We now sell a range of surfing accessories including second hand surfboards & wetsuits.


To go Long, or to go Short ; now that is the question……..

Most people will naturally find themselves steering towards a longboard or a short board.  Both have their advantages and equally there disadvantages.

So where do you fall?

Do you aspire to gracefully dance, and smoothly transition from rail to rail, take a stroll all whilst riding the waves? Or do you imagine yourself carving up the wave with powerful snaps, cutbacks, smacking the lip and racing down the line? This is a choice you must make, we love to see which route our customers take and we can help you with our Intermediate lessons to move closer to where you want to be. But if you can’t decide whether you want to be a long boarder or short boarder, we hope this blog will help you with your decision.


You can longboard as a beginner/intermediate or advance surfer.  If you have ever taken the time to visit YouTube and watch professional surfers riding longboards, you can see that they can do things the average surfer would only dream of being able to achieve.

Longboarding, certainly in recent years has developed a reputation for just being for beginners.  This couldn’t be further from the truth and we can see people’s attitudes changing. Longboarding is just as cool as short boarding…it’s just different.

Longboard Advantages

  • You can ride a 1ft wave or a 6ft wave – Riding a long board means you can surf more often even if the conditions are not great.
  • Great for the beginner, more stable platform – A longboard will have more surface volume, and ultimately will be far more stable than a short board.  This means if you put your foot in the wrong place it is more forgiving, so you can adjust. When you catch the wave and go to ‘pop up’ you won’t affect the board quite so much, so take off isn’t so critical.
  • Catch the wave earlier – If you can catch the waves earlier you will catch them when they are not so steep. This is great for preventing ‘nose diving’ or just getting a feel of timing when to catch the waves.  It will also allow you to read the wave better and make a better choice on which way to go.
  • Slower, allowing you to learn and advance quicker –Because you’re not taking off at a critical point, you can get to your feet smoothly as a beginner/novice. This is turn will leave you more composed. You will have more time to try different manoeuvres.  It will also allow you to practice controlling speed by playing with your position on the wave and on the board.
  • High wave count – You will definitely catch more waves on a longboard then if you were riding a short board, no questions.
  • Platform to cross step  – Some manoeuvres cannot be done on a shortboard, you can cross step, drop knee turn, nose ride….
  • Quicker to paddle – Longboards are easier to paddle.  Because of the volume of the board you will more than likely be floating on top of the water, so when you paddle you will be paddling across the water, which ultimately makes it easier (a shortboarder will be paddlng through the water as they sink – extra resistance).

 Longboard Disadvantages

  • Transportation – Not everyone has the means to transport a Longboard, but nowadays you can easily attach a roof rack or soft racks to transport your board.
  • Handling – not all longboards are heavy, in fact some newer longboards can be quite light, but they are cumbersome.
  • Harder to paddle out passed the breaking waves in big surf – If you do get taken by a wave it will take you further back towards the beach as it will drag more.  Once you have perfected the turtle role though you will find it much easier.

Short Boarding

This is what the media shows most of, I think the media is biased and portrays that short is the only way to go.

If we take a look at any other sport,  for example, running. You have just started running and aspire to be a long distance runner. Do you after one 10 minute run go out and run an Ultra Marathon(50KM/31miles)…no of course not. You start with a 5k and build up your mileage. Once you are capable of running the distance do you then expect to beat the elite athletes that dedicate their whole lives to the sport…..of course not!  Apply this question to surfing and what do you get???

Surfers on the World Tour are doing amazing things; I watch in awe sometimes, it’s unbelievable how effortless they make surfing look.  This is the key, if you have now tried surfing, you know it’s definitely not as easy as it looks, so short boarding is a slow and gradual learning curve which takes a lot of commitment. You must start on a bigger board to then decrease in size……so starting on a longboard or minimal is the only place to start.

 Shortboard Advantages

  • Easy to transport the boards  – when travelling to and from the beach or even abroad, a short board is a lot easy to carry/transport. They are less likely to get damaged in transport.
  • Easy to handle the board in the surf – If you do lose your board in the surf, because they are not as heavy they won’t drag you quite so much.
  • Once you have mastered the art of ‘duck diving’ easier to paddle out – it is a lot slower paddling on a shorter board as you are paddling through the water rather than on it.  But that said once you have mastered the art of ‘duck diving’ you will go under the waves and not taken back towards the shore when trying to get out past the breaking waves.
  • Easier to manoeuvre  – Shortboards don’t need as much weight or force to turn, they don’t create as much resistance when turning, so once you have learnt how to turn on a bigger board and move onto a shorter board it will feel easier to turn. They are more responsive to your body movements.
  • Easy to transition back to longboarding – if you have been shortboarding for a while, you will have built up a good base in your early years of surfing riding minimals or longboards, so on a day you cant ride a shortboard because the surf is too small, you can simply hire a longboard and have some fun!

