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Newquay Activities  01637 877722

Lines open from 8am- 10pm daily

22 Headland Road, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1HN

Centre open Mon-Sun 9:00am - 5:00pm All Year Round

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Newquay Activities01637 877722


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We kicked off our season of Surfing Weekends and it couldn’t have been much better! March is a fantastic time to head to Newquay for some surfing, it’s a month with consistent swell and low crowds and the feel of spring is certainly in the air.

Surfing lessons Newquay
The crew gather for a group shot before surfing Towan Beach

We had a dedicated crew of surfers join us and some from as far afield as Holland with the aim of improving their riding over the two days in a relaxed but productive environment. Head Surf Coach at the Newquay Activity Centre Surf School and 3 Time National Champion Johnny Fryer led the weekend helping everyone work on specific elements of their surfing. We had a broad range of abilities from intermediate surfers to beginners. With the help of experienced instructors and a media team providing video and photo analysis, the group made some amazing improvements across the board.

Surfing tuition
Head Surf Coach Johnny Fryer gives a little demo!
Learning to surf Newquay
Terina Thomas works on her bottom turn.

Why is surfing in Newquay becoming so popular all year round we hear you ask. We have identified 5 reasons why this addictive sport should not only make it onto your bucket list but is something that should become a part of your lifestyle for good!

  1. Surfing In Newquay is Perfect for All Abilities

Whether you are a seasoned shredder or completely new to the sport, surfing in Newquay has something for everyone. We are spoilt for choice with an array of beautiful sandy beaches in Cornwall and Newquay with varying conditions and types of waves. For example if Fistral Beach is too big and blown out you can walk five minutes from our centre to the sheltered Towan Beach. It’s amazing just how different the conditions are on the other side of the headland!

Towan Beach Newquay
An example of Towan Beach on a day when Fistral Beach is blown out!
  1. Prepare to Get Addicted!

The feeling of catching your first wave is like nothing else. Adrenaline fuelled and serotonin boosting, surfing has it all. By the time you have nailed getting to your feet on a wave you just want to learn everything else. With expert coaching you’ll soon be perfecting your pop up, tweaking turns and smashing manoeuvrers! This might sound far-fetched but you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with instruction and dedicated water time. Once you’ve tried surfing, we can guarantee you will want to do it again and again and again!

Surf Lesson Newquay
Carla from Plymouth celebrates shortly after claiming her first green wave of the weekend!
Surfing Cornwall
Sunset surfs in Cornwall are something you’ve got to try!
  1. Surfing in Cornwall – A Truly Unique Experience

We might not have tropical temperatures but without doubt do have some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Even on a damp and dreary day Cornwall can look spectacular. To get outside amongst the elements in such an incredible place is unique and in a world of screens and work stresses provides the perfect remedy for a balanced and healthy lifestyle. We’ve held surf lessons with dolphin visits, stunning sunsets and aqua marine waters on summer days. Surfing in Newquay and Cornwall is a real eye opener!

Newquay Cornwall
Fistral Beach in Newquay turns into a beautiful paradise when the sun shines.
  1. Making Friends in The Real World is All the Rage

Forget Facebook, Tinder and WhatsApp. We’ve come up with a revolutionary idea to help people make friends and socialize in the real world! Ok, so it’s nothing that new but being stuck in the world of social media is something that we are all guilty of. Sometimes it’s easier to chat online rather than go out but we’ve found a simple way of connecting with like-minded folks on our surf coaching weekends. We have teamed up with the awesome Ocean Surf Lodge for our events. This laid back and cosy surf lodge is an ideal place for the whole crew to chill out together. We shared a few beers with some lovely food and even watched the rugby. It was a perfect refuge to warm up and refuel after each session whilst watching video of the group in action. At the end of the day you can’t beat regaling with a few surf and adventure tales and a cold beer or two of course!

Surf Lessons Newquay
The crew warm up with a coffee and some classroom tuition with Johnny Fryer back at Ocean Lodge.
Surfing in Cornwall or abroad will soon become part of your schedule!
  1. Starting Your Surfing Journey

Before you cringe and click off, we’re not going to tell you about finding yourself in the ocean! What we mean by a surfing journey is what you can do after that first surf lesson or coaching weekend. The sky’s the limit once those initial skills are honed in. We want you to keep surfing and keep learning and that is the idea with our surf coaching weekends. Even a three-time champion like Johnny Fryer watches his video footage and eyes improvement for the next time. Surfing opens the door to a lifetime addiction that can lead to many adventures and epic memorable sessions. We offer some incredible surf coaching holidays abroad to Morocco and California and believe this is the next step after a coaching weekend in Newquay. Developing your surfing in perfect weather with perfect waves whilst dipping into a new culture is something every surfer should experience at least once!

