Surfing is often connected with places like Hawaii, Australia and California because of its history, but there are good surfing beaches all over the world, including here in the UK. I went to Cradle Beach in the South West to learn to surf.
The first thing I had to learn about was the board. Surfboards can be pretty expensive, so I decided to hire one while I found out whether I liked the sport or not. The first surfboards were made from wood but they’re usually made from a lighter modern material called fibreglass now. As a beginner, my surf school hired me a board made of foam. This material is soft and light, so it’s perfect for your first board.
I also had to get myself a wetsuit. If you are surfing in the UK, you should not try the sport without one. It keeps you nice and warm, even when the water’s at its coldest. You can also get gloves and socks to wear in the water if you suffer from cold hands and feet. I did!
I also had a ‘leash’. This is a cord that is fixed to your board at one end and you wrap the other end around your ankle so that the board is always attached to you in the water. This means that when you fall off your board, you’ll always be able to get back on it easily. Being hit by a surfboard in the waves can be painful, so you should always watch where your board is very carefully, especially if there are other surfers near you in the water.
When you watch other people surfing, it looks easy – it is not! I found it very hard at the beginning of my week of lessons but great fun. I have already booked another week’s surfing here for next summer.