Surfing and Mountain Biking in Cornwall

In June, the RAF Waveriders Association (WRA) kicked off the summer season by introducing five MSC personnel to the challenges and rigours of one of the world’s most exhilarating sports.

The course was organized and run by ex-RAF Cpl Mark Wright who undoubtedly went to extra lengths to ensure the week was a real success. The week-long surfing course, held at RAF St Mawgan, enabled five complete novices with no surfing experience to be introduced to a new, challenging and demanding sport, in a controlled and safe way.  This was achieved through structured land based lessons, in water analyses, de-briefs and most importantly, a lot of practice.The facilities provided by the Waveriders Association really did exceed all expectations.  Comfortable rooms to sleep in, along with a games room with table tennis and a pool table made sure we were never short of anything to do.  Along with the high quality equipment (surf boards and wetsuits), which had been very well maintained, morale was at an all time high.  This was sure to be one of the best AT expeditions available. 

After taking to the water on the first day (experiencing numerous falls), we were under no illusion that surfing was a lot harder than it looked.  Fortunately, through the exceptional and professional instruction of Mark, the hard work, encouragement and will of everybody in the water, each man achieved their goal of standing on a surf board and riding some waves, improving our fitness and expanding our comfort zones along the way.  All this, whilst looking out for each other in an inherently difficult environment, resulted in an overwhelming sense of achievement.

Running In tandem with the surfing were afternoons of Downhill Mountain biking which again introduced us to more physical challenges to overcome. There were some endless steep inclines, rewarded with technical and fast downhill sections, which required the highest level of concentration just staying on. However, the sense of achievement getting to the top of the inclines, followed by the fear of falling and the sheer adrenaline rush of navigating our way downhill more than made up for the physical pain. Thanks to our mountain bike expedition leader, who made sure we knew the basics, we all had some thoroughly enjoyable afternoons resulting in an increased confidence in overcoming extreme physical challenges.

Overall, the week was a great success.  So much so that the there is already scope for a repeat next year to allow more RAF personnel the chance to learn some exciting new skills. A special thanks to Cpl McMillan for organizing the mountain biking.  Thanks again to Mark Wright of the WRA for his professionalism and patience throughout the week.