Huge thanks to all at Surf Snowdonia for hosting the first Welsh Junior Squad training session of 2016.
The first session in the 2016 Welsh Junior Squad diary took place last weekend, getting the ball rolling for the year ahead and what better place to do so than the Surf Snowdonia Wave Garden.
The plan was hatched by WSF Head Coach Gwen Spurlock for the team to head up on the Friday night with accommodation provided in Surf Snowdonia’s onsite “Surf Pods” before training kicked off the next day.
Anticipation was high amongst both the squad, parents and coaches as we set up camp for the night next to Europe’s finest surfing lake.
The morning began with a quick get together, giving the groms a chance to catch up after their winters both home and away before Gwen and Sam grouped everyone up to outline the plan of the day.
We had Bangor University on site throughout the day to run Sports Science testing on the squad, there was also the chance to wear “Catapult Technology Vests” as used by many sporting professionals, in particular the Welsh Rugby Team.
With this explained, the day outlined and squad split into groups it was time to get suited and booted to get a taste for inland waves, as this was going on, the first wave of the day rolled through resulting in a gang of groms half in their wetsuits one boot on one boot off rushing to the Academy Centre’s Windows to get a glimpse.
As the first group’s session began it was a chance to get their feet in the wax and adjust to the man made waves and the very different line up from the likes of Rest Bay, Llangennith or Freshwater West the squad are used to.
Although some of the squad had been up and surfed the wave before, thanks to some great pointers from Jo Dennison (Current Welsh Womens champion and Head of Surf Snowdonia’s Surf Academy) they were all soon on a level playing field as some excellent top to bottom surfing got underway in Wales’ finest amphitheater of surfing.
With the morning wrapped up and feedback given, the team dug into a delicious pasta lunch at the Surf Snowdonia on-site restaurant. Sam Moore then put the team through a fitness session making full use of the excellent facilities available.
The session worked the groms hard but there were still smiling faces all around, the high standard of fitness displayed by the whole squad shows that winter hasn’t been spent sitting round by these kids.
We wrapped up the afternoon with some team bonding by having a session on Surf Snowdonia’s new Wipeout Assault Course, which was a great way for the team to unwind and let off any excess energy after a tiring and busy day.
Surf Snowdonia is a truly superb facility offering huge potential for the development of Welsh surfing and will allow for highly technical coaching analysis thanks to the waves near perfect nature.
It’s something we should feel very proud to have in Wales for us to utilise, especially as we look forward to this year’s upcoming World and European Junior Championships, both of which we are proud to announce will be seeing a Welsh Team this year.
Huge thanks must go to all who made this session possible in particular the Team at Surf Snowdonia.
Surf Snowdonia has just re-opened for the 2016 season and all at the WSF wish them the best for the coming season. They’ve got loads of exciting new stuff for this year, plenty of activities to keep the non surfers with you happy.
You can book surf sessions and see this years new attractions on their website here..
Write-up by Nathaniel James
Pictures by David Pearce and Craig Nicol