Our Awards

We have the best coaching team possible for all ages, levels and abilities across all of our activities at the English Surf School. Every member of the team has impeccable qualifications with a mix of personal bodyboarding experience, international surf travel experience, water safety training and excellent client care – at a minimum. Our instructors are second to none, and along with their tip-top professional credentials, they have fantastic people skills: our coaches all love teaching and are stoked watching others discover the thrill of the ocean for themselves. We’re Number 1 on Trip Advisor, and our instructors are incredibly proud of that.

Rob Barber

British Team Coach, Surfing / Bodyboarding Head Coach

DOB: 14/7/76

Years Surfing: Since 1990
Years Coaching: Since 1996

Coaching Qualifications and Experience:

  • Surf GB Level 4 Surf Coach / ISA Level 2
  • Coached the British team at the World Surfing Games in Portugal 1998, Brazil 2000, South Africa 2002, Ecuador 2004, California 2006
  • Coached the English team at the European Champs in France 2000
  • Coached/managed the English Junior team France 1999, 2002 and Morocco 2009
  • English Team Selection Committee 2000 – 2012
  • British Bodyboard Team National Coach, Brittany France 2010
  • Director of the ESF Surf School since 1998
  • Director of Rob Barber’s School of Bodyboarding since 1997
  • Director of Bodyboard-Holidays since 2000

Competition Results:
Bodyboarding Competitions:

  • Represented Britain and England
  • Won over 25 events including, British Cup Champion, British Bodyboard Club Championship Winner, Threesixty Series Winner, Virgin Cola surf tour Winner, Senior British National Champion (twice)
  • Finished 1995 as the highest ranked European in the World Professional ratings after placing 22nd in World Champs at Pipeline in Hawaii.

Coaching Success:

  • British team 10th place World Championships Ecuador 2004
  • Clare McGowan, 4th place World Surfing Games Ecuador 2004
  • Robin Davies, 7th place World Surfing Games Brazil 2000
  • Joe Hone 1st place British Nationals cadet 2005 (after a series of one-to-one coaching sessions)
  • British team 9th place World Surfing Games California 2006
  • Luke Harper 1st place under 2014 Division Grom Showdown 2012 (after a series of coaching sessions)

Countries Surfed and/or Competed In:

England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Jersey, France, Spain, Portugal, Canary Isles, Morocco, Cape Verde, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, South Africa, Hawaii, California, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Reunion Island, Australia.

External Qualifications:

  • HND in Business and Finance
  • Diploma in Print Journalism

Best Thing About Working as a Surf/Bodyboard Instructor:

Teaching people a new skill in order to get the most out the awesome ocean environment is un-beatable.

Johnny Fryer



When did you start surfing?

Aged 6

When did you start instructing?


Which countries have you surfed around the world, which is the best and why?

Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Barbados, USA, Ecuador, France, Spain, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Morrocco, Mexico. Can’t beat Indonesia for warm water perfection, but my favourite would be the uncrowded reefs and beaches here in the UK and Ireland. World class!

What do you love about your job as a surf coach?

I love introducing people to the best sport in the world and seeing how stoked they get. It can be a life changing experience for so many people.

What are your qualifications?

ISA level 2 surf coach. NARS beach lifeguard

What’s been the most rewarding experience for you when you’ve been teaching surfing?

I remember a session last summer where I coached a young surfer into his first ever barrell rides. He was buzzing.

What are the huge benefits of using the iAM Bands scheme to help surfers improve?

It breaks down a very complex and intricate sport into clear, defined goals for any novice surfer.

Describe your dream surf session and dream surf destination?

It would definitely be an autumn swell hitting an uncrowded reef somewhere in UK or Ireland with a couple of good mates in the water, followed by some good pub grub.

What is the main thing that you think has helped our customers improve so fast?

Great location! With so many beaches within walking distance we can always find just the right conditions for any surfer at any level, plus a full range of boards for clients to experiment with and progress on to throughout their surfing journey.


I graduated with my photography degree in 2010 and have since built up a wealth of experience within the medium. From surf and bodyboard photography to weddings my portfolio has become extremely eclectic. I have been photographing and filming bodyboarding for four years mainly in Newquay but have also been lucky enough to be taken on one of the bodyboard holidays to Morocco to capture its amazing waves and culture.


ATRiuM School of Creative & Cultural Industries – University of Glamorgan – 2007 – 2010

Bachelor of Arts in Photography (2:1), University of Glamorgan.

The Bodyboard-Depot

Home Break:
Fistral Beach, Cornwall

Fave Break:
Boilers, Morocco

Top Three Photography Moments So Far:

1. The winter 2014 storms in Cornwall. Mammoth swells and jaw dropping waves meant for some fantastic photo opportunities!

2. Traveling to New Zealand. The landscape and wildlife there is quite literally out of this world.

3. Glastonbury Festival. Photographing some of my favourite stars in their element was quite unforgettable.

To see more of Aarons work visit his website

Joe Woodhouse



When did you start surfing?

In the mists of bodyboarding and general ocean play, I started around 16-17 years old.

When did you start instructing?

In 2013 when I completed my lifeguard qualification and surf instructing course.

Which countries have you surfed around the world, which is the best and why?

France and the Canary Islands. Having only been to a couple of different countries I would say France for stand up surfing because the beaches are so large you can find your own quiet spot to surf, plus the waves are amazing and virtually just across the border.

What do you love about your job as a surf coach?

Meeting the abundance of people, everybody is different and everybody has a different view on the ocean and life. Not forgetting the aspect of being in the sea all day experiencing what nature has to offer.

What are your qualifications?

SLGB Lifeguard, Level 1 Surf Instructor

What’s been the most rewarding experience for you when you’ve been teaching surfing?

The most rewarding thing definitely has to be when people over come fears of things related to the ocean; this being the ocean itself, jellyfish, seals or even sand between the toes, meaning that the person will forever be able to enjoy surfing again without that thought at the back of their mind “that better be seaweed and not a seal!”

What are the huge benefits of using the iAM Bands scheme to help surfers improve?

The benefits are endless for iAM Bands, making it easier for other surf schools to identify what level you’re at, therefore lessons do not need to start from the beginning. Also, it gives the surfer something to strive for. This can then be put into place with other aspects of their life because they know that have already pushed themselves through surfing.

Describe your dream surf session and dream surf destination?

Dream surf session? 3-4ft glassy offshore, either dead in the morning or at sunset. Dream surf destination? Wherever the best surf conditions are. Yes, surfing in boardies or speedos is a nice experience but when the waves are amazing you tend to block out that you’re putting on a thick wetsuit, gloves, boots and a hood!

What is the main thing that you think has helped our customers improve so fast?

Definitely the location of the surf school. If the beach out front is too big or crowded, head to the bay five minutes down the road. If the bay is too small and not worth going in, head to Fistral out front. Being able to get the best of both worlds means that there is never an excuse to stop you from surfing.