I have wanted to go on a surf or yoga retreat since I was a teenager. I’ve seen various events happening over the years, but for one reason or another, I’ve never gone. I promised myself that 2019 was my year, my year to do the things I always said I would. Surfing and yoga were both on that list for me to achieve, I just needed to find the right event and thanks to Surfgirl I could check them both off in the UK Surf City, Newquay.

I’ve read Surfgirl magazine for years! I’m very much a surf/board sport style person, but I’m ridiculously landlocked so I just don’t get the opportunities to embrace the waves like I wish I could. I’m an ocean girl at heart, and because I’m nowhere near the ocean, I swim, so I swim strong, but I wanted to learn how to surf strong. Surfgirl launched an event called Surf Strong Sessions, in association with Roxy, it was £65 for a jam-packed day of fitness, surfing, yoga and bonding with fellow surf girls.

I pondered for quite some time on whether to book or not, as for me, it would take me around 5 hours to drive there, or I could fly there at a cost and I’d need a hotel too, so it was a commitment. This wasn’t just a one-day event, this would be a weekend away for me and would be rather expensive in total. When I spent a few weeks going back and forth with whether to go or not, I finally decided I needed to embrace this amazing opportunity and enjoy a lovely weekend by the sea in Newquay.

Surf strong fitness class

There were 25 girls booked on the session with a broad range of ages, locations and surf abilities. The initial will I know anyone, will anyone like me jitters soon vanished once we all got chatting! I felt at ease straight away, everyone was amazing and by the end of it, I’d made some awesome new friends! We met up for our first session of the day which was taken by fitness instructor Toyah, she taught us a surf specific HIIT fitness workout with resistance bands. For me, this was exciting because I mainly run or swim and tend to neglect other sorts of exercise. This was great for me to mix things up and look at the exercises I should be incorporating into my routine to become a stronger surfer.

Surf strong surf lesson

After our workout, we went to an amazing burger place called Slope, which is right on Great Western Beach. I won’t go into the detail of the food, but seriously this is a good choice for a feed if you’re in the area! This was also the location for the next part of the day, surfing! We were split into beginners and intermediates, and I went on the beginner course. I’ve surfed before, but if I’m honest I wasn’t taught well until I went to California for a real surf lesson. It was there I managed to understand it, I just haven’t been near the sea to practice! I figured, go back to basics and start with a clear mindset.

I had missed it. I love water so much, and to be honest, I found all my open water swimming to have allowed me to surf strong! I stood up, which was amazing and left feeling energised by it all. The intermediate group had pro surfer Dominique Kent and Victoria Johnson as their guides, with Tia Kent helping us beginners. Corinne from Surfgirl magazine was with us throughout the day, and she too was helping us in the water to catch those waves. These ladies gave me my confidence back, I entered unsurely, I left feeling stoked by the entire experience. I even won the wave of the day award! It was in the ocean with these amazing women, I felt thrilled to be there and knew my decision to go was the right one.

Surf strong yoga

Yoga is good for mind, body and spirit. If I don’t practice yoga I can feel it, not just in my body, but I find my mind gets clogged up and I can’t rationalise the day as well. Beach yoga was my favourite experience in Huntington Beach, so coming down to Newquay and joining these other surf girls on the beach for some yoga was a blessing. It was more of a stretch yoga session rather than an energising yoga flow, but after Toyah’s intense workout and 2 hours in the sea surfing, it was truly welcomed by us all!

Was it worth my journey? Yes, it was. It was super relaxing but fun and full of laughs, especially when I fell off my board… I think most of the beach heard me swear at the top of my voice when I popped up then slipped off mid-wave! But it was worth every penny and even that terrible flight too… so I guess I best book onto the next one in September?! Thanks, Surfgirl, I’m thrilled I finally got to come along to an event.

*Images are a mixture from Surfgirl and my own