Saturday, 23 April 2011

Normal service resumed

Few drops of rain last night, much to the relief of the plants. Starting to all look a bit brown. But this morning we're back to where we left off yesterday morning. Chest high on the sets, light northerly - if you want to park in the beach car park, skip breaky and come on down.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Everyone's arrived then!

A Clients Perspective

Just seen this article written about Surf's Up! on the - thanks Leanne

The Surf’s Up Surf School gang are so good at giving you surf advice (as they should be after some 14 years in the boarding business) that there’s almost nothing you need to know in advance... except that if you’re booking up with this great school, try and schedule an early session - and therefore a dry wetsuit. There’s is NOTHING worse than putting on a cold, soaking wetsuit that’s been hosed down and left in a chill!

Nippy limbs aside, the lessons are great. I’ve had many summers worth of surf lessons here during my teenage years. Expect reasonable prices, super-friendly (not to mention very cute!) surf instructors who don’t mind wobbly beginners like I once was – though beware, they will throw the occasional jellyfish! – and no sympathy if you fear the cold sea. They’re there to get you clued up and standing on a board by the end of the session, and by gum they do it well.

Sessions start at Beginner level, work their way through Intermediate and right up to Expert. From experience, the best packages they do are the Weekenders, which are £69 for three lots of two-and-a-half hour sessions (thats 23 squids per session – bargain!). That takes care of wetsuit, surf shoe and surfboard hire too. For beginners, an average session will start with a chat about basic board techniques, followed by paddling practice to get hold of a wave on the sand before you hit the water (if you’re sand paddling and trying to impress anyone… forget it. No, seriously, you’ll look like a total plum), and once in the water your instructor will gradually take you through from the body boarding stage to catching a wave and full scale surfing. Your thighs will ache, your tummy will start rumbling and you’ll be spouting salt water from the nose… but standing up on your board for the first time is a proud moment up there with your wedding day or the birth of your first child.

Next day’s session will involve something that’ll make a beginner’s stomach drop, but the teachers are so good at what they do that I have every confidence that you can pull it off. Once your back riding the waves on your feet, this fun little exercise entails having to catch juggling balls whilst surfing. It’s not as scary as it sounds! Two hours of that will give you the balance of a tightrope walker, and work up an appetite for that well deserved hot chocolate back at the beach cafĂ©. The more advanced among you will of course be battling the more beastly waves in deeper waters. Good luck…

Surf’s Up have offered me such professionally taught lessons and, more importantly, some of my favourite Cornwall memories, come rain or shine. Booking up for a session with them might just be one of the best value, good time experiences you encounter on the North Coast. Enjoy yourselves!

Cornwall to sink

8am this morning

It's quite possible, that Cornwall will sink into the Atlantic this weekend due to the volume of visitors. With temperatures set to top 25 degrees (the hottest Easter since 1985) and surf in the 2-3ft range, you'll find no complaints here. If you're coming to the beach, come down nice and early.. or you'll be parking in Devon!

We were invited to the opening of Francesca's Pizza and Pasta restaurant in Wadebridge, owned by Alan and Helen (who also own the Galleon in Polzeath). We were first through the door! And it was fantastic. The food was amazing, seriously good. I reckon the pizza I had was the best I'd ever tasted. Highly recommended. And really good value too. We'll definitely be going back!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Is it Busy?

So what's it like down here? Packed? Hideously busy? The answer is no - it's exactly as Polzeath should be. Busy but room to move. Most people seem to be coming to the beach early, finding a spot and then settling for the day. Not much movement after mid morning once the car park is full. We're busy in the morning and then quieter in the afternoon. As for the cafe's etc seems to me that most people have shopped prior to coming to the beach. There's definitely no queues that I can see. So it's a good time to be down here. What it'll be like over the bank holiday weekend, however, may present a completely different picture all together.

From a completely selfish point of view this is a time to remember. With the boys heading up to Plymouth three times a week, I've taken to cycling up there - meeting Janey at the training ground. Takes about three hours - but it's a good run. Loving it. And my chicken legs are getting bigger. Bit weird, as everyone's heading to the coast, we always seem to be heading in the opposite direction!

Global Warming

If this is global warming then bring it on. In the last 16 years I can't remember a start quite like this - hot, hot, hot and with surf, everyday. This has been going on for weeks now - and with the ten day forecast showing much of the same, it's happy days. Water's warming up too - most of the instructors are just summer suiting it - no boots, no gloves. (oh just had a weather update from the Met office. Apparently in Devon and Cornwall rainfall is 70% down for March and a massive 84% for April, with no sign of rain in the near future. Driest start to the year in 50 years. South West Water, however, say there's no chance of a hosepipe ban as they've opened two new reservoirs recently .. I'll keep you posted on this one - it's baking out there now, got to be mid 20 degrees, in April!)

We've put out a very strong team this year - Rach who joined us a month or so ago has taken over the office. She used to run her own business, so she knows what's required. She just gets on, no fuss and picks things up real quick. It's great to know that we can be away from the beach and everything stays as is. Wailin leads the beach - he's been given sole command ie building his own instruction team and running the lesson side of things. This must be his eighth year. He also has experience running his own business - it makes a difference. When he's at the helm you just know all is going to be well. And then we have Big Sam, again a Surf's Up! old timer -takes the helm when Wailin has his day's off. Top performer of seven years? Must be something like that. And then Kelly, who coaches some of the British Team. He's come back from NZ firing on all cylinders. In anyone's book, that's a strong team.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

And it goes on....

The beach has come alive this morning! Lots of people here first thing, making a day of it no doubt. What a great holiday they must be having. It really is amazing and long may it continue.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Strike while the iron's hot

One of the most challenging and frustrating stages of your surfing development will undoubtedly be learning to catch and ride unbroken waves. Once you've experienced your first drop, (after a lot of board banding!), you'll want to do it again and again and again. It's where the obsession begins.

There are two main challenges that stand between you and your first green wave.

1) Physical

a) You need to be a good paddler - for getting out through the waves and then for generating enough speed to catch them once you're there.

b) Ideally you'll have a good pop up ie straight to your feet. If yours is a bit on the slow side and a bit kneesy, that won't stop you catching an unbroken wave but it will prevent you from getting to your feet at the top of the wave, vital for generating speed and setting up your line. A slow take-off guarantees a ride straight to the beach, a quick one will see you ride across the face.

Developing the physical aspect of surfing is mainly down to time in the water and a lot of progress can be made in the white bubbly stuff. However, if you're not able to get to the beach, lots of swimming will help prepare you.

2) Surfing Conditions

To make your first few attempts at catching waves you need the right conditions. Somewhere in the region of 2 - 3ft is ideal - not too big to be neither scary nor exhausting. But big enough to bring about a hug smile on the drop!

If you live on the beach, 2-3ft will come your way naturally. If you don't however, you're going to need a bit of luck. How many times have you come to the beach on hols to find the surf huge or tiny! It's the inbetweeny that we want. If you want to push on, you need to be smart and strike while the ovens hot! And that's why I urge you to check out this weeks forecast - as forecasts go for 'beginners and improvers' it's perfect. 2ft all week with temperatures reaching 20 degrees!

The long Easter period has spread everyone out, so it's busy, but a nice busy. A calm busy with lots of smiley faces. If you fancy coming down and joining them for a good value break, I'd check out the camp sites. It's definitely BBQ weather.

Sunday, 17 April 2011


It's the only way to describe the weather we're having at the moment. Stunning. And the surf's been really good too. Long may it continue. A lot of people around today.