Surfing California
Walks to the beach at California are kind of epic!

We can’t wait for our next surf coaching weekend here in Cornwall! Follow us on social media to keep up to date with our events in Newquay and around the world! If you want to book a surf lesson or coaching weekend don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01637 877722.

Thank you to Ocean Surf Lodge for being such awesome hosts and many thanks to The Boardroom and Rip Curl stores for providing some fantastic goodies.

Check out some more images from the weekend below taken by our resident photographer Aaron Parsons.

Surfing in Newquay
Walter from the Netherlands surfs with style!
Surfing kit
The crew check out The Boardroom in Newquay and all their lovely kit!
Surf kit
Johnny Fryer talks boards in The Boardroom.
Surf shop
Johnny Fryer takes a look at some different models in The Boardroom.
Surfing Lessons Cornwall
Tom drops in on his biggest wave of the weekend!
Surfing in Newquay
Laurence who only took up surfing a few years ago after moving down to Cornwall from the Big Smoke takes on a nice little green wave.
Surf instructor Newquay
Johnny Fryer admired Laurence’s story and was really impressed with his progression over the two days and awarded him with most improved rider. Laurence bagged himself some goodies from The Boardroom and Rip Curl store!
Surfing lessons Newquay
Walter works on his bottom turn at Towan Beach.
Surf School Newquay
Laurence caught wave after wave during the second session after taking on board Johnny’s tips and tuition.
Surfing wipeout
Pete Bolton travelled all the way from Edinburgh and showed vast improvements over the two days. However we couldn’t help but show this wave. How he manages to perform a Kung Fu kick on a surf board God only knows.
Surf School Newquay
Sometimes classroom tuition is the best time to perfect those techniques when learning to surf.
Surf tuition Newquay
Johnny Fryer demonstrates his surfing technique in the classroom.
Surfing Newquay
Terina got stuck in to many waves during the weekend and is ready to start busting some manoeuvrers any day now!

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By avoiding crowds, by increasing the quantity and decreasing the quality and by being decisive with the waves that you are going for, you will increase the number of waves that you catch during a surfing session.

If you are going to wait for the bigger waves, always be decisive with the waves that you have the chance to catch and be sure not to miss them. Give it 110%.

Increasing your wave count obviously has a lot of benefits. You’ll have more fun because you’ll spend more time actually surfing as opposed to sitting around on your board. If its winter, you’ll be able to stay warmer by keeping busy. You’ll be able to learn new techniques and moves quicker by having a quick succession of waves, and you’ll get fitter much quicker too!

Here’s a few ways to increase your wave count.

1. Don’t always follow the crowd. Watch the waves before you paddle out, and especially look for any less crowded or empty peaks further down the beach. The waves might just as good or better and you could have them all to yourself.

2. You don’t always have to wait for the set waves. On beach breaks especially, the small/medium waves are more frequent, and sometimes just as good.

3. If you do decide to wait for the set waves, be patient and wait you turn in the pack. When it’s your turn make sure you look confident, decisive and committed to that wave. If not, other surfers will sense your hesitation and assume priority.

4. ‘Turn and go’. You don’t always have to paddle all the way out before you can start looking for waves. If you’re half way out and a good looking wave comes then quickly ‘turn and go’ for it.

5. Not having much luck? Try paddling off to a new peak down the beach somewhere. Sometimes a different peak with a new crowd of surfers can in some ways re-set you session and you might get start to find a few waves. If you’re not catching much anyway, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Join us for a surf coaching weekend or surf coaching holiday and see your surfing sky rocket!

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There is no one best tide to surf in Newquay. In fact, because this surf city is blessed with 7 great surfing beaches, you can find rideable waves at all stages of tide (low, mid & high tide), and in a variety of different swell sizes, wind directions, and over sandbars that are ever changing on its long sandy beaches that boast a large 7.7 metre tidal range.

