We delayed our trip by a couple of days to avoid the St Jude storm which threatened to batter much of England and Wales. The surf forecast was looking dangerous – 10 ft waves and howling winds and from talking to the locals during our stay, we did the right thing. Only a few, very brave (stupid?) headed out in such conditions and even during our stay, we heard reports of people getting caught in nasty rips and getting swept out – fortunately for them, they were rescued and safely returned to shore.
I was eager to try some new spots. Despite being told to check out Fistral, we headed to Watergate Bay just outside Newquay which, according to several surf guides, is supposed to be ok for beginners. First wave I caught, I was on my feet and riding it all the way in. Woohoo!! Couldn’t believe my luck and I thought I was in for a great session.
- Do your homework in advance – read up about the break in advance on the internet or get yourself a surf guide book. Know when your preferred break works best, what the favoured conditions are and find out if its prone to rips
- Don’t head to the beach before you have checked what the surf is doing….or not in the case of our trip to Croyde a few weeks ago. Suited up, waxed up, we headed to the beach only to find it as flat as a millpond!
- Look before you head out. Im just starting to recognise what a rip looks like!
- Talk to as many of the locals as possible – they know their local breaks better than everyone. Explain where you are at with your surfing and they can advise on the best breaks for your ability although bear in mind that some will differ in opinion