Surf's up for the kids!
Treat the kids to some lessons they will really want to learn, with a trip to one of Pembrokeshire's surf schools.
The kids may give you a withering look if you mention school while you're on holiday, but say the words 'surf school' and that should make their eyes light up.
Here, we take a look at some of Pembrokeshire's Surf Schools, what they offer and what you can expect out of your surfing experience.
Pembrokeshire is ideally located for surfing all year round. With the Atlantic swells, beautiful, unspoilt coastline – home to Britain's only coastal National Park – and some of the UK's cleanest waters, you will be spoilt for choice.
Pembrokeshire has more than 50 beaches and there are some great beginner-friendly beach breaks. The best way to 'dip your toe in the water' is to visit a surf school for some expert and friendly tuition.
Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, all the providers place the emphasis on having fun.
For first-timers the aim is to teach you the basics including: beach safety; board handling; steering; body positioning; paddling; catching waves and – standing up!
Like anything, the more you practice, the better you'll get.
So, what are you waiting for? It's time to catch those waves!
Outer Reef Surf School
- Beaches: Manorbier, Freshwater West, Broad Haven, Newgale
- Minimum age: 6
- Family and kids classes
Outer Reef Surf School recommends a half-day session for beginners. They specialise in school bookings and Kids Clubs so have heaps of experience in teaching children.
Outer Reef also runs a junior scheme, with children being awarded certificates.
The scheme runs across Europe, so wherever you pick up a board you can progress and gain certificates as you improve and learn new techniques.
Ma Simes Surf School
- Beaches: Whitesands
- Minimum age: 8
- Mixed classes, maximum of eight people.
Surf reports come direct from the beach and the Ma Simes Surf Hut, located in St Davids High Street, is one of the oldest surf shops in Wales.
The surf school was set up in 2001 and the optimum amount of time is spent on the beach and in the water.
There are morning and afternoon sessions every day from May to October; times vary, based on tides and surf conditions.
And if you really want to look the part, you can kit yourself out in surf wear at the Ma Simes shop, where you also book your surf lessons.
- Beaches: Newgale, Whitesands and Abermawr
- Minimum age: 9
- Family classes
Preseli Venture is an outdoor activity centre with more than 20 years' experience, specialising in adventure weekends and holidays.
Anyone going surfing with Preseli Venture meets at their Mathry base. There are changing rooms to get ready, before getting the boards and heading out on the minibus to Newgale, Whitesands or Abermawr, depending on the surf conditions.
Family sessions are half-days, from 9am or 2pm.
If you are staying at Preseli Venture on one of their Family Adventure Holidays, surfing is one of the activities that can be included, with two lessons provided.
- Beaches: Whitesands. Other beaches are sometimes used, depending on surf conditions.
- Minimum age: 8
- Family and adult classes
TYF is all about adventure, with a big emphasis on learning and sustainability. They offer a variety of adrenalin-fuelled activities, including coasteering, rock climbing and kayaking.
TYF offer a surf taster, half-day or full-day sessions – or even a surf adventure weekend. For beginners their half-day lessons are the most popular option.
Lessons can be arranged at any time of the year. If you book a half-day session, a free half-day surfboard hire is also included in the price – so you can practice your moves!
- Beaches: Newgale
- Minimum age: 8, can be younger if accompanied by an adult.
- Mixed classes. Private lessons can be booked for family groups, check for prices.
Newsurf Surf School is situated on Newgale beach with a surf shop on site. As well as offering instruction for all levels, there is new and used equipment for sale, board hire and board repairs.
There is always plenty of space on the two-mile stretch of sand and the beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the holidays.
The use of changing facilities and hot showers is included in the price.
As well as surfing Newsurf also offer kayak tours.
*All of the above Surf Schools are run with qualified instructors and they provide all the equipment you will need. Booking is always preferable, but they all said they would always do their best to accommodate your needs – even at the last minute! Contact them for more details or any questions you may have.
So you've cracked it, you're up on your your board and raring to go but where? Here's our guide to the surfing beaches in Pembrokeshire
Looking for something well, not quite so wet then how about cycling. Read our ideas for family cycling in Let the kids rip