GB Surfing Grom Camp Goes Off At The Wave

Forehand Specific Technical Training Camp focussed on early years age group.

GB Surfing recently held its latest junior pathway camp at The Wave in Bristol, with a focus on forehand surfing techniques.

A total of 21 groms, all selected by their Home Nation (Surfing England, Scottish Surfing Federation, Welsh Surfing Federation and Channel Islands Surfing Federation), came together for a weekend of fun, learning, connections and development.

GB Surfing’s Performance Pathway Manager Joel Gray ran the camp with collaboration and assistance from coaches, Emily Williams and Phil Sadler from Wales, Craig Sutherland from Scotland and Jake Powel from the Channel Islands.

Reflecting on the camp, Joel, said: “Camps like these have a number of broad intentions such as building on the collective culture of our coaches working group and helping facilitate some UK wide surf scene connections for the surfers and parents involved. It’s a further significant practical opportunity for the coaches to bed in how we work with our performance markers and talent identification and in general understand where we are and where we need to be and how to get there.

“From the surfer’s viewpoint, the aim was clear – to raise the technical level of fundamental skills.  The delivery of the weekend had fun at its core and the coaching inputs were concise, clear and specific to our aims.

“I’m confident the surfers have all left with a heightened awareness of where their own surfing level is and crucially, they have an increased knowledge of how to improve. Some surfers made impressive skill set jumps on this camp, but the real positive is what they can all be doing in two months and six months’ time. I’m confident that the surfers and their coaches know how to achieve their goals.”

The structure of the weekend utilised a dedicated classroom base and a number of forehand specific presentations incorporating ‘correct technique’ examples from Progression Squad surfers Pat Langdon Dark and Stanley Norman. Surfers had two sessions each day on a variety of wave profiles with a coach on the take off spot on the wall and another at the clubhouse, linked via radio.

The forehand only nature focussed on three main skills / attributes from the GB Surfing Performance Markers matrix – namely entry to the wave, roundhouse cutbacks and snaps. In addition to technique, time was given to pressure situations and heat surfing with scores logged on the LiveHeats system – There was a strong focus on self-assessment and goal setting and detailed feedback for each surfer post camp.