Let’s go surfing now, everybody’s learning how…

This weekend, Sarah and I plan to go surfing in Wales. We’ve been told of a fantastic beach called Llangennith, 15 or so miles from Swansea, where the surf is great for beginners. And beginners we surely are. We have booked a lesson for Saturday afternoon and, to really make the trip worth while, another for Sunday morning. If anyone has any top tips for how to get from Swansea train station to Llangennith, I’m all ears. Once this was decided I had to make the hard decision of whether or not to take my (yes, *my*) surfboard. In the end, I decided against it. My reasoning is that I’ll only have time and energy for the lessons, and it’s better to learn on a board designed for learning. My aim is to be able to stand on my own board by the end of the summer, but first I need to stand on a board at all.

As for my knee, which kebab’d so kindly asked about, the jury is out. I am doing my leg exercises this week in the lead up to surfing, and I do have some concerns. However, I’ve been able to play squash and swim, so I’m hoping it will be ok, with just a bit of stiffness afterwards. I have an appointment with a knee consultant at the end of July, which I expect to result in news about a knee operation, but I’m trying to keep as active as possible in the meantime, within the realms of sanity.

And as for why we chose Wales… Well, we wanted to go for the weekend as S and I are both short on holiday time. Biarritz is our destination of choice, but not at all viable for a weekend break as plane and train times don’t allow it. Cornwall and Wales then got into the frame, and Wales is closer to get to by train, so we’re gonna give it a go. With luck, by the end of the summer we’ll have tried a range of surf locations in the UK, and I’m hoping we’ll manage a week in France (to practice my French as well as my surfing). Any advice for good surf destinations in easy reach of London would be appreciated.

8 Replies to “Let’s go surfing now, everybody’s learning how…”

  1. Hi,

    I’ve been into watersports for the last eight years and I’m curious to know why you chose surfing?

    Why not kayaking, or windsurfing?

  2. I like skateboarding and, at the time I was deciding on a summer water sport, suspected I would like snowboarding (I was right), so wanted something with a similar set of skills. I don’t get much time for the sports, and I’m not a natural athlete, so I figured sports requiring similar skills to one another would lead to a faster learning curve. On reflection, I think this may be partially true, but you have to be quite good at at least one of them to really feel the benefit. Also, I looked at windsurfing and decided I didn’t want to have to learn all the nautical stuff that goes with it. I wanted to get on a board and go. Of course, I realise now that there’s a wealth of things to learn about the sea, but I suspect all of that would have been true of windsurfing as well as the wind stuff. As for kayaking, I’m not sure why that doesn’t appeal. I tried it when I was younger and my memory of it is that it was fun, but more hassle than it was worth.

  3. Have I ever thought of it? Oh yeah! But, sadly, there’s not much theatre work for Sarah in surfing locations, so we’re landlocked for now.

  4. I think you’ve got the wrong idea about windsurfing. I did a course when I was a teenager and there was no nautical/technical stuff to learn. Just to be aware which way the wind blows, but that’s it. I’ll be able to tell you more after my course at the week-end!

  5. Jemima! Are you behind this monstrous women only surfing and boarding camp that’s going to happen down in Biarritz? It’s you isn’t it?

  6. Oh my! I hadn’t heard about that, but now I must just dash off and sign-up. Oh, if only I were the one behind it. How fantastic!

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