Introducing… Harlyn Surf School

Tell us a bit more about your SUP school…

We run a multi-activity school which started originally as a surf school in 1994. SUP was introduced around 2008 and each year we have hundreds of people of all ages learning to SUP and go on tours with us. We work with schools, families, groups and individuals and cater for all ages and abilities.

What does a typical day for you guys look like…

Typical day involves sorting out 12 staff and deciding who is doing what activity – we offer surfing, coasteering, kayak tours and SUP.
What is the weather like in Cornwall at the moment? (July 2018)
Hot! Hot! Hot! It has been the best summer for ages so far and long may it continue. Been amazing paddling conditions with beautiful sunset paddles.
What is the weather like for you in winter? Are you able to get in the water?
Winter time we still offer surfing and sup lessons. Most of our SUP lessons and tours are held in flat water locations – the ocean is often too lively for us to SUP safely during winter time.
Do you have many problems regarding ocean plastics where you paddle?
Ocean plastics is becoming a bigger issue for us and our beaches as is discarded fishing kit.
We know that you love the ocean are are super passionate about taking care of it, what types of activities do you get up to in order to keep your oceans clean and protected?
Our summer surf camps incorporate a “plastic and litter pick” – this we feel is important to get the message across to the future guardians and users of the beach and the ocean. We also host the #2minute beach clean board to encourage others to use the litter pickers that we have and work collectively to keeping the beach clean
Do you give back to your local community? If so, what do you do? 
We have a very popular SUP club for the community (facebook Harlyn SUP club) where individuals can come and have a go at SUP at heavily reduced fees compared to the normal lesson rates. We are going to introduce the  SUP kids programme over the summer holidays to the local kids.
What are the typical marine animals that you come across in Cornwall?
Seals, dolphins (sometimes) jellyfish, sea birds, lots of different species.
What do you love most about SUP’ing?
Freedom to explore and also the opportunity to introduce others to the SUP world and encourage and empower them to get out and SUP with friends. SUP is a great way to explore and make new friends and there are so many different SUP disciplines from touring, SUP surfing, downwinding, whitewater, you name it – something for almost everyone! SUP has led to me paddling in some amazing locations both paddling independently and guiding groups. Some of the locations I have paddled in include, Norway, Scotland, Portugal, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Australia, New Zealand and USA. I have met a lot of great like-minded individuals along the way.
I am also a SUP trainer for the Water Skills Academy and train individuals who wish to become SUP instructors and/or guides – check out www.waterskillsacademy.com
Name the top 5 things you pack for every SUP?
Buoyancy aid, leash, phone/vhf, water and first aid kit if I am guiding or teaching.
Tell us your top 3 tips for anyone looking to start SUP?
Top tips – get a lesson first as it will help you understand the basics, always wear a leash suitable for your paddling environment and never paddle alone.
Any recommendations of where to go paddling if we were to come to Cornwall?
There are some great paddling locations in Cornwall varying from beautiful stunning estuaries to some amazing coastal paddling locations. Come and book on a tour with us and we will reveal some amazing spots!
What is a traditional food from Cornwall that you would recommend trying?
Got to be a Cornish pasty but not too many of them!
Do you run any sup yoga sessions? Or any other type of fitness sessions?
Yep, we have just started running SUP yoga sessions.
What’s your favourite non-SUP related activity in Cornwall?
Surfing for sure.
Tell us more about Harley, the Harlyn surf school dog… does he go on many adventures with you?
Harley is the surf school beach dog who loves to come paddling with us – being a springer spaniel it is often pretty difficult to get him to keep still!