Surfing Holidays

Ori Surf El Medano

Tenerife Surfing Holiday

Private Surfing for Beginners in Tenerife

Personalized Surf lessons no matter age, gender, size or fitness. Get your private surf lesson with tips and a lot of fun. Surfing equipment included. Minimum 2 participants. Price 65€ per person.

Surfing with Boat Stay

Tenerife Surfing Holiday

Join us in Tenerife for your liveaboard boat holiday. We will liase with your recommended surfing instructors  to ensure your holiday meets your expectations, whether that’s surfing for the whole group, a more relaxed pace with Pitch n Putt for the family or maybe a mix and match holiday with diving, golfing, fishing, riding, walking – it’s all down to you with affordable options living aboard our private yacht.

Sample Prices with 7 day boat stay


Residential Swimming Lessons

Our private pool is small and inviting and everyone that comes to us for residential swimming lessons tells us they wish they hadn’t wasted so much time, in some cases many years, trying to learn to swim the hard way!

Being residential means that once you have arrived, unpacked and settled in, you can concentrate totally on the task ahead, learning to swim, without worrying about travelling back and forth or forgetting what you learned last lesson because there has been a week or more in between.

When we say residential we mean just that.  We don’t put you up in a local B&B as many do, expecting you to drive back and forth.  Nor do we expect you to share with anyone unless you bring your partner.  The residential accommodation is private, self contained and next to the private pool.

You can cook for yourself or just chill with a glass of wine and order a takeaway, maybe visit the local pub – whatever you style, you will never regret taking residential swimming lessons with us.

Learn to Swim

Learn to Swim – whatever your age

As many people learn when they make the decision to learn to swim, almost all of the lessons available cater for children.

If you are lucky, you will find a learn-to-swim program at your local pool but it’s likely you will have to wait a long time for a place and in our experience it is unlikely you will have learned to swim a year after starting, that’s if you manage to learn at all!  Read what we have to say about public pools and learn-to-swim classes under our private lessons page.

Many people would like to learn to swim but fear they are the only ones with the sort of problems they have.  Frankly men are the worst for this (sorry for being sexist).  Trust me, you’re far from being alone and not learning to swim because you don’t want to feel a fool while you are learning or because you think you are too old is a real shame and so unnecessary.

We have taught so many people to swim that started out being embarrassed, fearful or simply disbelieving that we almost know what you are going to say when you walk through the door.  Just trust us when we say that whatever is going through your mind, others have gone before you thinking exactly the same and they DID learn to swim.

If you’ve made the decision to learn to swim, or even if you are simply just thinking about it, drop us a line and tells your fears or concerns, or what you would like to achieve, and let us tell you how we can help you learn to swim.

Do you feel that only children can learn to swim?  Do the adult swimming lessons at your local pool leave you cold?  Maybe you been there – done that – still can’t swim.  Maybe you can’t even pluck up the courage to think about it?

Let me tell you my story.

Above is me behind the camera, so sad watching hubby swim when I’m too frightened to even go close.  At 45 I got ME (chronic fatigue syndrome).  At 48, having been so terrified of water all my life – I wouldn’t use the shower in case water went in my face – I decided I was fed up of being a victim and I would learn to swim.

Below is me, age 54, in Egypt the day I qualified as an Open Water Scuba diver.  In between I learned to swim, qualified as an instructor, took a life guarding qualification, taught many many people to get over their own phobias and learn to swim, and finally I learn to dive.

I tried to learn to swim at my local pool and frankly was horrified.  For almost 3 months I went and steadfastly refused to put my face in the water or take my feet off the bottom.  I scoured the net looking for ‘learn to swim’ books that would teach me how to swim without putting my face in the water.  Needless to say – there aren’t any.  It was a long time before I made any progress during which time I saw the vast majority of adult swimmers give up along the way.  Eventually I met Irene who shared my fears and phobias and also had decided to learn (she’s even older than me <grin>).  Together we found TI swimming which teaches balance in the water and altogether different techniques to ASA swimming.

Long story short, Irene and I qualified as ASA instructors then took the best of all we had learned to put together our own ‘Learn to Swim’ methods. These we adapt for each and every student to suit their needs and swimming phobias.  We also address the fact that adult swimming/learning is or should be, very different to the way children learn to swim and also that every adult learns in a different way and has different challenges in life.

Finally, this is me below, diving in the Red Sea.  Take heart – you CAN learn to swim as an adult.

Winded and Weary?

Winded and Weary? It’s Time To Update Your Stroke

When the whistle blows on Memorial Day for the first adult swim of the season, I’m in the pool. All the pleasures of a summer swim — the near-weightless slip through cool water, the wavering patterns of sunlight on the pool floor, the calming silence below the surface — return.

For a few lengths. Then I recall an unfortunate defect in this pool: There seems to be a peculiar shortage of oxygen in its vicinity. I keep swimming, but the lovely silence under water is now punctuated by my gasps above it. Then I remember that this pool is filled with particularly dense water (could it be all that lead in the Washington water supply?), which surely explains why my arm muscles ache and my kick is tapering to nothing. Then the final problem emerges: The distance from one end to other gets greater with every length. I decide I’d better get out before I find myself trying to swim to infinity.

The story would be the same this year, except, inspired by yet another article about how good swimming is for you, this winter I decided to look a little further into my swimming problems.

What I find is that I’m not alone in having trouble swimming easily. A flurry of books and videotapes aimed at adults who want to learn to swim better has recently been released. This spring, for the first time in 12 years, the American Red Cross revised what has been the bible of swimming instruction, its swimming and diving manual, along with its instructional video.