Instead, the key is to understand the conditions of any given day and know exactly which of the seven beaches and on what tide the waves are best. This is no easy feat, and if new to surfing we suggest taking a lesson with a reputable and experienced surf school like the Newquay Activity Centre who can point you in the right direction and have you surfing the best waves at the right beach, and on the right tide.

However, that’s not to say there aren’t useful rules of thumb about the tides, at least when learning to surf. At low tide waves are often steeper, more powerful and tend to close out, culminating in a situation where it is difficult to stand up on the board, and where rides are short in length. Similarly, right on high tide the waves tend to ‘dump’ on the shoreline, meaning short, steep dangerous rides, and where you’ll find yourself with sand in parts you didn’t know sand could get.

So a competent surfing school will aim to take you surfing on a pushing tide, from just after low tide until mid tide or from mid tide until just before high tide. And vice-versa, if the tide is on its way out, then the school will have you surf just after high tide until mid tide or from mid tide until just before low tide. In both instants the school is avoiding the dead low and dead high tide times when the waves are not fit for learning to surf. And instead surfing in the tidal time slots that offer waves that are slower, less steep and that break left and right; allowing you more time to jump to your feet and offering longer more enjoyable rides.

At the Newquay Activity Centre we often take our clients to Fistral beach on a pushing tide just after low and surf until the mid tide. When the tide is coming in, the set waves (a cyclical group of bigger waves) tend to be more consistent and more powerful. The more powerful the waves are, the more push there is behind each wave and ultimately longer rides for the surfer. We avoid surfing Fistral at high tide for the reasons mentioned above – its steep shorebreaking waves don’t make for learner friendly waves.

So, what are tides and how are they created?
Tides are the daily cyclical rising and falling levels of the sea (low tide, mid tide and high tide). Tidal cycles can occur once or twice a day depending on a beach’s position in relation to the Moon. Tides that happen just once a day are called diurnal, while tides that, like Newquay, are twice daily are called semidiurnal (two high tides and two low tides each day). In a semidiurnal cycle the high and low tides happen approximately every 6hrs12mins.

The tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon and the Earth’s rotation, but it’s the Moon that has the greatest impact on the tides. Spring tides occur when the Sun and the Moon are aligned, culminating in a combined gravitational pull that gives rise to the largest tidal range (the highest high tide and the lowest low tide). In contrast, a Neap tide occurs when the Sun is positioned at 90 degrees to the Moon, and so the gravitational force on the tides is solely from the Moon, resulting in a much smaller tidal range. This occurs during the first and third quarters of the Moon (every two weeks), while the Spring tides take place during the second and fourth quarters.

So regardless or low, mid or high tide, or whether it’s a Spring or Neap tides, get yourself down to the Newquay Activity Centre and we’ll have you riding the best waves in town

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Being prepared for Winter surfing in the UK is essential, read on for an essential guide to the most techniques that we have learned though 20+ years of surfing in Newquay. 

Invest in the best winter suit, gloves, boots and hood that you can afford. Make sure that you look after your wetsuit and that when ever possible it is dry when you are getting in to it. A good warm up will immediately increase your body heat and your wetsuit will trap the heat to warm you up before you hit the water. Try not to sit still in the surf. It is better to have a shorter, more active surf than it is to sit around and get cold.

If you’re serious about learning to surf in the UK you’ll need to go in no matter what the weather and water temperature. In the south west we are lucky to have relatively mild winters and the gulf stream keep the water temperatures bearable throughout. With consistent swell and fewer crowds you’re missing out if you’re a May to September surfer.

Here’s a few ways to tips to help you enjoy surfing in the winter as much as possible.

1.     Buy a good quality 5/3mm wetsuit. You get what you pay so it’s worth splashing out a bit. You’ll need boots, gloves, and hood. A wetsuit hood not only keeps your head warm but also protects your ears and keeps in your body heat so you can surf longer.

2.     Dry wetsuit. Hang your wetsuit up the day before so it’s as dry as possible. If you have 2 winter suits you can rotate them so you always have a dry one to put on.

3.     Don’t eat directly before going in the water. You will feel colder because your blood is being drawn away from your extremities. And there’s a greater risk of getting cramp.

4.     Warm up. Have a good, dynamic warm up before going in. Get the blood flowing to every part of your body. You should be able to surf better and for longer.

