I recently saw a hen party in Newquay in the middle of a surfing lesson, which reminded me of when I tried it for the first time. Unlike most hen parties, I had my first surf lesson in October. Bit cold and windy! Anyway, if you're wondering what's involved, this is what happened when I had a go.
I actually tried surfing in Polzeath rather than Newquay. However, most surfing hen do packages tend to take place in Newquay. Devon is also popular, along with Bournemouth and Wales.
So, I turned up at the surf school on the beach with my trusty towel, swimwear and a pair of flip flops. The first thing you have to do is get into a wetsuit, which is no mean feat! The instructors can tell what size you are just by looking at you. Wetsuits are pretty unwieldy but they are totally hilarious! With a little wriggling and tugging they're soon in place.
The cost of the typical surfing hen party package includes wetsuit and board hire so you won't end up paying for any hidden extras on the day.
Speaking of boards, the instructor matched me up to one according to my height. At 5ft I'm pretty tiny but it's easier to learn on a bigger board. He gave me a 7ft mini mal. In this case, size really does matter!
I thought we'd get straight in the water and go for it but you actually do the first bit on the beach. We learned how to lie on the board (yes, there is a right way to do it!) and paddle properly to catch a wave. He also demonstrated how to kneel on the board and get to your feet in two moves. There's another way to do it as well, called 'popping up' which is literally going from lying down to standing up in one go. It sounded a bit difficult but somehow it all comes together when you get in the water.
Here's the thing: wet suits do let water in. It feels really weird at first but the layer of water heats up to your body temperate and actually helps keep you warm. Once you've got over the initial "wow that's a bit cold" sensation, it's fine and you guide the board out until you're in waist high water. Most of a first surfing lesson is spent paddling for white water in the hope of catching a wave.
Anyway, I clambered on to the board (balancing on it is a bit tricky at first) and looked behind me for the rush of white water. The trick is to start paddling and keep doing it until you feel the water catch under the board. Then it's time to get moving. I tried kneeling and then standing but that didn't work for me. Popping up was better. I did manage to stand up on my first lesson but only briefly. The feeling was absolutely amazing. A real high. It's easy to see how so many people get totally addicted.
If you don't like getting your hair wet or makeup messed up, this probably isn't the perfect hen party activity for you. If on the other hand you love a bit of action and adventure in the great outdoors, surfing is a must and definitely one for the "30 things to do before you're 30" list. Having said that, there's no age limit.
Surfing hen weekends are available in Newquay and start from £92pp, including surf lodge accommodation and a beach BBQ.
Call the team on 01773 766051 for more info on surfing lessons for hen weekend packages.
Date Posted: Sunday 27th October 2013
Author: Yazmina Wallace