Starting uni and wondering what club to join for after-lecture fun? We’ve got a few ideas up our sleeves. This week, we shine the spotlight on the surf club…
With weather like this, you’ll want to drop everything and jump on the next train to the coast. So why not learn a new sport to take you there?
Surfing is one of those sports which everyone dreams of mastering, a true life skill which will allow you to enjoy the ocean and hang out with beach babes and surf dudes all over the world. And what better way to start than with the support of a team of enthusiastic experts?
Seriously, don’t think that you need to be good at a sport to join the club – college and university is about learning and clubs and societies cater to all skill levels. From those who have never caught a wave to those who want to perfect their cutbacks and frontside turns.
With surfing, student clubs usually offer both recreational and competitive learning sessions. Most have a stockpile of wetsuits and boards which have been purchased by the club over the years or donated, so don’t feel you need to rush out and buy all the gear. However, many have associations with local shops and sponsors so your membership will help you benefit from plenty of bargains if you want your own stuff.
If your uni isn’t lucky enough to be next to the sea (and even if it is) you can be sure that the surf club will put on regular day trips and holidays throughout the year to keep you in the water! For Glasgow unis, Machrihanish is a popular trip destination in term time, but other unis put on trips abroad to sunnier destinations like Portugal and France. Trips usually cost around £250-£300 but for all that dolla you’ll get the trip of a lifetime.
Trips include transport, daily lessons with expert instructors, wetsuit and board hire, accommodation and hearty meals as well as night time entertainment. Star Surf camps in France are a favourite of Scottish unis. They are beautiful camping retreats set in pine forests by the sea. What better way to spend your summer than sunny beach days with friends, learning or improving a great sport? The camps also have bikes and longboards which you can borrow for free, slacklines to improve your balance, beach volleyball and frisbee and daily yoga classes to really work those muscles after a long day playing in the waves.
If your student budget won’t stretch to a holiday, fear not. The BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Surf Championships are held in Britain’s surf capital, Newquay, in October and offer a chance for competitive surfers and enthusiasts alike to enjoy four days of waves, competitions and inter-uni fun.
Sam Peppiette from Strathclyde attended last year’s competition .
“Around 300-400 surfers from unis all over the UK compete at Fistral Beach,” he explains. “People have a day or two of free surfing before the competition, then there’s men’s and women’s heats which last 15-30 minutes, and then the finals. There’s a massive variety of surfers, from total beginners who are just out having fun in the white water, to sponsored uni surfers there to win.
“The best part about it is that anyone can compete and get involved. It’s basically just a beach full of people who hate to be out of the water. Newquay is also a great wee place to have the comp, since it’s a surfer town small enough to meet a bunch of other students there for the competition with plenty of choices for beaches.”
Emma Strandberg also attended. “The whole of Newquay is just buzzing,” she enthuses. “There are so many unis there, good banter, surf days and wild nights, lots of fun and waves and beers! There is an excellent physio team at the beach too, they give free sports massages all weekend! ”
The event is like a mini festival with great party nights to enjoy with the likes of Kissy Sellout, Apex Ape and Bear Groove making appearances last year.
Check out when the next surf social is for your uni, make friends for life and get involved with arguably the coolest sport in the world.