5.     Keep busy in the water, and don’t sit around too much. Paddle hard, catch lots of waves and you’ll stay warm.

6.     It’s hard to think practically when the waves are firing and you’re desperate to get in the ASAP. But preparing your clothes, towel and shoes ready for when you return will help you get changed as quickly as possible. You don’t want to spend 10 minutes looking for those boxer shorts with just a towel around your waist in a bracing northerly gale.

7.     Turn up the volume? Shortboarders might want to surf boards with a touch more volume than in the summer. With all that neoprene on you’ll be slightly heavier, and you might feel be a bit sluggish, so a chunkier board can make life easier.

If you’d like to improve you surfing, why not join one of our surf coaching weekends or surf coaching holidays?

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What is this course?

This course will equip the candidate with the coaching and guiding skills to confidently enter the world of commercial coasteering.
Candidates will be evaluated on such subjects as; leading and managing a group, delivering a safety brief, rescue, incident management and route planning. On successful completion candidates will be equipped with the essential skills and knowledge that combined with site specific training, enable them to confidently deliver and/or assist on coasteering sessions.

Some of what we will cover :

  • Coasteering safety equipment
  • Planning a coasteer
  • Briefing the coasteering group prior to the coasteer
  • Coasteering group management
  • Entry and exit techniques
  • Risk Assessments
  • Normal Operating procedures
  • Emergency Action Procedures.
  • Incident management
  • Safety and Rescue
  • Coasteering specific first aid and life support
  • Final coasteering exercise and assessment

How much is it?


(Additional accommodation packages available £POA.)

What are the dates?

NEXT COURSE :25th-26th March 2017

Who is running the course?

Mark Kelly will be heading up this training course… Mark is one of the very first providers of commercial coasteering in Ireland and is the lead coasteer trainer for several UK companies. Mark is a highly experienced coasteering guide as well as being highly experienced and fully qualified in several other outdoor activities including, sea kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboarding and Surfing. In addition Mark is a trainer and assessor of Beach Lifeguarding and first aid awards for both The Royal Lifesaving Society and Surf Lifesaving Great Britain. Mark is also a member of the National Coasteering Charter and runs all coasteering activities in accordance to their guidelines.

Who is allowed to take part?

Pre – requisites for this course

Essential :

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • Be able to swim 100 metres comfortably.
  • Be medically and physically fit
  • Experience of participation and delivery of adventurous activities.

Desirable :

  • A recognised surf lifesaving qualification such as SLSGB or RLSS and/or recognised first aid certificate.
  • Commercial Coasteering experience.

What will be the next steps when the course is complete?

On successful completion candidates will be equipped with the essential skills and knowledge that combined with site specific training, enable them to confidently deliver and/or assist on coasteering sessions. In addition they are guaranteed an interview and shadowing hours with Cornwall’s leading coasteering providers, as well as, individualized career development plans.

Call 01637 877722 to book your place

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What is this course?

This award is specifically designed for surf coaches who need to have a lifesaving qualification. It validates ISA, ASI and WSA qualifications as well as a being pre-requsite for delivering activities such as SUP, Bodyboarding and Coasteering.

This award sets out to establish a standard that creates a level of competence in Life Saving that meets the requirements of the ocean based coach which enables more location and job specific training and assessment.

The main difference between this award and the NVBLQ (National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification) is that it cannot be used to apply for beach lifeguard positions and there is no timed pool swim and the 200m run must be completed in less than 1 minute.

Full details on the SLSGB Course can be found here:…

How much is it?

(£225 for Non SLSGB members)

(Additional accommodation packages available £POA.)

What are the dates?

NEXT COURSE : 28th – 30th April 2017

Who is running the course?

Mark Kelly will be heading up this training course..  Mark is a multi qualified, highly experienced and active practitioner in both land and water sports, delivering coaching, guiding, instructing and training in several disciplines. Mark is also a trainer and assessor of Beach Lifeguarding and first aid qualifications for both The Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) and Surf Lifesaving Great Britain.(SLSGB)

Who is allowed to take part?

Pre – requisites for this course

  • Minimum of 16 years of age on date of assessment.
  • Able to perform a continuous swim for a minimum of 200 metres in a pool
  • Medically and physically fit

What will be the next steps when the course is complete?

