Thanks to Alan Woodward for the following write up..
News From The UK Surfing Awards 2014
There was a great fillip for tourists and St. Ives locals alike when St. Ives Surf School was named Britain’s best surf school at the industry’s annual dinner in Newquay last Sunday night. The school was nominated by The Wave Project, a charity which helps vulnerable young people to improve their self-confidence and health through surfing. Supporting the nomination, SurfingGB, the governing body of the sport in Britain, was complimentary about all aspects of the running of the school which they had seen on their inspection visits this summer.
St. Ives Surf School is located right on Porthmeor Beach in the heart of the town, and offers surf tuition and equipment hire every day through the holiday season. Their soft Swell surfboards and state-of -the -art Gul wetsuits provide the surfing beginner with a comfortable platform from which to take an introductory lesson in the sport. Class sizes are tailored to give students of similar ability the instruction which will enable them to progress their surfing along any stage from complete novice to the confident surfer with their own shortboard. This past season, the coaching team included Spanish, Portuguese and Italian speakers, and a few locally- born former students of the school. The ethos of the school is to offer a fun surf lesson within a structured and progressive learning curve. From check-in to goodbyes, the emphasis is on a friendly experience delivered efficiently. Having good changing rooms, a fresh water shower and the benefit of probably the most imaginative beach food catering outlet in the country, it’s easy to see the attractions of a lesson here!
The school has developed a strong social media profile, and booking lessons can be done online, by phone or at the surf school counter at the beach. Group bookings, one-to-one coaching, and courses of lessons are all available. The school has strong links with many other tourist and holiday providers in St. Ives from campsites and hotels to surf lodges and surf shops.
It also offers kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboarding and Coasteering from it’s satellite site on Porthminster Beach.
With regard to the surf school’s work in the local community, the Wave Project is only one aspect of it’s involvement here. The school is host to the Saints Boardriders surf club every Saturday morning in the season and offers it’s equipment and instructors free-of-charge to help it’s 120 or so junior members to learn to surf and enjoy the beach
environment. There are Ladies Nights in the early summer when the girls can share their own fun lessons in the evening sunshine.
The surf school has become a popular venue for kids birthday treats – a surf lesson and a picnic from the beach cafe releasing the parents from all the stress of entertaining the children!
it also provides tuition to an after-school surf club from one local school, and hosts an activities week for classes from another.In a new departure, the past summer saw the school entertaining a mixed- age group from a Camborne village with an all-day beach camp encompassing surfing, bodyboarding, volleyball, sand-castle building and an evening session rock-pooling for the younger children.
The annual Fancy Dress Swellboard Shootout that the surf school organises has become an important attraction for the surfing community and draws a full complement of teams and a bumper crowd of spectators to Porthmeor on International Surfing Day. It has provided a good size annual donation to the funds of it’s regular charity Surfers Against Sewage for several years now.
We should also remember the Beach Surf Cinema which the Surf School springs on us once a year. It has been a summer evening treat recently, and unfailingly blessed by perfect weather!
Some, or all, of the above-mentioned examples of the St. Ives Surf School’s involvement in enabling participation in the sport must have been among the reasons why it was awarded the prize of Surf School Of The Year. It is richly deserved, and I for one am delighted that it’s here in our town on our beach.