The Wight Time to Get WET
- Categorized in: Fitness
Learning to surf is easily done; you just have to have a good sense of balance, a long board, a little bit of patience and a competent swimming ability. Not only is it a great sport but it also offers a great way to shape up and get fit for summer - whilst getting the most out of the Island.
According to the local surfers, and the impressive photos on flicker, during this winter the Isle of Wight had some of its most impressive waves ever – with dramatic triple, over head waves making the local news. During the summer months there are some great waves to be found too, if you know where to look.
The Isle of Wight may not have the epic proportions of Hawaii, or the wave reliability of Cornwall’s west coast, yet it still offers a great range of different breaks to cater for all surfing abilities. Compton, with its dramatic high sand and chalk cliffs and SW facing beach, make it perfectly poised to catch whatever the Atlantic decides to send up the Channel. Considered more of a beginner spot, with its mellow white water breakers, it has a friendly atmosphere that makes it popular with families. If you’re after a curling wave then, just a short drive away, you’ll find some decent reef breaks. If the West coast is a little out of control, with a large swell running, then the East coast spots, off Shanklin and Sandown, will be more attractive to you.
The great thing about surfing, is that once you have a freshly waxed board and a good quality wetsuit, you don’t need anything else. There’s no membership fee and no weekly game. Once there’s a decent surf report, you just follow the call of the wild, into the sea and onto the waves. It’s one of those solo sports where you beat your own personal best and improve at your own pace. This is a sport which isn’t about losing weight (although paddling through white water takes a lot of energy) or about building muscle (but carrying a long board against the wind can only make you stronger) – that isn’t the point – surfing is about you and the big blue.
The salt may crust your hair and prick your eyes, the waves may contort your body when you fall into the churning bowels of a barrel, your equipment may bruise you but, however you broach the waves, if you dare to venture into the Island’s waters you’ll be rewarded. Nothing beats a good day in the water.
To get involved in these summer friendly water-sports, starting in spring is ideal – giving you time to master the basics. If you fancy taking lessons, call now - whilst the schools aren’t fully booked. Chris Mannion – founder of ‘i-Surf’, the Isle of Wight’s premier surf school – offers lessons starting from £15. He can take out youngsters, beginners and the more experienced, for one to one lessons which can be arranged at a time to suit you.
For alternative water sports, UKSA offer windsurfing and kite surfing lessons for all levels. This can either be for group or intense one to one sessions, where you can hone specific skills and improve your technique.
Check out Wight Water as well, which is perhaps the Island’s most varied water sport centre, with lessons in everything from kayaking and stand up paddle boarding to sailing.
Or, if you fancy staying dry and riding the waves in style, Halcyon Yachts have a beautifully restored 95ft Classic Yacht, from 1929, available for hire - complete with crew! Finally, whichever water sport you go for, you’re going to need quality water wear – Earth Wind and Water in Shanklin is an affordable one-stop shop for all your wet wear needs.
www.iowsurf.com Tel: 07968 609169
www.uksa.org Tel:01983 294 941
www.wightwaters.com Tel: 01983 866269
EARTH WIND AND WATER
Shanklin Tel: 01983 866269