Our first Cornwall Surf Retreat was held over the weekend of 29th-1st Nov. The quaint base near Perranporth has the perfect location to catch the best waves daily. On Friday night, the first guests arrived. The banter among the group was almost instantaneous after 4 of the six returned from a fantastic time last year. Before we ate our dinner of Simon’s Chili and Nachos, we reviewed the itinerary.
The forecast for this weekend was not stable. Mid-week, the forecast for the weekend looked epic in autumnal fashion. However, Friday brought gusty WSW winds and a substantial building swell. The rugged Cornish coast is full of hidden gems. We found a few that worked, and they paid off.
Do not be the hunter…
We had four sessions at four different spots over the weekend. The session at St Agnes, a nearby location, proved to be a great opener. Despite the dusty drive, the boys could enjoy the soft, slippery conditions and get out on the wax. After a tasty lunch at Schooners and a session of surf skating with Jack Gregorious (our surf coach and skate fan), we set off for Newquay bay. Clean conditions allowed them to practice some of the tips they had learned in the previous session as the wind had backed down. It was evident that the improvements were noticeable, with Lewis and George scoring great waves at sunset.
The next day saw stronger winds and a bigger swell. After fighting line after line of whitewash at Great Western in a rapidly growing bow and battling the waves, it was decided to wait until the afternoon when the wind would drop to go Southerly. We were rewarded with pumping waves at a secret break further west. A morning session of @shineyoga yoga was the perfect way to end a great weekend with an incredible group.
The early bird gets to the worm…
The second of our Cornwall Surf Retreats was the intermediate/advanced trip. The forecast showed a lot of surf on Tuesday and then unfavorable winds on Wednesday, so we decided to start the journey early to get some good surf. This is the beauty and charm of a flexible operation with a small number of dedicated surfers.
The new crew met us at a lesser-known spot on the South Coast. Craig and Will were the first to arrive, and they eagerly jumped into the waist-high glassy conditions. Dan came 30 minutes later, after an early 5 am start. The boys were excited to see the clear lines of the bay under the November sun, and any tiredness was soon replaced by excitement. Jack was heard saying, “I’m never going to Cornwall in the Summer again!” as he pulled on his wetsuit record time. The foam was palpable.
After several hours and many video clips, the boys made their way out of the water. As the light faded and the swell was still pulsing, we decided to head to the North Coast to take advantage of the conditions. Harry and Jack’s froth levels were still high, so they kept their wetsuits on for the late lunch and 35-minute drive.
We were met with larger, more wonky, but still clear lines. This provided the perfect canvas for Dale and Simon to film from the drone. Simon was on the ground. Despite their tiredness and aching arms, the crew stayed out on the water until sunset to enjoy a stunning Cornish evening.
Before dinner, Simon went through a surf forecasting lesson. Obviously, the conditions for the next few days were going to be blustery. There are many places to shelter in Cornwall, but we could not find a wave due to the strong NW winds and small swell that welcomed us on Wednesday. This made it impossible for us not to take the trip earlier.
We had our sights set on a spot that was a favorite spot on its day, with the wind expected to blow N on Thursday morning. We started at 6.15 am and took a long walk to get there. The waves were big and clean, making it a significant challenge. Dale could film from the perfect location because the headland kept us out of the wind. Harry, Will, and Dan scored some great waves. It was amazing to see everyone put into practice the lessons they had learned in their first video analysis session.
It was time to go for an afternoon session of surf-skate, with the wind picking up and the swell slowly diminishing. It is incredible how well you can get the feel of a land movement. It works!