Shortboard Disadvantages

  • You can’t surf 1ft waves  – Unless your Kelly Slater of course. There generally won’t be enough power in the waves to surf on a shortboard, so if you want to get in on the smaller days, picking up a longboard/minimal is definitely the way to go.  This also means you will get more waves over the year.
  • Harder to learn to ride – Because you will have to contend with later take offs, fast movements, more the board being more responsive, it means you have to think about your next move quicker.  Depending on the waves you will also need to learn how to generate your own speed.
  • Catch waves later so if you pop up isn’t right you will find it very hard – exactly what is says on the tin!
  • Smaller platform, critical foot positioning – if you get your footing wrong you could dig a rail and be thrown from the board. Its not so easy to adjust your footing if you don’t pop up right.
  • Less forgiving, more critical with timing – you have to ride in the pocket of the wave to get the best out of surfing a shortboard.
  • Harder to generate speed for turns – Because the board wont necessary glide across the water you will need to generate speed yourself by ‘pumping’.  That said there are some great short boards which seem to glide and are fast because of their design.

We could go on and on with these lists…but this is just an insight.

So which do you aspire to be?

Me personally, I do both, I feel this enables me to enjoy a variety of waves in a variety of different places. For me being able to surf both, gives me the freedom and choice of how to surf any given wave, taking into account the challenges that may face me on the day.  I have been surfing 15 years, I ride a longboard which is 9ft 2 all the way through to my fun board 5ft 3.  I learnt to surf for the first two years on a 9ft board, and I think my progression is all down to staying on a longboard at the start.  It allowed me to learn how to turn, cutback and go up and down the waves before dropping down in size.  Dropping down in size should always be a gradual thing.  I didn’t go from surfing a 9ft board to a 5ft 3 overnight…it’s taken me fifteen years and may surfboards in between.


Surfing England/International Surfing Association (SE/ISA) level one surf coach course.

Saltburn, England

2-3March 2019

Sun, Surf and Offshore Winds – Who says it’s ‘Grim up North’!


Six students from the North East of England, were involved in a fun and informative course ran by SE/ISA presenter in training Zoee Jones with Andy Joyce her mentor and ISA presenter in attendance.

The course was held at Saltburn Surf School on Saltburn Beach and included future coaches from other Schools along the North East Coastline.

ISA Surf Coach Course 2-3 March. From Left to Right: Zoee Jones (Course Presenter), Finn Gamblin, Andy Joyce (ISA Course Reviewer), Billy Ansty, Jem Ansty, Ali Smith, Tori Gower, Tori Ward.

The students were presented with a variety of information and took part in workshops covering Surfing skills, safety, communication, lesson planning and delivery. They also managed to get an enjoyable surfing practical session in on the first day with well-travelled swell and sunshine.

Foamy Sesh!!!

Students were assessed on their Surfing Skills

Presenter Zoee Jones said “The group really enjoyed the course and felt that they are now well equipped to go on to do their subsequent 20 hour training. They’re infused with a new passion for breaking down surfing skills and applying what they have learnt to their own surfing as well as getting new people involved in the sport. It was great to have Andy present during the weekend to be approved in my role as a course presenter and receive feedback on the how the course was run/structured. ”

Fun on the North East Coast

Andy said “It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be part of Zoee’s journey to become a Surf instruction programme presenter. It is also an amazing milestone for the ISA and Surfing England as she is the 1st British female presenter and 1st in the NE of England! Congratulations”

Zoee will be running more SE/ISA Level 1 Surf coaching courses in 2019, for further details contact saltburnsurfschool@hotmail.co.uk


Additional information about Surfing England and the International Surfing Association:






Mindfulness in the Surf

How do you feel after a surf?

Surfing is such a wonderful sport and through our years of coaching we have found it to be so inclusive. No matter your shape, size, age or your current physical abilities you can get benefits and enjoyment from simply having a go.

We believe at Saltburn Surf School that not only does surfing improve your physical fitness, it offers you benefits that some people pay hundreds of pounds to achieve.

