Porthcawl Surf School is accredited with Centre of Excellence Status and has been commended for the quality of its coaching at all levels and its level of safety, and is one of the few surf centres that are open all year round – the only day it officially closes is Christmas Day.
According to TripAdvisor users the school is the No.1 surf school in Wales. but it also gives so much more back to the community – thesurfing community and the local community.
For 14 years, the Porthcawl Surf School report has been published online, every morning. Hugh travels to the beach and gives an eyeball report on conditions and what he thinks may happen with the surf for the rest of the day .
In recent years, the school has also taken over the publishing of the local tide tables and each year it produces 5,000 copies – available for free around the area.
The school works with the local police and PCSO’s to try and reduce car crime, in particular, making surfers aware of the dangers of hiding their keys under the car when they are in the water. To help stop this, the school provides a year-round, key-holding service for all beach users – not just the surfers.
Quarterly beach cleans are also held and the school works closely with Surfers Against Sewage and Keep Wales Tidy. Recently, the school launched a two-minute beach-clean station at Rest Bay – an initiative designed to encourage beach users to spend just a few minutes picking up litter. The local surf club is run for Gromms and each week there’s a session at Rest Bay.
One of the most rewarding initiatives is the Surf Experience club, a weekly club for children with autism – but also for their brothers, sisters and parents. This enables them to do an activity as a family.
Last year the school was delighted to be able to bring a stage of the British Longboard Union surf competition to Rest Bay, which was a huge success and saw surfers from all over the UK converge on Porthcawl to gain valuable points for the five-stage competition which eventually saw Ben Skinner (world No. 3) win the coveted title.
Safety is paramount in everything that the club does and Hugh, the driving force behind the surf school is the Technical Director of Surf Life Saving Wales, sits on the Green Seas Partnership and also helps advise on safety policies for UK beaches through the National Water Safety Forum – Beach Advisory Group.
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