One hour later as coaches scratched heads and clip boards flapped, they reversed their decision. Fin had taken what they'd
said as a complete insult - he went out to show them. So both Fin and Billy made it through. Thing is that creates a bit of a dilemma as both have been under the guidance of Plymouth for a while. Plymouth would have to get the nod out of loyalty. I think that's the right thing to do.

After the trials we went to Mount Hawke for a skate - then Janey left me to take the boys off for an afternoon of adventure. And that's exactly what it was. We drove to Penzance to visit two more skate parks - one of which is an american concrete bowl, amazing! Well amazing except for the local kids who were a bit less welcoming than they might have been. Bit silly really, blocking Billy's way. He's been skating for years. Sometimes you have to earn your place in the pecking order. By the time we were ready to move on, they all wanted to be his mate!

Then it was off to St. Michaels Mount - closed! okay a fishing trip - fully booked. I know - we'll go to the Minneak Theatre and go and see a show. Sorry, no shows - we're setting up for a new one about to start this week. Hm - okay we'll get food in the restaurant and mull. Overlooking Porthcurno, the surf looked pretty fun - so that was the next plan, let's go surf. Which is exactly what we did. As we arrived on the beach everyone was leaving - perfect. Half an hour in and I noticed a splishy splashy in the water not far away. It was the Dolphins - my two had never seen them sitting from out in the line up before. Happy days. And then a seal - oh this was getting sensory overload!

We left the beach pretty late - stoked. A phone call to Janey to tell her that we were running late. Then a stop in Penzance for a pretty posh meal. Over a plate of Crab Linguine Billy recounted his school trip to Plymouth the previous week. Me and Fin were all ears - it was a cool moment. That is until when we got the giggles. A lady walked into the toilets only a few moments after Fin had been in there. "Should have given that ten minutes" Fin said. We lost it. We laughed even more when she reappeared only moments later!

We didn't get home until gone ten! You just gotta live for the moment.