Surf School COVID-19 Update – Tuesday 30th of June 2020

As a business that is not desk-based but in the great outdoors, we decided to tentatively open our virtual outdoor doors back on the 18th of May. During this time, the surf has been pumping, the weather amazing and everyone has left us feeling safe, looked after and with salty surfing smiles on their faces!

As new government guidelines are being released, we have been bending, flexing and adapting to fit inside the curve of a new and safe ‘normal’. Here is what we are doing…

Bubbles:

  • We will be operating groups of up to 5 people – These people (excluding the instructor) will need to be from no more than two households bubbles. Both household bubbles will be informed that there will be another household present (if applicable) and will be given the option to change their mind if they are not happy with the arrangements.
  • The two households bubbles will be arranged in a way that provides a minimum of 4 meters distance between each of the household bubbles with the instructor in the middle at a minimum of 2 meters distance from each household bubble – No high fives just yet!

Before your activity:

  • All lessons must be booked online and paid for in advance. We do not take cash at the beach.
  • At the point of booking, you will be asked to agree to our terms and conditions which includes adhering to this policy. 
  • If you or a member of your household show any symptoms of Covid-19, you must not take part in surf lessons or visit the surf school. Please see below for our refund policy.

On arrival at your activity:

  • You will need to arrive at the activity meeting point (please see your booking confirmation for this) 15 minutes before your session start time. Please respect others and socially distance while you are being checked in. 
  • There will be 2-meter marked lines on the ground. Please use these to keep to a correct distance.
  • Once checked in, you will be allocated a sterilised wetsuit and bucket. You will also be informed about where your meeting place is. Please take your wetsuit and bucket back to your car or a suitable place to get changed. Once changed, we can look after any items of clothing and a car key however, these must remain inside your allocated bucket. 
  • Once changed, please make your way to your allocated meeting place and wait for your instructor and your activity to start.

During your activity:

  • You will be issued a clean and disinfected kit.
  • You will need to carry your own kit to the beach. Assistance may be needed by buddying up to carry some surfboards. If this happens your boards will be disinfected further at the water’s edge.
  • All safety briefings, surf theory & demonstrations will be performed outside in the open sea air.
  • Please maintain a safe distance between yourself and other beach users, including the instructor and those participating in the surf lesson.
  • At times it is important for us to come within the 2 meters social distance. We will only do this if you require assistance before stepping back outside of this area. It is important to understand that the sea poses its own set of risks and that we are there to keep you safe and to make sure you have a good time.

After The Surf Lesson:

  • Your equipment will be disinfected before being put away or used again.
  • You can pick up your bucket and get changed back at your car or where you feel comfortable. Please step inside the bucket to take your wetsuit off. This means the wetsuits should not end up on the floor and can be brought back to the board trailer inside your bucket.
  • Your wetsuit will be cleaned in fresh water and then double dipped in a diluted disinfectant before being quarantined for 24 hours.
  • The surf school will be thoroughly cleaned daily before and after all clients have left the premises.

It’s been proven that being outdoors dramatically reduces the risk of infection. We feel by being on the beach and in the sea further decreases this risk. Therefore we are confident that by staying alert, not staying close to each other for a prolonged period of time and by using common sense and following the guidelines provided that any risks are absolutely minimised. Obviously, if you do have concerns, then please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss these.

COVID-19 Refund Policy

If you book a surf lesson with us and are unable to attend due to the following reasons hen you will be given the option to reschedule your activity or receive a full refund:

  • Flu-like signs or symptoms in the past 7 days
  • Government advice prevents you from taking part

You must contact Freewave Surf Academy by email at least 24 hours prior to the surf lessons for this to apply. Otherwise, our standard refund policy applies.

Staff 

All staff will be expected to alert the centre manager of any high temperatures, loss or changes in taste or any other flu-like symptoms. This will need to be done by emailing the centre manager and by telephone at the earliest possible convenience. It is imperative to raise this as soon as possible. Staff will then need to call 111 to arrange a COVID-19 test. If this test is positive then all recent client and staff contacts through the surf school will need to be made. Client and staff details are kept on file and so this will can be carried out swiftly.

All staff will be required to use hand sanitiser on arrival. Freewave Surf Academy will provide this for the staff to use. 

All staff will avoid touching their own face (eyes, nose and mouth) following the use of hand sanitiser. Coughs and sneezes should be stifled underneath rash vests (if worn) or into the crook of the elbow which should help to contain any exhaled vapours and not transmit these to any surf school equipment. 

And finally

The safety and the well-being of our clients and staff is our highest priority and this policy aims to provide information and confidence to those that wish to book with us.

We will continue to monitor and adhere to government advice relevant to our sector, and reserve the right to change our operating procedures and policies at any time. This policy has been created in-line with guidance and information provided by www.gov.uk

On a personal note, this is as new to us as it is to everybody else. We are a small business trying to navigate the muddy waters of government guidelines whilst balancing what we feel is right on a personal, business and community level.

If you would like to discuss our measures further or are not happy with what we are doing then please do not hesitate to contact us using our online contact form.

Peace out! Robin

Robin looking forward to greeting people back to Widemouth Bay
  • Chronology of the changes that we have made throughout the Coronavirus outbreak:

    • 22nd of March 2020 (ahead of the government decision to lockdown), we made the decision to close our doors until we felt it was safe to reopen.
    • 18th May 2020 (following government guidelines), we decided to open our surfing lessons on a one-to-one basis.
    • 1st of June (following government g guidelines), we started accepting small groups (max 2 households) and opened up our coasteering experiences.
    • 15th of June (following government guidelines), we will be taking up to two groups from a maximum of two bubbles for Surfing, Coasteering and Stand Up Paddleboarding experiences.