A treasure to
be preserved,
and enjoyed...


Ray Laidlaw's
"Where else
would I want
to live?"

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Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Guide 2009 Archive

Writer and freelance photographer Katherine Wildman is based in Whitley Bay. She has also written a new article on the latest Whitley Bay skate boarding scene which can be viewed here... Visit Katherine's website at www.ke

Surf instructor Barry Henderson is available to offer tuition on 07503 028897.
Give us a wave...
by Katherine Wildman
Tynemouth surf instructor Barry Henderson talks about the surf scene at Tynemouth and invites us all in to give it a go.

"The best bit?" Barry pauses for a moment to glance at the waves before turning back to me with a huge grin on his suntanned face. "The best bit is watching their faces when they've caught that first wave. That's when I know they've got the bug, that's when I know they're hooked."

The oldest person Barry has ever 'hooked' into surfing was an eighty-five year old man who came down to the beach as part of a group lesson last summer; his youngest pupil to date was just five.

What can I expect if I book a surfing lesson?

"The first thing is to get the wetsuit on — this takes some people about a quarter of an hour to begin with and can be a lesson in itself, but it gets easier with practice. The first session is all about getting in the water and building up your confidence so that even when you fall in, which you will, you know that there's someone looking out for you so you can get back on the board with a smile on your face and try again. I will show you how to catch a wave on your front, how to do a bit of body boarding. That's usually all it takes for the bug to bite in the first lesson and then they're hooked.

"I haven't had one person, young or old, come out of the waves having not liked it. I think people are surprised just what they can get out of just holding on to a board and riding in on the white water. To feel the power of the sea just like that. I have to warn people when they're learning to stand up on the board about just how high up they will feel. The thrill of walking on water, once you're up there, well — it can feel a bit freaky!"

I'm sold. What do I need to start?

"Swimming trunks or costume and a towel. That's it. We provide the rest of the gear you will need like boards and leashes, wetsuits, boots and gloves and even hoods if it looks a bit chilly out there."
Photo credit: Stu Norton — WB surfing image, view more at www.stunortonphotography.com
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