Bethany Bristow Written by

Final year

BA (Hons) Communication & Media

Bournemouth_Surf_ClubWhen I’ve asked other students what their reasons were for coming to Bournemouth University, a regular response is for the beautiful beach. I must admit, as a girl who couldn’t bear to be more than half an hour from the sea, it was definitely an important factor in making my choice. But with the beach, also comes the vast expanse of ocean which excited me as a place where I could build on my skills in surfing and meet fellow like-minded, chilled out surfers to be friends with.

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The great thing about Bournemouth’s surfing society is that you could have never even picked up a surfboard in your life and you’ll still be accepted among the crew. Just having a love of the beach, sea or wanting the experience of trying something new will see you as respected in the society.

Now, I must admit the waves in Bournemouth can be pretty temperamental. A few times now I have braced the freezing cold waters and headed down to the beach with a board, to end up just floating in a flat sea. Nevertheless, I still found it an exhilarating experience, getting out of your everyday scenery and throwing yourself into the deep end, quite literally.

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The society itself organises regular trips away, such as holidays to the sunny Molièts in France or if you’re on more of a budget or would prefer to be closer to home, beautiful Cornwall trips are also on offer. About 50 of us camped in the countryside of Cornwall for the weekend last October and then all surfed together during the day with surfing teachers. It was an experience I would definitely do again, as you get to meet so many new people in a chilled environment, while also learning/ building on a hobby. Not only do they arrange regular trips, but if you’re unable to make these trips they also stay closer to home and have many surf social nights out! A chance for all the society to get together, catch up and let off some steam on a Tuesday night, at the ever popular ‘Toast’ night. If you don’t know what a ‘Toast’ night is, you definitely will if you come to live in Bournemouth. It’s the only club I know to hand out piles of toast to drunk and hungry clubbers, a great idea if you ask me.

If you want to surf in Bournemouth regularly, the best time to go is most definitely in the winter, as the winds are stronger resulting in a bigger swell. However, the water of course is undeniably freezing cold. Like me, I’d recommend getting a warm and thick winter wetsuit, which should give you a shield of armour to brace the chilly English Sea. If you don’t have your own board, not to worry, the surf society have a few boards which they are able to lend out to members of the society, so pick a surf-worthy day, get yourself in a decent wetsuit and get down to the beach!

By Bethany Bristow

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