On successful completion candidates will be equipped with the essential skills and knowledge that combined with activity specific training, enable them to confidently deliver and/or assist on sessions. In addition they are guaranteed an interview and shadowing hours with Cornwall’s leading activity providers, as well as, individualised career development plans.

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If you’re looking for surf lessons & want to learn to surf, head to Newquay.

The first thing that you need if you want to learn to syrf to do is find a surf school.  It’s important to choose a surf school with a great location overlooking a surf friendly beach. Fistral, Towan and the Newquay bay beaches offer perfect conditions. Be guided by the reviews of others by checking out the online reviews on Trip Advisor. Always choose a surf school with qualified instructors, warm wetsuits and suitable foam surfboards that offer a stable platform to learn on. 

Head to Trip Advisor and you’ll see we’re the number one provider of Water sports activities in Newquay! 

Newquay as a destination?

Newquay is the UK’s cultural hub of surfing and a Cornish coastal gem. Its rugged coastline is interspersed with nine exceptional beaches, each offering golden sand and an enticing marine environment to explore. 

 Atlantic facing, Newquay’s world famous Fistral Beach has hosted global surfing competitions for years making it the perfect place to learn to surf in Cornwall. 

Surfing is key to the culture of the town and is weaved into Newquay’s history of pirates, tin mines, witchcraft and dramatic ocean rescues by early members of the RNLI. This stretch of shore is a special one. 

How to choose a surf school ?

There are some key things to consider when choosing which school to learn to surf with. A good surf school will not only teach you the basics of learning to surf, but will make you see the beach through new eyes. 

1. Location

Some beaches are better to learn to surf at than others, so it’s always best to choose a beach well known for hosting the sport. 

Fistral is the UK’s most famous surfing beach; renowned for the quality of waves that reach it’s shoreline and the consistency of the surf. Our Centre is located just 2 minutes from Fistral Beach within easy walking distance with surfing gear. With plenty of seafront facilities and RNLI Lifeguards operating between March and October, it’s a great beach for all ages and families. 

2. Customer reviews

Customer reviews on platforms such as Trip Advisor will give a good indication of what a surf school is like to visit. Each review is accompanied by a star rating and this is a simple way of comparing surf schools in your chosen area. 

The Newquay Activity Centre is Trip Advisor’s number one provider of outdoor water sports in Newquay, with over 800 5-star reviews. 

3. Instructors – Qualifications

All our surfing instructors hold full Beach Lifesaving Qualifications accredited by the Royal Life Savers Society (RLSS) and Surf Life Saving Great Britain (SLSSGB), along with Level one or more Surf Coaching Awards. These awards are accredited by the International Surfing Association (ISA) or Surfing Great Britain (SGB). 

These qualifications ensure Surf Instructors are fit and capable to respond to any situation during a lesson and you’ll be in safe hands whatever the weather. 

We also endeavour to train our instructors continually, giving them the tools to build their skills and push their capabilities in different conditions throughout the seasons. Our coaches have years of personal experience in the sport and also coach coasteering and bodyboarding, so have a firm foundation of knowledge and experience from which to teach. 

4. Facilities

A warm place to change in and out of wetsuits, along with secure places to store personal belongings are just two facilities any surf school should provide. Especially with our typical British Weather! Newquay Activity Surf School provide both and more. 

  • Male and female changing rooms
  • Safe storage for clothes and bags
  • Secure lockers for valuables
  • A warm shower
  • Toilet Facilities
  • Links to the Carnmarth Hotel for meals, drinks and accommodation

5. What do you need to bring? 

All you will need to bring is a towel and swimwear to wear underneath your wetsuit. 

We will provide you with everything else you need! This includes a wetsuit suitable for the time of year, neoprene boots, gloves and hoods during the winter, a foam board to use during the lesson, safe areas to keep your belongings and areas to shower and change. 

6. How long is a lesson? 

All our surf lessons are two hours long. This allows time for changing before and after the lesson and a full safety briefing. 

You’ll have your surf lesson on the beach and will head into the water to practice what you learnt. 

7. Photography 

We can capture the moment you first stand up on a surfboard for you to take home.  We offer surf photography as an option during sessions and your instructor will take pictures throughout the lesson both in and out the water. You can find which sessions offer photography here. 