Have you ever heard of THALASSOTHERAPY?

No? What about Halotherapy?

They are real words!!! Yep there is actually a word for what we prescribe ourselves whenever we get in the sea.  Did you know that there are places in the UK that you can pay to swim in salt water?  We have it for free and it’s on our doorstep.

Sea water has high amounts of minerals, including sodium, chloride, sulphate, magnesium and calcium.

Salt has many benefits according to modern and ancient medicine.  A recent article in the Daily Mail, provided an extensive list of benefits that we can gain from being in and around seawater.


So if your looking for clearer skin, soothing your psoriasis or eczema look no further than the inviting North Sea.

Cold water …..…. well that’s even better!

It is suggested that cold sea swimming activates endorphins, adrenalin and cortisol which has been linked to an increase in the release of dopamine and serotonin –  which are our happy hormones.

Other benefits can include; Reduce symptoms of hayfever, sinuous and respiratory symptoms.

So ultimately we are winning!

 There is more!!!

Have you heard the word ‘mindfullness’? This is where we believe surfing plays a role in our mental wellbeing. When you are in the sea, your focus is very much in the present. You are not thinking about what you are going to do next Saturday night, or did you forget to bring the washing in. You are thinking about your surroundings, reacting to the environment.  When you get in the sea you instantly become aware of your body, your thoughts and feelings.

Ask any surfer what they are thinking about when they are in the sea and the answer will be the same no matter the age/gender/ability……..’my next wave’!!!

Mindfullness can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. A Professor called Mark Williams a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford, says that it is important to reconnect with our bodies and sensations they experience.  He thinks its important to Try something new or do an activity that allows you to focus……

We think surfing falls in to this.

So come join us down the beach for a little bit of Therapy!!!

Want to Know About Nick

Hello everyone, Nick generally doesn’t need an introduction but there have been a lot of new faces down the beach and well there is a whole lot of history we would love to share.

Nick Noble was the first to hire surfboards and wetsuits at Saltburn By The Sea. He set up a mobile hire after getting a licence from the council, that was in 1983 an he has been here ever since.  If it wasn’t for Nick there might be a lot of people that never had the opportunity to surf and well if it wasn’t for Nick, I wouldn’t have the life I (Zoee) am leading now. All our team could possibly be working somewhere far more ‘four wallsy’ and we are grateful the beach is our office. So thank you Nick and hope you all enjoy reading a little bit more about him.

Nicks Hire first season 1983

When did you started surfing/Where was the first place you surfed?

Wooden Belly Board in 1973 at Saltburn Beach

Malibu Board in 1978 at Saltburn Beach

What was the first board you rode?

As above, the Malibu Board was self made – 8f foot, very thick, wide and volumes (single fin).

Yes that’s right folks, the first surfboard Nick ever rode was one he made himself.  Boards were not so easily accessible back in the good old days. Take a look at this photo, the board was called ducksbill and well it is still going strong!

nick and ducks bill

What was the first board you brought?

I think a second hand 7ft 6 Single Fin gun – locally made by Colin Meadows.  Not  a suitable board for the surfing I was doing – didn’t keep it long.

Places you have surfed/travelled surfing?

Round Britain and Ireland (a number of counties) and the West coast of France.

Favourite place to surf?

That’s difficult. It depends on the waves and company and other factors.

What do you ride?

A big, heavy old mal mostly, until I finish making my wooden board.

The wooden board is finished….3 years in the making.  It hasn’t got wet yet, but Nick is planning an early morning session, to make sure that it doesn’t sink, all we need is waves!

Biggest Wave you have ridden?

10 foot maybe

Worst Wipeout ever????

Probably at Runsiwck in the 1980’s – a long hold down (seemed like it anyhow). Came up just in the nick of time in amongst the kelp.

Places you want to go?Surf?

Revisit Outer Hebrides, coast of Fife, North Northumberland and a few local gems.

nick surfing

Whats you favourite food? Post surf grub?

Organic Wholemeal Bread, Olive oil and peanut butter (crunchy)

Who’s your favourite surfer?

Don’t have one, though I see a lot of surfing I like and a lot I don’t like so much whenever there are good waves.

What other training do you do other than surfing to keep fit?

Wash wetsuits, walk the dog and play tennis.

How much do you love your job???

