We took the kids along to a Play in the Bay session at The Wave, an inland surfing destination near Bristol. The Play in the Bay sessions are designed for anyone to come along and have fun in the waves. No previous experience required!
The Play in the Bay sessions at The Wave last for an hour and you need to arrive 60 minutes before your time slot. Or earlier! It’s a bit of a walk from the car park to the centre. Also give yourself plenty of time to squeeze into wetsuits. It’s tricky enough putting one on yourself, but getting small kids into wetsuits is a mission!
A Play in the Bay session costs £15 for an adult and a child under 9 (1:1 supervision is required). Or £10 for an adult and £8 for a child over 9. The price includes car parking and the wetsuit hire. There are some bodyboards available to borrow and you can also bring your own.
The kids were a bit confused by the concept of inland surfing , first thinking it was indoors (sorry kids!). Or if it’s like the beach, where is the sand! It is always a lottery booking anything outdoors in the UK, especially in April! The weather gods were not on our side for our visit and it was about 11 degrees centigrade both in and out of the water. Brrrr!
It took at least 15 minutes to wrestle the whole family into wetsuits and then after a quick safety briefing it was time to get wet! The boys were a bit apprehensive about getting in the water, mostly because of the temperature. It was chilly and I think they were expecting a heated swimming pool!
With Mum and Dad leading the way (and pretending it wasn’t that cold!) they soon jumped in and loved it! They both managed to catch some waves on the bodyboards and there were some proper squeals of delight! The session was full, but the waves never felt overcrowded. There was also a real mix of ages but everyone gave each other enough space.
The boys began to really feel the cold after about 45 minutes. So we quit whilst we were ahead and headed to the cafe for a well deserved hot chocolate to warm up!
I love the vibe of The Wave and the Play in the Bay sessions are great because they are accessible to all. The kids are really keen to go back and maybe even try surfing – hopefully it will be a few degrees warmer next time!