8. Instructor to group size ratio 

Instructor to group size ratio varies depending which session you go for. Below are our most popular surf lessons and the group sizes. 

  • Taster Surf Lesson: 1:8 
  • Explorer Surf Lesson: 1:5 
  • Apprentice Surf Lesson: 1:5 
  • Developer Surf Lesson: 1:5 (Four lessons) 
  • Private Surf Lesson: 1:1 

9. What will a surf lesson include? 

Your surf lesson will include: 

  • Instructor introduction and welcome
  • Wetsuits and surfboard allocation and time to change
  • Beach safety brief
  • Surf lesson on the sand
  • Practice in the water
  • Skills feedback and session round-up 

We have lessons to suit all ages and group sizes, take a look at the Newquay Activity Centre Surf School section of our website and choose one that’s right for you!

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Royal Navy Surf Team
Classic conditions for the Royal Navy Surf Team. Photo: Mike Searle

Newquay Activity Centre welcomed the Royal Navy surf team for a day of advanced coaching with 3x National Champion and expert ISA coach Johnny Fryer in preparation for the upcoming inter-services championship in March.

Advanced Surf Coaching 

10 of the Navy’s most talented male and female shortboarders, as well as longboarders were greeted with epic conditions at Fistral beach on Saturday 18th February. Clean 6-8ft swell and blazing sunshine made it undoubtedly the best day of surfing so far this year. 

Royal Navy Surf Team

The morning started in the Newquay Activity Centre classroom. Introductions out of the way, Johnny first established the different skill levels of the surfers and took onboard any specific skills that they wanted to cover during the day. 

After a quick briefing and warm up, the crew headed in for an initial free surf session. This was an opportunity for the surfers to demonstrate their skills in front of the video camera. With relatively un-crowded conditions and multiple peaks breaking across the beach, everyone had their fair share of waves and there was some great surfing on display, plus a few ‘friendly’ drop-ins amongst the crew.   

Video Analysis 

After 2 hours in the water it was time to break for lunch before meeting up for the video analysis session back in the classroom.  It was awesome to watch with so many great rides, big moves and heavy wipeouts.

From the video footage, Johnny picked out several more skills to cover with the group and specific individual guidance for some of the surfers. 

Competition training 

The final in-water session of the day would involve two competition heats with the top two surfers from each progressing into a final.

The swell had increased and the waves were breaking harder on the lower tide. Certainly not conditions for the faint-hearted, but nevertheless everyone was keen to get out there and have a go. 

One half of the group helped judge as the other half surfed their heat out in the water. This is a great way for the surfers to understand what judges are looking for and how they can approach their upcoming heat. 

After the opening two heats the 4 surfers qualifying for the final were…James Jervis, Olli

Judd , Darcan Graham , and Rory Bewers .

Ollie and Darcan struggled to find wave with much scoring opportunity, and

Rory  caught a few short rides but couldn’t find the magic he had in his opening heat where on one wave he scored a massive 7.5 out of 10. 

It was James Jervis that stole the show, opening with a strong 6-point backside wave, and finishing the heat with a beautiful right-hander. Two searing front side off–the-lips, perfomed with speed, power and control earned him the highest score of the day. An excellent 8 points ride. With an impressive two wave total of 14 points he was the clear winner. 

Johnny said ‘ I was really impressed with the level of commitment shown by all surfers today in some epic, but challenging conditions. I hope everyone enjoyed the day, learned something new, and has some new techniques and skills they can focus on when they next get in the water.” 

Newquay Activity Centre and the Rip Curl Surf school wishes the Navy Surf Team the best of luck for the Inter services championship next month and looks forward to seeing them again soon for more training. 

Get 40% Discount!

Newquay Activity Centre offer 40% discount to military groups for surfing, bodyboarding, coasteering, Super Stand Up Paddle Boarding and other activities.

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What Type of Surfboard Should I learn To Surf On?

Foam boards are perfect for learning to surf on because they’re long, wide and have tonnes of volume. You want as much buoyancy and stability as possible to practice on when learning to surf and 8-9ft foam boards are the best at providing this.

The simple motto to remember about surfboards when you’re learning to surf is: “Too short too soon and you’ll surf like a goon.”

