Tramore Surf School was established by Bernadette Butler in 2009. The Surf School was added to the already successful Tramore Surf Shop in a bid to provide surfers with all their needs under one roof.
The main motive in setting up the Surf School for Bernadette was to help introduce new people to the exhilarating sport in a safe and friendly environment.
In 2009 we moved in to our new surf shop. With more space for all the surfboards and wetsuits and a few cosmetic improvements here and there, the surf shop and surf school dream was realised.
So in January 2009 our surf school was created. We started out small, with a dozen surfboards from Alder; along with some of their rental brand of the wetsuit, the Alder Stealth. Our changing room back then was modest but had hot showers and a dry area to change. Here are some original photos from the day we opened the surf school.
Within a few days of opening we took our surf school's first group booking, from Abbyside Secondary School in Ferrybank. The 17 students and 3 staff were very happy with their day out. At the time we were finding it difficult to find staff and we had to ring around some surf schools in the Cork area! Colum from West Cork Surf School sent us his 3 surf instructors for the day. Here are some photos from our very first group:
You might notice from these early photos that we used green rash vests, this later changed to blue rash vests when we had a conflict with another surf school that also began wearing the green rash vest!
Once we had our first summer done and dusted we had some fun times, some lessons learned and a lot of new experiences under our belts after teaching over 1000 new people how to surf. It was time to progress and expand, we had created new ways to reduce the price of rentals and lessons in Tramore, all we needed now was a way to stand out from the rest of the surf schools in Tramore.
Here is the list of things we felt we could improve on and what we did to achieve these:
1. Warmer Wetsuits - Other surf schools in Tramore use Alder, Circle One or Tiki basic wetsuits. These wetsuits are 5mm and keep you warm in winter however they're not the warmest or most comfortable. We knew this from our experience in selling wetsuits, so we got into contact with O Neill Wetsuits who suggested we use there O Neill Epic Winter Wetsuit. This wetsuit is specifically designed for warmth, flexibility and most importantly the comfort of the surfer. We chose this wetsuit as our new Surf School wetsuit and guarantee it will keep you warmer than any others on offer!
2. Longer time in Water - We noticed that other surf schools can spend as little as 45minutes in the actual water. We looked at this and decided this is an area we could improve on, therefore you are guaranteed a minimum of 1 hour with us in the water with most lessons lasting on average 1.5hrs. During the summer we run surf camps for kids and teens, we regularly get parents comment how we are the first in the water and the last out of it.
3. Value for money - We offer much better value for money than our competitors, with longer times in the water, discounts on multiple rentals and better equipment on offer.
4. Reduced rates - We offer a list of discounts for: Students, OAPs, People with disabilities, Community Groups, Non Profit Organisations, the Unemployed and Surf Clubs.
6. More advanced surfboards - As of writing we are the only surf school in Waterford to provide hardboard rentals.
Well we are near the beginning of summer 2012 and we are looking forward to making some exciting changes to our business in the coming months. We have acquired the shop next door which we are planning to turn into a changing room to provide our clients with even more room and comfort. We are also making an indoor seating area for people to relax and enjoy soft drinks, ice-cream and snacks overlooking the surf. So it's all happening, watch this space!