5 Tips For Surfing The East Coast

In North East England, waves are often hard to come by, but if you have patience and the right gear you can score some awesome waves with no one out. Here are some of the best tips I’ve picked up from surfing here the past 5 years:

  1. Get yourself the right gear- you will have no fun if you don’t. Through winter, the temperatures can drop massively and a 5 or 6 mil wetsuit with gloves, hood and boots are a must to last the freezing conditions.
  2. SMILE 🙂 – majority of the time everyone you meet in the water is lovely and happy to have you there, but like anywhere there is often the odd ball who will start an argument at anything. Make sure you keep out of peoples way and just be respectful of the locals.
  3. Be patient- surfing on the east coast can be frustrating when there are long periods where the sea looks like a a pond, but make sure you keep at it and keep searching different spots because often one place will be flat as a lake, but if you move a few miles up the coast you can find perfect 3 foot glass.
  4. Be prepared- the last thing you want to do is come out of a freezing 2 hour session into the pouring rain only to find you have no towel and no warm clothes. I always bring extra layers for after sessions because I know I will regret it if I don’t. Also taking a flask of coffee is great to warm you up a bit and revive your blue hands.
  5. Lastly, I’d say one of the most important things is to appreciate what you’ve got. 2 foot mush? Just get out there and enjoy yourself, it’s not always about getting the most amazing waves every time, because on the east coats that would be almost impossible.

Deciding to have a Gap Year?

Coming from a family where travelling is close to our hearts, it has always been in my mind to have a Gap Year. The question was always when should I do this, but as I started my final two years of schooling I found it easy to come to the conclusion that I wanted to travel as soon as I finished school.

For many people the decision is not so easy, the debate as to whether you will be undesirable to Universities and employers having had a year abroad seems daunting. However, every single person I spoke to about my plans to travel told me they wished they had done the same at my age, and even with the persuasive attempts from my school to keep me in education, I understood the experiences of the people I’d met and realised that this was the best time for me to leave for a year to Australia.

For first time solo travellers, Australia is an easy bet and relatively straight forward to organise. The visa application is easy and cheap flights can be found during off peak months, and the deciding factor for me is that they speak English, which is never normally a problem when travelling with others, but when you are on your own with no knowledge of the language at hand, your life can quickly become very difficult.

When thinking about taking a Gap Year, I suggest you talk it through with people who are not only preoccupied with your education, and think about what truly feels like the right thing to do, without worrying about Universities and jobs, because they will come later!