UK bodyboarders boost skills at Tolcarne Wedge

September 10, 2010 | Bodyboarding
UK bodyboarding: Barber's going to boost your skills

Rob Barber’s Bodyboarding School benefited from the best surf of the year last weekend. The renowned Fistral Beach served up a clean 3-4ft, perfect for the pupils to develop their sponging skills. The famed Tolcarne Wedge also provided 2-3ft peaks with usual quick take off and fun ramps to boost off.

In total 11 bodyboarders from all over the UK attended the coaching weekend, which ranged from beginners learning the basics right through to sponsored competitors honing airs and spins.

The coaching provides a safe introduction to the sport for novice riders, with instruction from British Surfing Association (BSA) certified coaches that also hold lifeguarding qualifications.

The coaching encourages confidence, sea safety, paddling out, wave selection, and riding skills. Head coach Rob Barber said: “We aim to offer well-rounded tuition that helps our pupils learn in a couple of days what would have usually taken a couple of years.”

Adam Luck, from Guildford, and Fiona Daniel, from Bristol, had never got on the boog before, but after some initial coaching both learned quickly and saw fast improvements in their riding over the weekend, both getting out the back, riding unbroken waves, and demonstrating good trimming style. Fiona was awarded a ThreeSixty Bodyboard Magazine T-shirt for putting in the biggest effort of the weekend, showing that bodyboarding is just as fun for women as it is the men.

The group was also joined by Steve Hall, Under-18 British Champion, and Tabby Fox, one of the top-ranked girls in the country. Tabby was awarded a new NMD board for best improvement over the weekend, which saw her land her first roll - a move she has been trying to master throughout her career so far.

Video analysis was taken throughout the sessions by pro surf photog Matt Hawken which later allows the riders to see their performance in the water. Head coach Rob Barber reviews the video footage with the class and offers advice and further teachings on each individual’s progress. Rob Barber said: “Using slow-motion and freeze-framing it is way easier to break down paddling techniques, wave selection, and specific move coaching. It is the most invaluable coaching tool, and delivers great results every time.”

Aidan Salmon, the assistant coach, said: “The excellent surf conditions at both beaches allowed the bodyboarders to gain experience in different types of waves and the way they break. It has been great to coach such fun, enthusiastic people, and to see their overall improvement.”

Every rider received a stuffed goodie bag from event sponsors ThreeSixty Bodyboard Magazine and NMD, a coach’s report of their performance, and DVD footage to take home. At the end of the weekend, many of the riders swapped email addresses and were looking forward to sponging again on future trips.

Ben Harris, 21, from Falmouth, said: “I made lots of friends, it was a superb weekend ... I can’t wait to book my Morocco trip with the guys from Rob Barber’s Bodyboard School."

There is usually a good mix of ages and abilities as well as individuals, couples, and friends on the course. The nature of the sport helps the group gel, and strong fun camaraderie between everyone soon appears. The social side of the weekend is always a highlight and includes a barbecue at sunset on Saturday evening when tales of waves caught often grow longer as the beers flow...

Rob Barber's Bodyboarding School also offers coaching holidays to Morocco, Gran Canaria, Bali, Central America, and Ireland.

Wales Coaching Weekend
For the first time ever, Rob Barber’s Bodyboard School will be holding the next coaching weekend on the beautiful Gower Peninsula, home to Llangennith Beach, on September 11th/12th.

Newquay Coaching Weekends (£119) will take place on the 18th/19th September and 16th/17th October.