About the English Surfing Federation (ESF)
ESF stands for the English Surfing Federation: the governing body for surfing in England. The Surf School represents, supports and helps to fund the ESF.
The ESF is, in its simplest form, a group of people who have been working for the last 30+ years to help improve English surfing. Not content with sitting back and letting English surfing develop at its own pace, the ESF has injected a level of professionalism that has helped to nurture the country’s future champions.
Many surfers (especially those new to the sport) may not have heard of the ESF, but they have been working behind the scenes of the sport for decades. Although the ESF may have its roots in the laid-back surfing days of the 1970s, it has moved with the times and is now in the business of preparing athletes for success within the highly competitive contest scene.
Past champions Russell Winter, Lee Bartlett, Robyn Davies and Alan Stokes have all benefited from ESF support and gone on to represent England at the highest level.
In short, the ESF is a non-profit-making, voluntary organisation staffed by a group of committed surfers.
What does the ESF do on a practical level?
As well as introducing new faces to the sport through top quality lessons at the surf school in Newquay, the ESF strives to support and develop young surfers and provide them with the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential. This includes: talent spotting; training; organising competitions and managing the English surf team.
In recent years, the ESF has launched a national training programme for promising groms (young surfers!) While many dream of becoming the next world champion, the ESF’s goals are much more grounded and realistic. It aims to engender a positive outlook and good attitude in young surfers, and to give groms an outlet for their energy. If we are able to help find and prepare top surfers for competing in this country and beyond, then that’s a bonus!
With more surfers – and more surf spots – finding the next ‘top grom’ has got harder, but the ESF is committed to finding and nurturing new talent and keeping UK surfing amongst the best in Europe, and the world.
Who does the ESF help at the top level?
The ESF is responsible for dealing with the ‘premier league’ of English surfers. These are either youngsters who show real promise in the sport, or competition surfers who need help in stepping up to the next level.
To do this, the ESF helps to raise money to allow these surfers to compete at the highest level and fulfil their potential. It also organises the English junior and open surf teams, enabling the surfers to compete against European and international surfers each year.
One of the most exciting recent developments for the ESF has been the introduction of the national training programme, with training camps in Newquay, Bournemouth and Tyneside. These camps help to focus and develop young surfers and, aside from receiving surf coaching from top professionals, the groms receive advice on diet, fitness and the psychological side of the sport.
What have been the ESF’s biggest achievements?
- The ESF prides itself on having one of the longest running and successful surf schools in the UK, which has an enviable reputation for fun, safety and quality coaching.
- Their national training programme has served to raise the standard of up-and-coming surfers nationwide.
- They have introduced ‘all girls’ coaching weekends and Bodyboard coaching weekends and have had some great results with their junior development weekends.
- The ESF has been responsible for managing a national team that is consistently in the top three in Europe and placed 10th at the last World Championships.
- The ESF also organise the English Surfing Championships each year, which is Europe’s biggest surf contest.
Not bad going for a voluntary organisation!
How is the ESF funded?
The ESF’s existence relies purely on the selfless determination of its team of volunteers. Any money that it makes from competitions etc is ploughed back into the Federation, and the future of the sport.