Enough to still be in it after 34 years!!!!

hire Prices 1983

Nick and his Hire Van 1983

Recycle, Reuse and reduce your impact on the Environment

The ethical workings, sustainability and the environmental impact of our business comes high on the agenda at Saltburn Surf School.  We pride ourselves on trying to reuse/recycling everything we have and try to impact our environment as little as possible.  After all it is ‘Mother Nature’ that dictates whether we thrive or not and in turn we pay her the upmost respect. We try to do this in a number of ways.

Nick Noble has really led the way for us here at the Surf School. Nick is a Surfers Against Sewage Rep and has been for over 15 years. He has helped organise many beach cleans over the years and liaises with other local groups such as KICAS (Keeping It Clean At Saltburn). We fully support the #2minutebeachclean and you will always find the board and pickers out front, available for anyone to use.


Whilst there maybe the select few that still throw litter or disregard items leaving a legacy of waste on our beaches we have seen a massive shift in peoples efforts.  We do see a light at the end of the tunnel and cannot believe the heightened awareness regarding single use plastics, reuse, up cycle, and individuals/companies taking responsibility of their impact on the environment.

We very rarely throw anything away, wetsuit repairs and board repairs are essential, we would always prefer to bring a piece of equipment back to life than to contribute another piece to landfill. We only sell things that are meant to last; you won’t find the polystyrene body boards that will snap on first use in our shop. We try to encourage more people to buy second hand equipment, giving older surfboards a new lease of life with a new owner. Our whole ethos is about quality and ensuring things last, so everything we sell is tried and tested.

We also have no mains electricity, all our power comes from two solar panels on the roof and it is stored in a battery bank in the building. We do have to use fresh water to wash our wetsuits out after use, but we use an Eco Friendly detergent, which is all organic and has no impact on the environment.

So….when a company came to us with a vision and a product that matches all our ethics, we couldn’t wait to work with them.  GRN Sports Wear is a UK company that makes sports wear from recycled plastic bottles…yes you heard it right. This product is perfect for Rash Vests. Their sustainable, ethical and technical fabric is knitted and finished in their mill in Nottingham. The fabric is then expertly printed and cut, in our case at Teesside University. The idea was to keep the supply chain as local as possible, supporting UK Companies and the development of UK Manufacturing.

It’s been a long journey, but today the product arrived!!! We are so unbelievably happy with the rash vests.



They will be used to identify our students in the water. The print work and quality are above and beyond what we expected. We will again be putting them to the test, starting off the weekend with all our lesson participants wearing them! What do you think?


(Thanks to our wonderful models from the After Work Club – Adults Surf Club)

Would you buy a rash vest made from recycled fabrics? I think if you going to buy one it has to be right? Whilst we have no immediate plans to stock these in our shop. If we get enough interest we will create an order and you too could own a perfectly ethical, sustainable piece of surf gear.

Are you making conscious decisions to impact the environment less and less each day? Is there anything you think that we could do to again reduce waste or our impact?  We love to hear what you are up to or any suggestions you may have.

Thanks for reading folks.

Want to know about Freya?

Freya has been part of the Surf School in some form or another for a number of years now, but she is finally getting her hands dirty as part of the Team.  You will find her bent over a bucket cleaning wetsuits, helping with general hire and she can also offer some great advice if you want to know anything about anything and everything. This girl can talk, she loves life and everything that goes with it. She is already an awesome surfer and hopefully a future instructor!

When did you start surfing/first board?

I started surfing when I was about nine but didn’t really start going regularly until I was about ten or eleven which was when I really started to love it! (about the time I joined surf club!). The board I used to use a lot was a foamie my mam and dad were given, however the first board that was properly mine was a stripy foamie I got for my birthday one year.

First place you surfed?

The first place I tried surfing was either Seaton or Saltburn, I can’t quite remember. My first lesson was in Saltburn though.

Places you have surfed/travelled?

I’ve only surfed places in the UK but one day when I’m older I hope to travel the world and surf lots of places! Apart from places near where I live I’ve surfed St. Ouen bay in Jersey, Westport beach on the Mull of Kintyre and another beach in Kintyre I can’t remember, and Pease Bay in Scotland.

Favourite place to surf?

I’m not sure as I haven’t surfed many places so maybe my favourite is still out their unsurfed by me haha! For now, I’d have to say Saltburn because it’s where I surf most, and I love the friendly atmosphere.



What board do you surf?

Mostly my  9.2ft longboard lovingly named Custard (as she is a custard point longboard) and sometimes a foamie because they’re so fun! I’d like to try some shorter boards in the future though too.


