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Welcome to the Surf Swim School, you centre for open water swimming training including cold water, ice, skins, suits, leisure and competitive open water swimming

Welcome! Come and join us at our regular open water swimming sessions around North Devon in a friendly, experienced and safe environment.

  • Open water swimming specialist coaching
  • Pool based open water technical training
  • Cold water immersion/swimming guided acclimation
  • GSS, WOWSA, Swim England sanctioned events training
  • Land based personal training
  • 1-to-1 coaching and group training
  • Highly qualified and experienced coaching team
  • Every session is accompanied by SLSGB qualified Surf Lifeguards
  • Open Water Swimming equipment in our shop

Open Water Swimming in North Devon

Open Water Swimming in North Devon

Come and swim with us in beautiful North Devon! Open water swimming is a fun, challenging sport loved by open water enthusiasts, triathletes and wild swimmers. Our qualified open water swimming coaches and safety team will equip you with the skills you need to be safe and competent in an open water environment. Whether you’re intending to compete or just want to be a competent swimmer for family vacations, for instance.

We work with all abilities of swimmer from complete novice to competitive marathon athletes.

Recreational open water swims

Throughout the summer you can join us for beautiful open water swims around the stunning Westward Ho coastline. A great day out for all the family, fully supported with dedicated safety cover, our team will take you on a swimming adventure departing from the stunning Westward Ho blue flag beach.

All equipment is provided and you don’t need to be a seasoned open water competitor. We will give you a thorough safety briefing, educate you on beach safety and encourage you all the way during your swim. You might even spot a curious seal, porpoise or a few fishes!

For lots more information about open water swimming, technique and general information please visit our posts page

How to book:

There are range of lessons available from the Open Water Swimming Coaching team including one2one, private groups and daily coached training sessions.

Our latest schedule and online booking can be accessed here

Private groups and private one2one open water swimming coaching around North Devon are also available please call or email to arrange your next private training session.

Any questions or queries, please give us a call on 01237 720130 or email info@surfandswimschool.com .

World Open Water Swimming Association

© copyright 2020 by Surf and Swim School Ltd. All rights reserved

Upcoming sessions

Open Water swimming training

We are starting to offer open water swimming training to small groups of swimmers, whilst adhering to the latest social distancing and safety guidelines. These swims all start from Westward Ho beach and to ensure we have plenty of space for socially distanced safety briefings we have adjusted our swim times so we meet on the sand and not on the busy slipway or car park.

The sessions will cover entry/exit techniques, feeding and nutrition, working with the sea conditions, understanding how to identify & use or avoid a rip current, stroke adaptations for the sea conditions, advanced sighting, drafting and turning techniques, swimming endurance, race strategy…..and having fun in the sea!

Each group is accompanied with a fully qualified open water swimming coach and an SLSGB Surf Lifeguard.

Get ready for cold water swimming!

WINTER 2020 we will be running our cold water swims! Adults acclimation session for those swimmers wanting to swim in cold waters or undertake an ice swimming challenge Sessions are held at Westward Ho sea pool or beach (depending on the conditions). A lot of our swimmers use these sessions to try skins but that isn’t compulsory. The sessions are guided by our qualified open watch coach and SLSGB Surf Lifeguard. Please contact us if you would like further information or to join the group.

To sign up please call 01237 720130, email info@surfandswimschool.com or click here



Join us for an introduction to open water swimming. A great confidence booster! This course will cover safety, beach awareness, short open water/sea swims @ Westward Ho with full safety cover, technique drills and skills. Fully qualified Open Water Swimming Coach takes the session.

Please register to join this course as we need to ensure we have adequate safety cover for everyone taking part. This course runs on consecutive weeks and is progressive. Venues may change if weather or sea conditions are not favourable for swims from Westward Ho beach.


Join us for a weekly sociable swim at Westward Ho beach. These fun training sessions run on Friday evenings for 5 weeks. Cost is £75 per person and includes a weekly open water training session followed by fish and chips supper! Contact us for more information. We hope to start these sessions again soon but for now, they are on hold while there is a COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note:

  1. If you would like to join in with our open water swimming sessions please contact us using the form below and we will issue you with a password so you can use our online booking and registration system. Alternatively, you can call us on 01237 720130

If you have any questions or would like further information please call us on 01237 720130 or email

World Open Water Swimming Association

(c) copyright 2020 Surf and Swim School Ltd. All rights reserved

Personal Training


Our Mission:

  • To continually invest in training and equipment for our coaches and students to ensure consistent standards of excellence delivering the most up-to-date, comprehensive training that incorporates best practices from all over the world.
  • To promote water safety and confidence by participating in beach and pool activities.

Your Senior Coaching team:

Andy – Head Coach Surfing
Known as ‘Greyshark’, Andy has over 30 years international surfing experience.As a qualified Surf England  and ISA Coach and formerly of North Devon Surf School, Surf Southwest and the Wave Project, Andy has many years experience coaching around the North Devon coast.

Andy has developed a personalised approach to lessons that works with your achievement goals to ensure success. No matter your age or ability Andy will work with you to progress and develop your technique as you master the sport. Lessons with Andy are always high energy fun and full of laughter!

Andy is also our qualified SLSGB Trainer/Assessor and the lead instructor on all of our SLSGB certified courses, including the kids club Surf Cadet.

As a seasoned competitor of marathons and long distance running, Andy is also a qualified Level 3 personal trainer and the expert behind out Beach Boot Camps which are run on beaches around North Devon  Andy is also available for 1-to-1 personal training sessions.

Claire – Head Coach Swimming
A passionate swimmer and still competing on the International Masters circuit, Claire has spent most of her life in the pool and ocean.Training as a Coach in America, Claire is qualified with the American Swimming Coaches Association as a level 4 coach and certified Stroke Technician. With her passion for open water swimming, Claire is also a certified Level 3 Coach with the World Open Water Association. Returning to the UK, Claire has also qualified with Swim England as a Coach in both pool and British open water swimming.

Technique forms the foundation of all of our sessions in the pool and open water. Lessons with Claire are always knowledge packed and fun with something to challenge you.

Your experience:

All of our programs are overseen by a member of the senior coaching team who are supported by experienced teachers and certified coaches. No matter your age or ability we personalise the program to challenge and motivate you to reach your goals while having some fun and learning new skills along the way.

Our small school is located a short walk from Westward Ho beach and this is where our surfing lessons, open water swimming and SLSGB courses take place. We are also lucky enough to have Bude sea pool within a short drive which is the preferred location of our Level 2 open water swimming courses. There is also a sea pool within a short walk along the promenade which we use for technical open water coaching, our open water induction and some of our kids club activities (weather and tide dependent).

Within a short drive there are some great indoor swimming pools where we base ourselves for our swim squads, coaching sessions and swimming camps. Barnstaple pool is a 6 lane, 25m competition pool with boards, blocks, anti-turbulence lane ropes and a minimum depth of 2m. Our alternative pool is in Torrington and suitable for more novice swimmers that may be nervous about being out of their depth for the whole session.

Our Curricula:

Based on the latest research and techniques, each program implements a well designed curriculum that is designed to be age and level appropriate with regular assessment, awards and certification as new skills are mastered. The sessions across all the sports we offer are designed to maximize the time learning while creating the most enjoyable experience and memories.

Our kids clubs allow for safe and fun days, focusing on water safety and enjoyment. Depending on the number of days they attend each child will have the opportunity to gain certification from SLSGB as a surf cadet or from Swim England.

Call 01237 720130 or email info@surfandswimschool.com to book your training

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© Surf and Swim School Ltd 2019. All rights reserved

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