We recognise that it may sound like madness to suggest surfing to support recovery, but bear with us. We have seen first hand the powerful impact that being in the water alone has on our mental health. Whether laying on our bellies and charging through the white water, or shredding ‘out back’, when learned together in a supportive, encouraging, ‘take it easy’ kind of way, surfing brings great reward.
Our surf lessons are aimed at beginner surfers, so no prior experience is required. Our partnership with Newquay Activity Centre means that all the equipment you need is provided, just bring a towel and a cossie or trunks.
All of our beginner lessons are taught in the white water at waist height so don’t worry if you are not the strongest of swimmers – just think of the surfboard as the largest float you’ll ever take into the water with you!
Our instructors are ISA qualified and trained RLSS Lifeguards so you will be in safe hands, and with advanced training in adaptability we are able to make adjustments to help with injury or reduced range of motion. We will be using really big, floaty foam boards which help with balance by adding stability. Pairing up will help with carrying boards down to the water, and when in the water the boards float well so you don’t need to carry anything too heavy. We will be on hand at all times with extra in-water support to help whenever needed.
If you would like to know more about the specifics of surfing and the physical mobility you might need, please have a read through the below section and get in touch if you would like to talk any of this through with our team – we are more than happy to problem-solve with you or answer any questions.
As the saying goes, the best surfer is the one having the most fun! So we will be doing our utmost to ensure you have a great time in the water, sharing the stoke and celebrating the wipeouts as much as the epic rides!
We know that different people have different fitness levels and treatment can seriously take its toll on our bodies. In order to help you to get the most from the sessions it may be helpful for you to think about your current physical mobility, and at what point in your recovery post-treatment our retreats would be manageable for you. It might be that you are ‘good to go’ from the off, or it may be that the retreats offer you something to aim for further down the line. There is no ‘cut-off’ for when you can join us post-treatment, we know that recovery takes time.
Laying on our bellies and shooting along the waves horizontally (usually with huge grins plastered on our faces!) is great. For some, it is absolutely enough and we can stick at this, either on surfboards or bodyboards, whichever is more comfortable. For those that wish to try and surf standing up (the best bit if you ask Dannie and Helen), there is a little more skill and finesse involved, but it is entirely achievable! To help you know a little more about what this entails, the following talks you through the process of standing up and some of the mobility needed – this might give you a little bit of a guide as to when would be a good time for you to join us if you want to stand and surf.
In order to stand on a surfboard you need to be able to move through a range of positions. These include laying on or pulling yourself on to the board while it is in the water, laying on your front, pushing yourself up with your arms to a ‘table top’ kneeling position, and then moving up into a standing position. Don’t worry, all of this can be done slowly, and we generally get everyone to practice each stage several times before they move on so that they learn what feels comfortable for them, and learn to balance on the board. Again, you are welcome to knee-ride, or sit on the board rather than trying to stand if this works better for you.
If you want to then progress your surfing to the next level, being able to paddle is the next goal. This means having a range of motion in your shoulders (think: front crawl on a board). Don’t worry though, we will be on hand in the water to help send you on some epic waves if this too much of a challenge.
Surfing does take energy and is a bit of a cardio workout – knowing that fatigue is common in recovery, we will make sure to schedule lots of breaks and keep sessions short to help with pacing energy.
All this is easier than it sounds, and we will guide you through it with hands-on support in the water. It may be useful for you to talk with your medical team prior to attending to help you to decide when would be a good time for you to join us. If you would like to talk with our team about this too, please do get in touch.
Our workshops are designed to offer a space for connection with others, whilst sharing ideas and learning skills that you can take forward in your lives to support your wellbeing.
All of our workshops have been carefully selected following consultation with adults impacted by cancer and literature reviews highlighting the unmet needs of this group. They will be led by qualified health care professionals, selected for their experience and knowledge in their field.
Recovering After Cancer Workshops
Our Recovering After Cancer workshops cover a range of topics targeting different elements of recovery. Choose the workshop that best meets your needs:
Dr Helen Reynolds, Specialist Clinical Psychologist spends time exploring wellbeing and coping, adjusting to life post-treatment and worries about cancer returning, using cognitive-behavioural models. Dominique Royle, Chartered Physiotherapist explores strategies for managing fatigue and pain, as well as offering a Q&A session where you can bring individual concerns. Sarah Russell, Clinical Exercise Specialist explores physical rehabilitation strategies to support a return to exercise for those that might be finding this a challenge. Ellie Christie, NHS Nurse and Holistic Practitioner, explores wellbeing from an integrative perspective, helping you to reflect on areas where you are caring well for yourself, and areas where energy-draining habits may be holding you back.
Family & Carer Workshops
For our Family & Carers weekend retreat, our workshop will be delivered by Jenny Tarvit and Bernie DeLord from Promas Caring For People CIC, exploring the impacts of caring, the role of self-care, and sharing resources to support you.
Living With Cancer Workshops
Details of our Living with Cancer workshops will be released later in 2021 – stay tuned!
Our retreats have a fundamental aim to nurturing all elements of our souls. Post-surf yoga and meditation will bring some restorative calm following your water sessions; whilst mindfulness practice and our closing ceremonies offer a space to reflect on where you are at in life at the moment and the adventures ahead of you.
Our yoga sessions will be delivered by qualified Yoga teachers. All sessions will be tailored to individual physical ability levels, and no prior yoga experience is needed.
For those of you selecting our weekend retreats, you will also have the opportunity to experience additional wellbeing workshops. These include a relaxing, restorative group Sound Bath led by Jane Everett, Sound and vibrational therapist from Silence & Noise, Cornwall (Family & Carers Retreat; Recovering After Cancer retreat); and a Move Dance Feel workshop led by Emily Jenkins, Move Dance Feel CIC Founder, offering a creative, supportive and restorative experience where you can re-discover yourself, open up to new possibilities, and find a renewed sense of joy in the body through dance (Recovering After Cancer retreat).
Food glorious food! An absolutely essential part of our retreats, we want to ensure you are thoroughly nourished during your time with us. Working with top chefs, we will ensure you never go hungry.
The wonderful Choukette, Newquay, fuel us with tasty pastries for breakfast…
And for those of you joining our weekend retreats, we are partnering with a range of local caterers to bring you a sustainably sourced delicious feast on the Saturday night!
We will also provide a range of healthy (and perhaps slightly less healthy!) snacks and refreshments to keep your energy levels topped up throughout the retreat. Please let us know of any dietary requirements that we can cater to.