Biggest wave you have ridden?

Oo I’m not sure, I think it was about 4ft, although someone said they saw me on one head high once, not sure how that happened haha!

Worst wipeout?

Hm I’m not sure I can remember a specific moment, although I definitely feel scared of the sea sometimes. Confidence is something I’m really trying hard to improve on with my surfing as I seem to gain it and then lose it all the time, hopefully I’ll be a lot more confident by the end of this year!

Places you want to surf?

Everywhere! I can’t wait to explore and surf new places, but to name a few: I’m going to the isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides this year so I’m excited to surf there, I also want to surf in Iceland, France and somewhere tropical!

Favourite food/post surf?

Chocolate porridge!! I LOVE vegan chocolate porridge. On a not so healthy note, I don’t want to be bigheaded but my famous vegan banana bread is pretty awesome and I also love Mexican food, my dads seitan kebabs and my mam’s minestrone soup! (so basically, all vegan food)

Favourite surfer?

I love watching everyone surf, it’s so cool to see everyone’s unique styles. If I had to pick a favourite professional surfer I’d say Kelia Moniz because she’s graceful, Tia Blanco because she’s awesome and vegan, and all the incredible women on the pro tour!

What do you do other than surfing to keep fit?

I do swimming and I’m trying to keep a regular yoga practise! I’m also going to start doing workouts for strength.

How much do you love your job?

I never knew washing wetsuits could be so fun! Seriously, I love it! Being at the beach all day and meeting knew people, all while going for the occasional surf is the best.

Favourite part about working at Saltburn Surf School?

Even though I’m not teaching any lessons, I love watching from the beach and seeing people’s faces when they stand up for the first time, it’s such an amazing thing! I also love learning things from the people around me as everyone has so much knowledge and so many interesting stories to share.


Best advice for someone wanting to start surfing?

Have a surf lesson! There extremely fun and are the perfect way to find out how to surf correctly. Also, don’t get caught up on if you’re doing it right or how you look, if you’re having fun then I say you’re doing brill!

Advice for someone who has been surfing a little while?

I’d say make sure you have the right equipment for your level and invest in a good quality, warm wetsuit so you can surf all year round!

Your dream job?

My dream job would be something like a surf teacher, marine biologist/conservationist who is also a writer, so a little bit of everything aha.

Have you ever seen a shark?!

No, I haven’t! We only get basking sharks in the north so not too scary, I’ve never seen one, but it might be cool, although a little scary.

Who is your favourite surf buddy?

I love surfing with everyone from surf school as they’re all hilarious but amazing surfers and of course my friends and family.


Who would you be for a day if you could be anyone?

I don’t know, I really love being me, but if I had to choose can I alter the question a bit and be something for a day? I think being a dolphin or a whale would be awesome, jumping out of the water, doing crazy tricks. Yep, definitely a dolphin.

What annoys you the most when surfing?

People who drop in but then don’t apologise! Party waves are awesome but what’s not awesome is setting your board up for a manoeuvre only to have to move because someone’s paddling right next to you. Surfing etiquette is important.

What trick are you trying to perfect at the moment?

I’m working on my cross stepping, confidence in the water and backhand turns.

What piece of equipment other than your suit/boots/glove/board could you not live without?

My changing robe, polar coat thing! It keeps you toasty warm and dries you while staying dry itself at the same time. Best thing I ever bought.

instagram freya








Want to know about Zoee?

We have asked her a few questions to give you an insight into her surfing and lifestyle.  If you want to know anything else about Zoee just ask…she is an open book.

When did you started surfing/Where was the first place you surfed?

I started surfing when I was 20….16 years ago now.  I remember it very clearly, it was at Puttsbrough in North Devon.  Someone had lent me a board, not the best board to try on. I was in the water for hours (at least four) and stood up once for a millisecond.  I had no idea how to catch a wave and didn’t really understand why it was so hard, but I persisted. That one millisecond ride got me hooked!  Looking back I wish I had a lesson or the advice to try a bigger board at the time.

What was the first board you brought?

The first board I brought was a second-hand ex rental board.  It was a 9ft Bic…I loved that board and I rode it for two years.  It allowed me to have a high wave count, build up my paddle strength and learn a lot of the basic manoeuvres.  I stupidly sold this board, but I really wish I kept it, it was great in small surf and flew in bigger surf too.  It was quite a heavy board, but I loved it!