Coasteering with Land and Wave – Swanage

man coasteering

This weekend was sure a jam packed one and to top it off was the most beautiful, sunny weekend of May so far. The crux of the weekend was the action packed, adrenaline seeking Coasteering with Land and Wave. You are truly at the mercy of mother nature but she gives you a break to enjoy her bounty.

 

 

The experience

The journey started with donning wetsuits, helmets and buoyancy aids before a 20 minute walk down to the seafront to an area that was relatively quiet and unknown. Surrounded by clear skies and crisp deep blue ocean, the area was a hotspot for people fishing and trying out other activities such as rock climbing – the perfect place to have a coasteering experience.

We began with a safety briefing, followed by a very tiny jump/belly flop into what looked like a natural swimming pool. The floor was pretty slippery, as expected, and you definitely have to watch where you’re going.

We continued to walk head on into the sea, with the current that day being relatively strong compared to the morning session. White water crashing in front of us meant we had to brace every time it hit so that we did not slip over. We suddenly stepped off of a ledge into the water and all swam out into a group where we learnt more about safety in the water. One of the more hilarious experiences was watching people trying to stay vertical in the water as the life jackets were definitely working well. Everyone looked like sea otters floating around on their backs, struggling to get to grips with the buoyancy in the high tides! It made for a great laugh.

From there each of us swam towards land and when a wave broke had to climb back up the ledge. In my mind I imagined walking out of the sea like James Bond but instead, dressed in a wetsuit and a huge lifejacket, we spent more time scrambling around – not as good looking unfortunately!

One of the most exciting points of the experience was clambering between the rock face and the white water as you were indeed at the mercy of the waves. As it was quite choppy that day so I was holding on for dear life, as did all of us when we saw a wave come towards us. It would crash against the rocks and the white water would go over our heads. It got everyone excited and it makes you realise how powerful the sea is, how its brute force shapes the coastline we know today and how we must respect it and its boundaries.

The final jump…

We had now spent a good 2 hours in the sea. I was beginning to tire and my legs felt like jelly but I was still extremely happy, riding off the adrenaline. It was time for the final jump, the big one, the one that I knew inside me I was scared but I really wanted to challenge myself. To others it might have been rather small; but for someone who isn’t too fond of height it was quite big. The moment came and my heart was pounding, so when I heard that “good to go” from the instructor I went for it. It probably wouldn’t be given a 10 for style and landing, but I hit the water, went under and came out feeling exhilarated! I joined the rest of the team and then we all swam back in. By that time my arms and legs had given in and everyone was feeling tired and we had to prepare for the 20 minute hike back up the hill…

The equipment

When you arrive all safety equipment is given to you. Wetsuit, gloves, helmet and buoyancy aid. After doing this activity it made many of us understand how important it is to wear safety equipment. This is especially true if you were to ever do it again outside of the taster session as the waves were very strong it proved very difficult at times.

Pro’s

For me I am not the most extreme action sports kind of person but I do like to give things a go. What was great about coasteering is that you felt that adrenaline kick and a sense of exhilaration all under the safe monitoring of a great instructor team.

Con’s

The only con I would say is your own personal fitness level. For many of us after a two hour session of jumping in and battling the waves, we were well and truly knackered and if you don’t swim regularly it does catch up with you. We did go out in some quite choppy conditions which was more difficult to swim in but it made it all the more fun and your safety equipment is always there to help you. I would also advise doing some stretches before you go out because the day after I was really aching!

Conclusion

Coasteering for me is something that I have wanted to do for a very long time. This taster session really gives you that adrenaline rush whilst having a great time bobbing up and down in the sea with a bunch of likeminded people. You can really take it at your own pace and of course if you don’t want to do the big jumps you don’t have to. The main thing is that you have fun, challenge yourself and never compare yourself to others as it’s the having fun that matters the most!

I decided to push myself and take that last big jump (which to some is nothing but a small splash). For me though, this jump gave me a great feeling of accomplishment. Leaping off the rock is like you are flying in slow motion for a second before crashing into the cool, salty water. It made the adrenaline rush and my legs feel like jelly, but it was all worth it.

Want to try coasteering yourself? For more information please check out the Land and Wave website.

Dani Godwin