An insider's guide to the county's best kept secrets
Glide Surf School
Cedar House Surf Shop
Tel: 01263 805005
Email: [email protected]
High quality professional surf & SUP lessons for children & adults; full equipment hire available plus well stocked shop for all surfing needs.
Where to find it
It may come as a surprise to learn that Norfolk is actually a hot spot for surfing with ideal coastline from Sheringham to Sea Palling. Featuring in all major surfing guides, Cromer with its sandy beach and shelter from the pier, is perfect for learning to surf on all tides. That’s why you’ll find the only surf school in Norfolk right here on Cromer promenade. Just make your way down the cliff steps towards the beach and you’ll find Cedar House Surf Shop nestled by the shore.
What to expect
Ben has been surfing since he was seventeen, initially in Devon and Cornwall and then Norfolk when he moved here to study at UEA. Qualifying as a PE teacher he settled along the coast and began the surf school in his six weeks school holiday. It was such a success that he now owns his own surf shop and teaches surfing full time. He has a passion for the sport that emanates from his pores; he lives and breathes the ocean and thrives on discovery, travelling all over the world to fuel his quest for the perfect rush, riding waves up to sixteen feet high. But he’s happy here in Norfolk as the sea isn’t crowded and with varying tides and weather conditions it can be a hugely rewarding base to enjoy the surf. Plus he’s a natural when it comes to teaching which allows him to spread the joy of surfing for all who wish to try the sport.
Lessons suitable for all
A surfing lesson lasts two hours during which you cover all the basics you need to know: safety first, then warming up, surf size, rips, wading out, catching a wave lying prone and how to stand. Then it’s in the water with the instructors who are at hand to guide you throughout. You’ll also learn surf etiquette; one person, the one nearest the peak, on a wave at a time folks, no ‘drop-ins’ or you won’t be popular - -worry not, Ben will teach you everything you need to know and more. But most importantly, he’ll do it in a hugely fun way adapting his skills to suit anyone from 8 to 80 years old. As long as you’re fit and healthy, you can take to the water and enjoy.
You can take your lesson on a one to one basis or as a group of up to eight. The lesson price includes full tuition, equipment and clothing so there’s no extra cost involved. Absolute beginners to experienced surfers who just want to improve on technique; lessons are adapted to cater for individual needs. Ben and his team offer stand up paddle boarding lessons too, currently one of the fastest growing water sports in the world. Disabilities are also catered for, teaming up with Surf Relief and Lifeworks to offer subsidised small ratio lessons for children with physical and learning disabilities. The National Lottery also funds surf lessons for local schools. Observing a group of fourteen year olds the other day was a real delight. I’ve never seen teenagers so enthusiastic and animated in the pursuit of standing to ride a wave. They clearly loved every minute; surfing seems to have this effect on everyone and I recommend giving it a go.
Cedar House Surf Shop
Once you succumb to the surfing craze, as you inevitably will, you’ll find the attached surf shop invaluable for advice on board purchasing and gear for all year round surfing. You can hire equipment, buy new or second hand. They even have their own clothing range as well as top brands and accessories such as the all important sex wax to help your board glide. They also hire deckchairs for spectators of the sport and bicycle hire for following the tide further along the coast.
If in doubt, give it a go
In short, if you’re looking for an instructor, they don’t come any better than Ben. Let him introduce you to the buzz of catching your first wave here in Norfolk and the thrill of speed and adrenalin as you ride it in. Before you know it, you’ll be buying your own board, studying the surf reports and leaving a note to say ‘surf’s up; I’m out’, rarely to be seen again. Live life; go on – book your lesson now!
Lessons are two hours in length and available seven days a week from Easter to October half term. Group lessons cost £27.50 for adults and £22.50 for children; 1:1 is £45, 1:2 £40 and 1:3 £35 per person. Cedar House Surf Shop is open 9.30am to 5.30 pm (%pm on Sundays) May to October and 10am to 4pm weekends November to April. Deckchair hire starts from £3 and bicycle hire from £11 for half a day. Contact Ben for more information: [email protected]