Tina Beresford is a surfer living in Cornwall, who is part of the Gul Surfing Team, that compete in three different surfing disciplines in the UK and abroad. She has very kindly given us an insight into her very cool surfing life and we wish we were as cool and talented as her!
How did you get into surfing?
I had always wanted to try surfing and at the age of 18 I finally got the chance on a university surf trip to North Wales. I loved it and was instantly hooked! It shaped my future as I later took on the role as the captain of my university surf club, organising all the trips and working to get as many people surfing with me as possible! I then travelled for a year to surf spots around the world, to improve and experience warm water surfing. Following this amazing experience, I slowly moved south from Manchester to Cornwall in order to catch more waves and meet similar minded surfing friends.
What made you get into competitive surfing?
Apart from the few surf competitions I competed in at University, when I couldn’t really surf, I made a late entrance into competitive surfing at the age of 28 in; longboard, shortboard and stand-up paddleboard surfing disciplines. I always liked the idea of competing and after over thinking about why I should/shouldn’t do it, I just went for it entering every surfing competition going, with the simple aim of becoming a better surfer!
What have been your competition highlights so far?
Last year I was lucky to compete for England, at the ISA Worlds Standup Paddleboarding championships in Denmark, where I placed 13th in the world for Womens Sup Surfing. This was the third time I’ve represented my country, abroad in sup surfing, with the first being in France in June 2016 and then at Cloudbreak in Fiji in November 2016, with some of the best surfers from around the world! In Fiji, I came 12th in the women’s event and got a real taste of what it’s like for surfers that compete internationally, on the best reef based waves in the world!
My aim for this year was to make it to the final of a British Longboard Union event, which I reached last week, at the Fistral Beach event. I claimed 1st place in the Womens Longboard open! This was a real competition highlight and I’m hoping the rest of the year will go just as well for my longboarding.
I’m lucky to have had so many great experiences during the last 4 years competing in surf events. A few of my other highlights include; winning the National Sup Surfing womens event at Watergate twice, experiencing Boardmasters World Surf League events, competing with Britain’s best shortboards in Thurso, making the womens semi finals and coming second in the English Nationals senior womens shortboard event. I’ve surpassed what I expected to achieve!
Favourite Surf spots?
This is a hard question as there are so many great surf spots in Cornwall. Some of the most well-known are on my favourites list such as; Fistral beach, Watergate, Crantock, Godrevy and Sennen. Outside of Cornwall I’ve been lucky to surf some amazing waves such as Cloudbreak in Fiji, Jeffery’s Bay in South Africa, The Pass in Byron Bay, Thurso in Scotland, Hossegor beach breaks in France, Blacks in Southern California…..to name a few! So many more I hope to travel to and experience!
What advice would you give to those learning and wanting to progress?
If you are a new beginner surfer, it’s probably a good idea to seek out surfing lessons with a qualified Surfing England surf school, to learn quicker and in a safe environment.
Remember that “float is your friend” in most British waves and should allow you more time on your feet experiencing riding a wave. Many people seem to buy a small board too soon and have trouble getting up on waves.
It’s also essential to get a good quality wetsuit to enjoy surfing in cool to cold British waters, plus some gloves, boots and a hood for the very coldest months. Being warmer improves the experience of surfing, you can have longer surf sessions and keeping warm can help prevent injuries. The wetsuit should be well sealed keeping in a layer of water which is warmed by the body and prevents you from losing too much heat while in the water. So, it is sometimes worth paying more for a higher specification wetsuit such as the one I wear, the Gul Viper which has fluid seams.
Finally, get in the sea as often as you can to gain experience and fitness, and remember to have fun! Surfing can sometimes be frustrating but it is also a very rewarding sport!
Check out Tina’s Instagram page to follow her surfing journey! We are certainly inspired and will be in the water this summer (we’ll wait for the sunshine before jumping in though!)
Enjoyed reading all about Tina and her wave lifestyle? Have a peek at out blog post Guest Blogger Emma: Why She Loves Devon too!