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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bristol Surf Club?

Bristol Surf Club (BSC) is a surf and ocean orientated social club for anyone over 18.

Do I have to be an experienced surfer to join?

No! We have many members who are just starting out and a dedicated Beginners Rep to support and advise beginners.

Should I be able to swim?

This is probably the only thing you need to be competent with before joining the club. You are responsible for your own safety and if you can’t swim then you’d be pretty silly for going into the sea for a surf.

So I can be a complete beginner to join?


Do you still meet up weekly at the Pump House in Hotwells?

We sure do! Get there from 8pm onwards on a Thursday and somebody there is bound to be from the club – ask the bar staff they are very friendly and helpful.

How do I join?

It’s simple. You can join through the page on our website:

  1. Firstly you need to complete our membership registration form then,
  2. Pay your membership fee via the My Membership section. 
  3. Go to the Facebook group and request access.
  4. Once our Membership Sec has processed your application he/she will grant you access to the Facebook group.

Is there anything else I should know before I start surfing?

Serious accidents are rare but surfing can be dangerous so we’d strongly recommend learning a little bit about beach and surf safety before getting in the water. We have some pointers in the Beach Safety section of our website, but for more information on rip currents and general beach safety check out RNLI’s website. Surfing is getting really popular in the UK and the number of people in the water is growing. Surf etiquette is not just a code of conduct to avoid pissing off your fellow surfers. If you stick to the code and respect the sea and your fellow surfers you are much less likely to have an accident.  

Do I need my own kit?

No, not initially. We often go to beaches that have surf shops that hire out all the kit. In fact, if you are completely new to surfing, perhaps it would be best to try out the sport rather than commit to a whole load of new kit and decide that you don’t like the sport that much.  The club itself does not own kit to rent or lend to members.

Where can I get surf lessons?

We try to include lessons in our weekend events where possible. BSC has links with lots of reputable surf schools in the UK and abroad through which lots of our members have had lessons. Just ask a member of the committee or ask your fellow club members for recommendations via the BSC Facebook group. 

Where is the best place to surf near Bristol?

That’s debatable and depends on your level of ability, the surf conditions and forecast. Members will most frequently visit beaches in Devon, Cornwall and Wales. 

How can I find out about the surf forecast?

There are a number of websites that give fairly accurate and detailed surf forecasts like http://magicseaweed.com  and daily reports of conditions on the day such as http://www.surf-forecast.com/pages/eyeball_report. And there are lots of amateur forecasters in the club who frequently discuss the surf conditions in the BSC Facebook group!

I am a student/eco-warrior so I don’t have a car – do you do lift shares?

Yes! We positively encourage lift shares and there is almost always somebody up for going to the beach at any given time during the week. They’re arranged on an informal basis, so discuss it on our Facebook group or during our weekly meetings down the pub.

I heard you do pretty cool weekends away – what is the deal with that?

We have loads of organised events (typically 10-12 per year) and a few Bristol-based ones too. You have to be a member to come on those trips. Details are available here.

Your membership fee of £5 per annum seems like a good deal – what does it get me?

You get access to our private Facebook group (currently 350+ members) and the opportunity to join all our events and parties. You also get 3rd party liability insurance cover whilst surfing on official BSC trips and discounts at some friendly surf shops.

What’s the deal with the public liability insurance cover?

Bristol Surf Club’s insurance offers club members Public Liability protection of up to £5,000,000 for bodily injury to third parties and damage to property or premises resulting from accidents that occur during official BSC events (organised by/supported by the managing committee). Members are NOT covered whilst on self-organised trips.  If you would like to be covered for surfing whilst not on an official BSC trip you should obtain your own personal insurance policy.

I have had unprotected sex in the past and am now encumbered by children. Can they come on club-organised trips if I am a member?

Unless specified otherwise children are welcome at BSC events under the following code of conduct:

* Under 18s attending BSC events are the sole responsibility of the parent or guardian at all times, BSC does not accept any responsibility for under 18s attending club events.

* Bristol Surf Club is an adult club and under 18s are not permitted to join the club. Club members are covered by insurance and a requirement of this insurance is an 18+ rule. Under 18s will not be covered by the club's insurance.

* Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is a member of the club.

* When bringing under 18s to a BSC event the tickets to purchase will be the same as the tickets for adults unless otherwise specified. There will not be separate tickets for under 18s.

* By bringing under 18s to a BSC event you accept the above.

Hey I really enjoyed your last event, can I invite my mates to the next one even though they’re not members?

Everyone who comes on our trips has to be a member for at least one week before hand.

Do you, um, have to be cool to be accepted in to the club?

Nope! Geeks, techies, hippies and gangstas are as cool as Kelly Slater in our club.