Bodyboarding in Cornwall
Anyone who has been checking out my Instagram will know I’ve just spent an amazing week bodyboarding for the first time in Cornwall. All thanks to our friends (who also happen to be our neighbours) Stewart and Gillian – yeah they deserve a mention. We go on holiday with them sometimes, but not your usual package holiday. We either travel to interesting places or go away just to do stuff. This Easter they got us into Bodyboarding for the first time down in St Ives!
First time on a bodyboard
They’ve been going down to St Ives in north Cornwall for years and this time I joined them – along with Darrel and the kids. This was not going to be the average beach hol – this was going to be something fun, different and the first time for us. Darrel has been surfing before but you can’t really compare bodyboarding to surfing.
They are two different sports. Surfing requires the rider to stand up with good balance and ability to surf over specific waves for their board size/style. Body boards are made of foam (again come in different sizes and weights). You ride the waves laying on your stomach.
However it’s a little more technical than just that and is definitely respected as a sport in it’s own right. But I’m a far cry from doing acrobats and somersaults in mid-air. I’m as extreme as braving the cold British sea in my wetsuit (layered up with swimsuit, rash vest, boots, gloves and hood!). But as a first attempt at bodyboarding (or Boogieboarding) I don’t think I did all bad.
In fact my biggest surprise was that the sea was actually quite warm in all my gear. The other guys had on their 5mm thick winter wetsuits on. Mine is a thin Triathlon one. Something I acquired (I’m not planning on doing a triathlon anytime in the near future). It was actually so warm. In fact by day three I ditched the hood. I also wore a buoyancy vest. More so for warmth, and that wasn’t needed either.
We all had a go on the boards – even my toddler!
Eva is three years old and also had a little board! She’s a real water baby so we knew we’d have no problem getting her into the sea there at Porthmeor beach (the surfing beach in St Ives). We wrapped her up in her wetsuit and layers and one of us stayed with her in the shallowest area. We have been taking Eva for swimming lessons since she was nine months old. So although she’s not swimming by herself yet, she’s no stranger to the water. But the sea can be unpredictable. It was important we held onto her or her board and kept control of where she was going.
Photo’s in the water taken on the GroPro
Kyle – my fifteen year old took to the whole experience well. As did Darrel who does various sports anyway.
I was worried I wouldn’t like it. I’m not a strong swimmer at all. The last time I went in the sea (apart from paddling in it) was in fact the last all inclusive holiday we had. That was in Fuerteventura three years ago when I went snorkelling. I wasn’t particularly comfortable with my head under water for that length of time so I did hope this would be different. Which of course it was. Running into the sea to catch the biggest wave and riding it back onto the shore is a pretty cool experience.
Even for an amateur like me. It was suggested that we had caught the ‘bodyboarding bug’ and yes indeed, since then we’ve been searching for other surfing beaches in the UK. This is something I could certainly take up more regularly!
Of course we had to check out St Ives!
Whilst in the lovely St Ives we spent time around the town, but didn’t venture too far out this time. But there’s so much to do and see such as take a boat trip out to Seal Island to see the wild seals. Or take walks down the Cornwall Coast Path. There’s also the Tate Museum of modern art or the Barbara Hepworth museum which shows her sculptures.
We did spend time around the fabulous independent shops (there are loads) looking at gifts, jewellery, crafts and yummy fudge shops. Plus all the pretty cottages down the backstreets. I also had a Cornish pasty or two, went to the most scrumptious Moomaids of Zennor icecream parlour and checked out a few local pubs. The St Ives gin just had to be tested! Plus I wasn’t going to leave without having a cream tea and the Cornish way of jam first and clotted cream second just makes perfect sense to me. But I’m really not that fussy when it comes to scones and cream…
As a child we had many holidays in the UK, mainly Devon and Cornwall. However, St Ives is one place I don’t remember visiting. We’ll be back to see St Ives for sure and see the things we didn’t see this time around and of course do more bodyboarding. We may even check out the other surfing beaches in Cornwall. Such a great place to go to!