Earlier this year some of the Atlantic Blankets team were lucky enough to get a place on the Surf Sistas long boarding weekend retreat. Anyone who knows us will know that we love nothing more than being in and around the Atlantic and this weekend promised to help progress our surfing, supported by fantastic coaches, right here on our doorstep in Cornwall.
The whole experience was an awesome and complete immersion in surf, despite, at some points, waves so small that it would be generous to call them ripples!
We had a dream team of coaches for the weekend, made up of yoga instructor Rachel, the always inspiring and graceful Samantha Sunshine and Perranporth's very own Becky, who moonlights in one of our favourite local surf shops, Bathsheba Surf.
The weekend was structured in such a way that everyone got great one to one feedback on their surfing, practical tips for the all-important journey to the nose, dry land practise of the art of cross-stepping and even the chance to try out an amazing selection of boards courtesy of Open Surf in St Agnes.
The first morning started on a picnic blanket (Atlantic Blankets naturally) in Watergate Bay car park as we got to know our fellow surf group and our coaches, talked about our aims for the weekend and how long we had been surfing. This weekend was a longboard clinic, focussed on taking our surfing to the next level but Surf Sistas also run beginners and improvers weekends for those just starting out.
Chatting done, we hit the sea for about five hours of surfing, breaking only to refuel with coffee and burgers, and a wetsuit change for some! During the session the coaches surfed, watched and gave feedback and we were also filmed, ready for the analysis session the next morning.
After a quick and quiet dinner that evening at Wax Watergate (the surf had taken it’s toll on us all) we headed back to our campsite for a drink under the stars, wrapped in blankets and full of excitement for the surf to come, tired arms and salty faces.
Sunday was sunny and the surf had picked up a little as we headed to Watchful Mary, a new café right on the beach at Watergate, for our video analysis, and, importantly, great tasting coffee. Imagine our delight when we spotted a basket of Atlantic Blankets in the café, on hand for chillier days on their balcony. We were also introduced to Megan Hemsworth who was our photographer for the day, a bundle of lively enthusiasm whose smile was infectious and wetsuit collection the envy of us all!
With the surf calling us we hurried to get back to the sea and what followed was a dreamy day of perfect little waves, with enthusiastic coaches gliding past us showing us how toes on the nose should be done, with tips, advice, laughter and a shared stoke that shone from every one of us! It’s fair to say that we all progressed so much during that session and all came away with our own personal feedback to focus on in future surfs.
And then it was over, it had to be as our arms were weak and our real lives were calling us home!
As a weekend it will live on in all of our memories for a long time to come, and the coaching advice is with us on each surf now as we put it into practise. For some within the team (ahem!) it has even sparked the buying of a new surfboard from Cornish longboard champion Ben Skinner and Skindog Surfboards, which is featured in our latest 'You, Me & the Sea' photoshoot.
If you’re looking for an action packed but fun weekend to progress your surfing then check out the Surf Sistas weekend breaks, summers are full of Cornish dates whilst the winters courses include France, Morocco and even Java (it’s on our wishlist!).
You leave with a goodie bag full of surf girl treats, weak arms, a smile on your face and a collection of beautiful shots of your surfing courtesy of surf photographer Megan Hemsworth.
Find out more about Surf Sistas here