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Learning to surf with Global Boarders

Last Thursday, the Forever Cornwall team joined up with Global Boarders, a surf school in Gwithian on Cornwall’s north coast, for a beginner surf lesson — and to have a lot of fun in the process…

Despite having lived within ten minutes of Cornwall’s coast for most of our lives, when it comes to surfing, we’re all still novices. So when the opportunity to take part in a beginner’s private lesson with Global Borders Surf School came up, we jumped at it. The village of Gwithian is widely regarded as one of the best surf locations in the UK, with its three-mile-long beach and epic Godrevy lighthouse views. Hidden behind the dunes, the laid-back Sunset Surf Cafe is the home of Global Boarders, the longest-running surf school in the area, established back in 2005.

Sunset Surf cafe at Gwithian beach, Cornwall

Unfortunately, the sea was like a millpond that day with not a wave in sight so we headed instead for Praa Sands on the south coast, where Global Boarders also have a surf and coasteering school. This stretch of coast tends to have good waves during the winter and spring and fortunately we were in luck — plenty of small, fun waves, perfect for getting to grips with the basics.

Once we’d wrestled ourselves into our wetsuits and booties (provided free of charge), we launched straight into the lesson, learning about the conditions of Praa sands, how to spot a good wave, and taking onboard some important information about currents and tides. Our coach, Chris, showed us how to use the board to catch a wave on our fronts, which we then practiced in the shallows. After we’d got the hang of it, we returned to the sand where Chris taught us how to pop up to stand.

Then it was back into the water to put our newly acquired knowledge to the test. Whilst initially a little apprehensive, the whole team quickly got stuck in, immediately gaining confidence and having a go at standing up, which we all managed successfully…even if it was only for a split second!

All the coaches and guides at Global Boarders are fully qualified lifeguards and they’re one of the only surf and coasteering centres to hold a prestigious licence for adventure activities (the AALA). Chris was brilliant — professional, friendly and incredibly supportive. He tailored the lesson to our ability and made sure we enjoyed ourselves and could laugh at our inevitable wipeouts — from the outset the focus was on having fun in the water, not how many waves we could catch.

We couldn’t recommend our friends Global Boarders enough, especially if you’re holidaying in and around Gwithian. There are plenty of lesson options — from group sessions to private 1:1 lessons — and you get an hour’s board hire after the lesson included in the price. The team put their focus into teaching you the fundamentals with zero pressure — I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all caught the surf bug and we’re already planning another group session.

global boarders gwithian surfing

Thinking about a holiday on the north coast? Check out our holidays cottages in Gwithian