THE UK’s first surf conference – held at Newquay’s Atlantic Centre – has been hailed a success.
The S.E.E.D Surf Conference – which looked at the Social, Environmental, Economic and Development impacts of the sport – was organised by second year students studying the Surf Science and Technology Degree at Cornwall College Newquay.
Several industry speakers were present at the conference, which took place on Saturday, and plans are already in place to make it an annual event.
Speakers included, among others, professional surfer Sam Bleakley, who discussed sustainable surf tourism, Chris Hines from A Grain of Sand, who spoke about surf sustainability, Andrew Cotton, who surfed the world’s biggest wave in February, local surfing legend Roger Mansfield and Nick Hounsfield from The Wave UK.
“I think the whole thing went fantastically, we are all so proud and happy with how it ran,” events manager Charlotte Anderson-Jones said.
“The key discussion point for me was the talk from Nick Hounsfield from The Wave UK, there is so much potential for wave pools and I think they are brilliant at helping further the sport of surfing.”
Ash McMorris, a surfing consultant from Bath, said each speaker captivated the audience.
“The day was really good, I can’t believe how quickly it went, and each speaker was completely captivating,” he said.
“I haven’t been to many events that have managed that, and hopefully next year will be even bigger and better.”
The event received a phenomenal response on social media- trending on Twitter and a Facebook reach in excess of 23,000.
Brender Willmott, Surf Science and Technology Foundation Degree Programme Manager at Cornwall College, said he is proud of his students.
“They managed to create the first conference of its kind in the UK, bringing together a wide range of experts to discuss possible ways forward for the industry in terms of education, sustainability, performance and economics,” he said.
“It was a totally inspiring day for everyone that attended and we are delighted that we have been asked to build on its success to deliver an even bigger and better event next year.”
Potential venues for next year’s conference are already being scouted, including Wave in Bristol.
“We want this to be a yearly event and we are excited to start working on the next one, we have already got potential speakers, sponsors and locations,” Charlotte Anderson-Jones said.