Cornwall Life meets Barrie Hall, Head of Surf Education at Newquay's Lusty Glaze beach

Former Head Coach for the British Surfing Association, Barrie Hall, has become Head of Surf Education at Newquay's Lusty Glaze Beach Training Centre

Former Head Coach for the British Surfing Association, Barrie Hall,has become Head of Surf Education at Newquay’s Lusty Glaze Beach Training Centre.

Bare Hall is one of those lucky people who has managed to turn his passion into a career. Having surfed from an early age, Barrie (or Baz as he is better known) has spent the best part of three decades working in and around the surf industry as a surf instructor, national level coach and surf education innovator.

Baz was born in Wales but moved to South Devon as a youngster. It was here that he was bitten by the surfing bug. He spent his formative years chasing waves at local beaches and on long weekends away with his family in Cornwall. As a keen surfer it was inevitable that Baz would set up home in Cornwall, and in the early 1980s, aged just 18, he moved to Newquay to be at the centre of the UK’s surfing scene.

“It was a big move for me to leave my home and my parents at such an early age,” says Baz. “But Newquay was such an exciting place to be. The surf scene was starting to take off and there was a real buzz to be here as a young man.”

Although he has surfed competitively, Baz was more interested in free-surfing and spent his time exploring the quality waves along the north Cornwall coast. He also travelled far and wide, visiting new surfing locations in between jobs as a painter and decorator. “I’m lucky to have visited some amazing places, before they became over-famous as global surf spots. Surfing at G-Land in Indonesia and J-Bay in South Africa in those early days were life-defining moments,” says Baz. “But wherever I travelled in the world I always returned to Cornwall, which I considered my home.”

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It was after one of his long trips abroad that Baz decided to lay foundations for a career in the surf industry. He took a job at one of the country’s first surf schools at Fistral Beach in Newquay and has never looked back. He quickly progressed from teaching surf lessons to beginners, to becoming a surf school manager and eventually Head Coach for the British Surfing Association (BSA).

During his time with the BSA, Baz has been instrumental in the development of British surfing from the grass roots to the top level. As Head Coach he managed the British surf team and was a chief architect in the creation of the BSA’s surf school accreditation and qualification scheme.

One of the highlights of his career was when South Africa requested the BSA’s help and advice in setting up its own national scheme for surf school regulation and qualification. Baz says: “It was bizarre for me, a surfer from Cornwall, to be invited out to South Africa to teach best practice in surf education to one of the major surfing nations. For once us Brits were at the forefront of world surfing! It was a huge honour

and a truly memorable experience.”

Baz has now embarked on a new stage of his career by taking on the role of Head of Surf Education at the BSA-accredited training centre at Lusty Glaze Beach in Newquay. In this role, Baz will be training the next generation of surf instructors who will teach surf lessons in Cornwall and beyond. The position will also allow him to get involved with lifeguard training and other rescue disciplines offered at the centre.

“This is another new start for me and a big step forward in my career,” explains Baz. “It will allow me to develop new skills to enhance my effectiveness as a waterman and surf coach professional.”

The appointment also strengthens Baz’s connection to Cornwall, where he has laid firm roots for himself and his family. He met his wife in Newquay and has two girls, aged six and three years old. Baz comments: “We enjoy a great lifestyle here in Cornwall. The rugged coastline never fails to inspire, whether you’re out surfing, walking or just admiring the scenery. I’m lucky to have created the perfect work-life balance for myself and it’s important to pass this lifestyle on to my children. Cornwall and surfing gives them the perfect environment to grow up in.”

Even though Baz has spent a large portion of his life working on Newquay beaches, he never tires of the beauty of Fistral, Crantock and Watergate Bay and says these are some his favourite places in Cornwall. He also likes exploring the St Agnes and St Merryn areas on the north coast.

So, have his children started surfing yet? “No, but they love swimming and are certainly water babies. They’re just a little too young to tackle the waves just yet. There is plenty of time for all that!”

The courses Baz will be overseeing at Lusty Glaze Beach include BSA Surf Coach Level 1 and 2, National Beach Lifeguard Qualifications, as well as International Surfing Association Level 1 and Surf Competition Judging courses.

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