During your first surf lesson, you’ll be taught where to lie on a board, how to paddle and how to pop-up to a standing position. What you need is a surfboard that will make it as easy as possible for you to get to your feet in the water, and foam boards provide maximum stability for you to balance on.

what surfboard should i learn on
A beginners surfboard

Surfboards for beginners

Foam Boards 7ft-9ft 

Length: The longer the surfboard the more room you have to learn how to pop-up and the less likely you are to nose-dive in the water. Depending on your height, we provide 7ft – 9ft foam boards for you to learn on. You should always learn to surf on a surfboard that is taller than you! 

Width: Having a wide surfboard will also make learning to surf easier. The greater the board’s surface area in the water, the more stable it will be when you’re practicing your pop-up. 

Volume: The greater the volume of the board the greater its buoyancy and this makes it easier to catch waves. Foam boards are rigid but contain thousands of tiny air bubbles that are great for helping you float. The stability will help you to balance. The last thing you want when learning to surf is a board that sits below the surface of the water!


what surfboard should i learn on
An intermediate surfboard

Surfboards for intermediates

Once you’ve got the hang of paddling a foam board, popping up to your feet quickly and riding a wave into the beach it’s time to start practicing turning and trimming along the face of the wave.  

Mini-Mals – 7ft – 8ft

Epoxy Mini-Mals are a step-up from foam boards that will help progress your surfing to the next level. They’re harder, shorter and less wide and are more difficult to catch waves on, so make sure you’ve perfected your paddling and pop-up before taking one into the water. Their dimensions allow for more manoeuvrability and they’re less cumbersome to carry!

what surfboard should i learn on
Check out our head coach, Johnny Fryer shredding on a shortboard!

Surfboards for advanced surfers

Shortboards 5ft-7ft

When a surfer can paddle out through breaking surf, catch green waves and are able to perform turns on the face of the wave, they want a shortboard that’s fast and easy to manoeuvre in the water.

Short boards have significantly less length and volume than any other surfboard, which means they’re harder to paddle and balance on. However, once up and riding the surfer will be able to fly down the line and perform powerful turns on critical parts of the wave.

Shortboards are also easy to duck-dive. This is how surfers paddle out into the line-up through big surf, by ducking their boards and themselves underneath an oncoming wave before continuing their paddle.

Check out our range of surf lessons and find one that’s right for you!

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To successfully master the air reverse on a surfboard, you need a wave with a fast section that leads in to a nice ramp. As you approach the section, widen your stance. A wider board is definitely going to help as well. Hit the lip as it is pitching and ‘olly’ off it, while at the same time rotating your torso and arms towards the beach. This twisting motion will throw you in to a spin. The higher that your tail is, the more air you’ll get and the better you’ll fly. Keep looking through the turn and stay centred on your board as you land. Make sure that you bend your kneeds and absorb the impact and ride out of it.

This is a big move to tick off the list. Be prepared to fail a thousand times before you nail this one. You’ll be guaranteed legendary status at your local beach if you are seen nailing these on a regular basis. Check out guys like Reubyn Ash and Filipe Toledo for really good examples of nailing this move with style and finesse.

Follow this steps for air reverse success.

1.     You’ll need a board with a wide area under your front foot, medium size waves with ‘rampy’ end sections, and ideally a light cross/onshore wind.

2.     Once you find a good section, approach it with speed. But be careful not to get there too early before the section is steep enough. You might need to stall for a moment or two before racing towards it.

3.     Before reaching the section, widen your stance. Move your back foot to the back of the tail pad. This gives you more speed and drive.  Getting your front foot up the board will also help with speed and with the rotation.

4.     Remember it is just as important, if not more, to boost out in front of the wave as well as above it. So focus on boosting towards the beach rather than up into the heavens.

5.     As you hit the lip ‘olly’ your board and quickly rotate the torso and arms towards the beach throwing you into the spin.

6.     Sending your tail high into the air and pivoting around your front foot makes the air look bigger and makes landing much easier. Win win!

7.     As you rotate, stay compressed, continue to bring your back arm around and look at your landing spot.

8.     Extend slightly to allow your board to meet the wave. If you’re tail is facing the beach, land mostly on your front foot, and absorb the landing.

9.     Re-centre your weight distribution and then let your fins catch. Look over your shoulder towards the beach to complete the rotation.

10. Resist the urge to throw your arms into the air in celebration. Play it cool and act as though you can bust these bad boys out in your sleep.

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