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Catching Up With Will Hayler - 'Ticket To Ride' Co- Founder

Our official partner in this year's Summer Sea Sense Campaign is Ticket To Ride Surf Academy - a Cornwall based surfing institution that offers budding wave riders a chance to learn the Sport of Kings on Perranporth Beach. The school has grown over the years, and its boundaries are now crossing over the globe to places like Portugal, South Africa, Morocco and other countries where some of the most perfect waves on the planet are found - for anyone who is willing to take the plunge.

Ticket To Ride Surf School

To help our readers get to know what Ticket To Ride is all about, we caught up with the founder, Will Hayler, and asked him to give us the low down on the academy. Here's what he had to say...

Essential Travel: When did the surf school start?

Will Hayler: We've been going since 2005.

Essential Travel: Is there an age limit or a basic skill level requirement for taking part at the Cornwall school?

Will Hayler: No, the whole point of the surf school is to be as inclusive as possible. Everyone is welcome, especially those who have never surfed before. If you're under eighteen you will need a legal guardian present to sign up, and we can accommodate anyone up to 70 years old.

Essential Travel: What can someone attending the UK surf school expect from the experience?

Will Hayler: Each participant gets an instructor with up-to-date life saving and first aid qualifications. We work on a 7 to 1 student/teacher ratio. That's smaller than most schools offer. We are insured for up to 10 to 1, but we like the more personalised and intimate approach to teaching.

Each student will get to know the basics of surfing like standing up and riding a wave, as well as more technical stuff like surfing safely. Safety is one of our top priorities. But overall it's a broad surfing experience you walk away with.

Essential Travel: What can those wanting to do one of the gap year surfing trips expect? Is it open to everyone?

Will Hayler: The whole point is that they're extended schools, but a full on travelling experience at the same time. The trips are open to people over 18 years, and all are welcome - from novices to competent surfers.

We offer a broad experience that covers so much more than just surfing. We make sure we get to know the locals and have a positive impact everywhere we visit, especially in countries like South Africa and Mozambique (amongst others). We visit the townships schools there and just hang out.

A big thanks to Will for taking time out of his busy surfing schedule to chat to us!

For enquiries about the overseas 'Ticket To Ride', log on to their website Ticket To Ride.

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Clayton Truscott

Clayton Truscott

Clayton is a comfortable traveller, having grown up in a small city that was far away from everything. He spent lots of time in the car as a child, driving up and down the coast of South Africa on surfing trips with his family. After studying abroad in the United States and spending a year working in London, he moved to Cape Town, where he completed a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. He now works as a freelance writer for various travel, surfing and action sports publications.