After the success of our first Cornwall surf retreats last October, we were super excited to kick-off this year’s UK Coaching trips. These trips were born out of necessity. With very few people able or willing to take the risk of travelling overseas last year, we brought the Renegade package closer to home. We scored fun waves, ate delicious local food, and generally had a bloody good time with a group of like-minded people. Running them again this year was a no-brainer!
Familiar faces and weekend warriors…
The first of our Cornwall Surf Retreats ran over the weekend of the 29th-1st November. Our cosy base near Perranporth is perfectly located to score the best waves in the county each day and the first guests began arriving on Friday evening. With 4 out of the 6 returning after a great time last year, the banter between the group was almost instant. We ran through our proposed itinerary for the weekend, before feasting on a dinner of Simon’s famous Chili and Nachos.
The forecast for the weekend was changeable to say the least. In typical autumnal fashion, mid-week the forecast for the weekend was looking epic. By Friday though, that was swiftly replaced with gusty WSW winds and a building swell. Fortunately, the rugged Cornish coast has plenty of nooks and crannies, and we had a few up our sleeves that proved to pay off.
Be the hunter, not the hunted…
Over the weekend, we scored 4 sessions across 4 different spots. The first session at nearby St Agnes proved to be a perfect opener. Small, soft, peeling conditions allowed the boys to get their feet in the wax and dust off the cobwebs from the drive down. After a delicious lunch at Schooners and a surfskate session with our surf coach and skate aficionado, Jack Gregorious, we headed to Newquay bay. The wind had backed off a lot resulting in clean conditions, providing an ideal opportunity to work on some of the pointers given to them in the earlier session. The improvement was clear to see, with Lewis, George, and Ben all scoring great waves in the sunset.
The next day brought the aforementioned bigger swell and stronger winds. After battling line after line of whitewash at Great Western in a rapidly building swell, the decision was made to wait until the afternoon where the wind was set to drop and go Southerly. This decision paid off as we scored pumping, empty waves at a semi-secret break further west. After a glorious final session, a morning yoga session with @shineyoga was a relaxing end to a fantastic weekend with an amazing group.
The early bird gets the worm…
The second of our Cornwall Surf Retreats was the intermediate/advanced trip. With the forecast showing pumping surf on Tuesday, then unfavourable winds on Wednesday, the decision was made to begin the trip a day early to ensure we scored some quality surf. – Such is the beauty of running a flexible operation with a small group of committed surfers.
We met the new crew down at a less-frequently surfed spot on the South Coast. Will and Craig were first to arrive and eagerly jumped into the waist-chest high glassy conditions. Dan, Jack, and Harry arrived 30-minutes later after a 5am start from London. Any tiredness was quickly replaced by excitement as the boys saw clean lines rolling into the bay underneath glorious November sunshine. Jack was overheard saying ‘I’m never coming to Cornwall in the summer again!’, as he pulled on his wetsuit in record-time. The froth was palpable.
After a couple hours and hundreds of video clips later, the boys made the rocky exit from the water. With light fading and the swell still pulsing we decided to head straight to the North Coast to make the most of the conditions. Harry and Jack’s froth-levels were still through the roof, keeping their wetsuits for the duration of a late-lunch and the 35-minute drive.
Here, we were greeted with bigger, slightly wonky but still clean lines, providing the perfect canvas for Dale to film with the drone whilst Simon filmed from land. With aching arms and tired bodies, the crew still stayed out until dusk, enjoying a picture-perfect Cornish sunset from the water.
Simon ran through a surf-forecasting lesson before dinner. It was clear to see that conditions for the next few days were blustery to say the least. Cornwall has a plethora of sheltered spots, but the strong NW wind and small swell that greeted us on Wednesday made finding a wave impossible and validated our decision to kick the trip off a day early.
With the wind forecast to swing N on Thursday morning, we had a spot in mind that is a firm favourite on it’s day. After a 6.15am start and a long walk to the spot, we were greeted with some chunky and clean faced waves providing a fun challenge. The headland kept us out of the wind and was also the perfect vantage point for Dale to film from. Dan, Will, and Harry scored particularly good waves, and it was fantastic to see everyone putting into practice what they’d learnt from the first video analysis session.
With the swell rapidly fading and stormy winds approaching, it was time for an afternoon surf-skate session. It’s incredible how much you can drill the feeling of a movement on land. It really does work!
Back at the house, a final yoga session proved necessary to stretch out our sore hips, shoulders, and arms. Dinner was provided by the fantastic Cornish Pizza Co, and Torren Martyn’s Lost Track series provided some warm-hearted stoke and wanderlust to keep everyone going as they headed back home.
A huge thank you!
We’d like to once again thank our brilliant guests for two more memorable retreats. And we look forward to seeing those of you who have already booked a Maldives trip next season.