The Wave is the UK’s first inland surfing lagoon and it’s on my doorstep in Bristol. I’ve been looking forward to a visit since it opened it’s doors last year, but COVID has meant waiting a while! I was lucky enough to get some vouchers for Christmas so when it re-opened post Lockdown, me and the husband penciled in a child free day to hit the waves!
I am not a surfer, I’ve had a couple of lessons but that was over a decade ago! We thought it would be best to start from scratch and booked a beginner session. A beginner surf with coaching for adults is £60 and £50 for kids. The lessons are two hours and you need to arrive an hour before the session to allow for the walk from the car park (the warm up!) and to get all your kit sorted. Wetsuits are included!
Beginner Surf Lesson
Everyone gathers at the lesson start point 15 minutes before the start time to meet the coaches. There was roughly 12 of us in the lesson with 3 coaches. We were all adults but they do start lessons from 6 years old as long as you can swim a minimum of 25 meters. After a quick safety briefing we collected the rest of the equipment, a rash vest, a helmet and, of course, a surf board!
The first part of the lesson was on dry land. Going through the basics of how to walk out to the waves and how to carry the board. Before moving onto how to catch a wave and finally how to get standing up! The coaches were great and broke down all the instructions into simple to follow steps. We all tried out the moves on dry land and the coaches were on hand to offer advice and answer any questions.
Getting in the water
With our heads full of our new found surfing knowledge it was time to hit the water! We walked out to about chest height before taking it in turns to try and catch a wave. The waves come in sets, everyone in the group has a wave in each set before they are ‘turned off’ allowing for a quick breather and to regroup.
On the first three sets the coaches concentrated on us being able to catch a wave. After that we were encouraged to try and stand up! I had mixed success with this, getting to my feet was one thing. Staying on them was another! I thought with my snowboarding experience I might find it easier, but it felt very different. The couple of times I did manage to stay up it was a really cool feeling, and very addictive. I can see why people get hooked!
The time in the water went very quickly. But everyone in the group progressed and everyone was buzzing. The coaches were brilliant and gave everyone support and encouragement. At the end there was a quick debrief and we handed back our equipment.
We just about had enough time to squeeze in lunch at the on-site cafe. Decent prices and a very yummy burger was wolfed down (surfing definitely builds up an appetite). Before heading back to Bath just in time for school pick up.
The Wave Garden Technology
The Wave Garden Cove technology is really cool, and allows them to generate consistent perfect surf all year round. If you like the geeky stuff you can read more about it on their website. There is also a really interesting podcast chat with the founder, Nick Hounsfield, on the We Are Looking Sideways website.
Feeling the surfing love!
Not your average Friday, that’s for sure! Everyone had such a big smile on their face by the end, just messing about in the water is such a great feeling. We loved our trip to The Wave, and may have caught the surfing bug! It’s a really cool place to hang out and definitely something a bit different. If you curious book a beginner session, you won’t regret it!