A rough guide to Gorleston On Sea
Words and pics: Boardin Skool
We are Jenny and Adam, the owners of ‘Boardin Skool’, with our family of lads, Matt, Fletch, Fin and Stanley, who are the other shareholders, and some would say in charge.
Boardin Skool is an east coast based, dude central outfit, right on the beach in Gorleston On Sea, Norfolk, only a stones throw from the gateway to the famous Norfolk Broads. The area is rich in history, from Great Yarmouth, a former large working harbour and port, to the city centre of Norwich, with its paper mills and river systems, and of course, Colman’s Mustard, which can still be smelt in production, on the right wind direction.
However, more importantly, our beach HQ is set on a three-mile golden sandy beach here in Gorleston Norfolk.
‘Boardin Skool’, (we have to spell it all the time, but we are sticking with it) came about as a training provider for SUP, RYA windsurfing courses, and paddlesport training in 2007. We train Instructors, coaches, and leaders, in sheltered water and coastal environments, across the country, working with NGB providers, to create quality instructors for the outdoor industry.
In the east, we felt SUP boarding, needed a home with direction, passion and well … someone that could drive it forward professionally, and who loved it inside out. We Love everything boardy: chatting boards, riding, paddling, and skating them. Our tasters and lessons are as social, as informative and we love meeting new people.
We arrived on the beach here in Gorleston after some super helpful support from the local hotel. The Pier Hotel supported us working from the beach location, and we LOVE it. It’s the perfect paddle location for a dawn patrol SUP in the morning, watching the sun rise over our great country. We see it first, being next to the furthest easterly point. Or blasting across the three-mile beach on a strong easterly wind.
There is a special community around the sea front, and the Norfolk Broads, that SUP has created, from touring the vast waterways, adventure, and overnight journeys, to racing and surfing and all from our HQ.
Saturday mornings we run our ‘Ripperz Club’ for kids under 13, which is a sea based education club for kids to come and be kids. We, SUP, surf and generally educate about the environment to introduce the next level of SUP paddlers and windsurfers.
I especially look forward to working for one of them one day in the future. These ‘East Coast Ripperz’ are great and full of beans on a Saturday morning, and it’s a further pleasure to work with my son Matty, who is a massive help – he’s cooler than me too. The ‘Ripperz’ learn about tides, sea states, flags, and the weather. This coupled with strong support from the RNLI lifeguard team here, make this a great place to start for them.
With shifting sand bars, the surf is never consistent, However in our secret spot known to the locals as the ‘Rocket Spur’, we do get some amazing waves on a good northerly swell, especially at low tide at the north end of the beach. The south end of the beach lends itself to a shorter, steeper break that works best on a S/W wind, with a good northerly swell at high tide.
One of the best bits we have is the number of Wind Cat boats, that transport teams to the wind farms (there is even an app). This creates some perfect waves, as the boats arrive in the harbour, but short lived, so it’s a bit hectic. If its not working here it’s never a massive issue, as Cromer is only a short drive around the coast and the waves there are the most consistent in the county. Sea Palling, East Runton, Mundsley and Walcot are all on top of each other, so there is always something going off, and somewhere to surf.
Massive open water
As we are based at the top of the Broads, we are lucky enough to have some massive open water to blast inland on your windsurfing kit. Or grab some me time, on your SUP floating through the reed marshes, that we are surrounded by. The rise of the foil on some of the many manmade open broads has the space and grin factor needed.
Oulton Broad which is just on the Suffolk border, is becoming a great place to start foiling, before you head out to one of our many beaches stretched across this easterly coastline. ‘Boardin Skool’ runs all its taster lessons between Norwich and Oulton Broad. Oulton Broad, which is based on the edge of Lowestoft and the Norfolk Broads, has the advantage of strong winds for Foiling on a windy day and an amazing sunset on a non-windy day, this makes it a fantastic venue for beginners, adventures, racing and general falling in.
‘Boardin Skool’ is proud to offer tasters, lessons, coaching, leading and advice, as well as our NEW shop for 2020, which is now open and selling everything SUP and windsurf, from safety kit to the best looking boards we can find, and that’s right for you.
Fact is we love it, and love people lovin’ it. Follow us @boardinskool or get in touch at for any local advice, tides and info on the area.