The fault, I now learn, lies not in the pool, but in the fact that many of us learned to swim too long ago. Swimming techniques and instruction methods have changed dramatically in recent years. So, if you would rather be swimming in the pool than lounging by the side of it, take heart. Updating your technique can make swimming not only easier, but, I can attest, downright pleasant.

The Water’s Fine There is no better fitness activity than swimming, said Steve Jordan, educator for the National Academy of Sports Medicine. It is one of the best cardiovascular activities and it conditions most of the large muscle groups. Best of all, it puts almost no pressure on the joints, making it a sport for life. Because the water supports most of a swimmer’s weight, it’s a particularly good activity for overweight people. And since water is dense, moving through it takes a lot of energy, which means burning calories at a high rate.

It’s also difficult to injure yourself swimming. Katie Moore, president-elect of the American Physical Therapy Association, said muscle strains resulting from swimming are almost unheard of. The resistance of water — in essence, its weight — is a function of how hard you push or pull it. You simply can’t move more water faster than you have strength for.

Shoulder rotator cuff injuries occur occasionally, noted Jeff Berg, an orthopedist in Reston and team physician for the Washington Redskins. But these are the result of poor technique. Berg frequently sends players with knee injuries to the pool to maintain conditioning while resting the damaged joint.

Of course, these benefits accrue only if you swim regularly. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, to get the aerobic benefits you need to swim at least three times a week for about 30 minutes at a time.

So, how do you get good enough to swim comfortably for that long, instead of clinging to the wall, sucking air after five minutes?

If you learned to swim before 1980, you were probably taught to swim by an instructor certified in the 1938 American Red Cross method. The group’s manual for swimming instruction, which was not significantly revised for four decades, taught beginning freestyle swimmers to “thrash” their legs up and down and to move their arms in a “windmill type of two-beat stroke.”

More-advanced swimmers were instructed to kick like “pedaling a bicycle of very low gear” and to “fling the forearm beyond the head” to prepare to take a stroke.

Body roll was anathema. The pulling hand was cupped and pulled under water to a vertical position. Swimmers were advised to keep the waterline just above the eyebrows.

Mechanical Improvements

Instruction began to change in the 1960s, starting at the competitive level, when James “Doc” Counsilman introduced the study of biomechanics to swimming.

Counsilman, who coached Indiana University swimmers and the U.S. Olympic men’s teams in 1964 and 1976, pioneered the use of an underwater motion camera, strain gauge devices to measure a swimmer’s propulsion and other tools to collect efficiency and effectiveness data.

Counsilman, who died this year, discovered that the freestyle kick is not propulsive. Use it gently and with as few as two beats per arm cycle, he advised, simply to keep the hips from sinking and for balance. Body roll, from the hips through the shoulders and head, makes breathing easier and is essential for avoiding rotator cuff strains.

After the arm finishes a stroke, it should be lifted out of the water with the elbow held high and close to the body. (No forearm-flinging, please!) The pulling hand is most effective in a relaxed position with fingers close to each other but not glued together. The pulling arm should be bent and pass under, not straight alongside, the body.

Counsilman’s 1968 book, “The Science of Swimming,” brought these and other concepts to a more general audience. In 1979 the Red Cross began to modify the techniques it taught to instructors.

Over the next 10 years, successive versions of the Red Cross manual gradually incorporated the changes swimming coaches were using. The current manual, videos and DVDs — have been prepared with the help of USA Swimming, the governing body for competitive swimming in the United States. The YMCA teaches similar techniques; its materials have been vetted by the American Swimming Coaches Association. Many of today’s instructors have been trained through Red Cross or the YMCA.

The changes, such as slowing your kick or recovering your arm elbow-up and close to your body, may seem small, but incorporating them into your swimming can make an enormous difference. That’s because swimming, like golf and skiing, is a technique sport.

On land, people expend about the same amount of energy whether they run or walk a mile. But exercise in the water is different, said Joel Stager, professor of kinesiology at Indiana University and director of the university’s Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming. Because water is a thousand times denser than air, “a swimmer with poor technique expends three or four times the energy to cover the same distance. That means that a slight woman with a well-honed stroke that barely ripples the surface can outdistance the muscular fellow kicking and beating the water to a froth.”

Technique also trumps a lack of natural buoyancy, in case you’re a “sinker” who thinks you’re fated by your build to struggle in the water. While it is true that some people naturally float more easily than others (it’s one benefit of a little extra body fat), many lean-bodied competitive swimmers do not float well.

The bottom line is that if you learned to swim before 1980 and haven’t had a lesson since then, it’s a good bet your technique needs a tuneup — or a revamping.

Different Strokes

There are three major approaches to improving your swimming technique: lessons (either group or private), stroke clinics and Masters swimming.

If you are uneasy in the water and struggle to swim more than a length or two, group or private lessons may be the best approach. Donnie Shaw, aquatics director at the National Capital YMCA in Washington, reports that for many adults, “overcoming fear and learning to relax in the water is a real challenge. That can take some time.”

One common swimming error that is easy to fix and makes a world of difference, he adds, is remembering to always exhale completely while your face is under water.

If you can swim several consecutive laps without a sense of panic, a stroke clinic can fine-tune your technique be a good solution. Typically, such clinics meet once a week for six to eight weeks.

If you can swim about 30 laps, even if slowly and with rests, and want to refine your skills, a Masters swimming club may be for you. United States Masters Swimming is a national organization whose 43,000 members are associated with more than 450 clubs. Lap swimmers with a wide range of abilities join in order to swim with others at a set time and place. Some have highly structured workouts and active poolside coaching; others are informal and camaraderie is the most important draw.

I stumbled across a fourth option, a choice for do-it-yourselfers, offered by a company called Total Immersion.

Total Immersion, founded in 1989 by Terry Laughlin, who has been coaching swimming professionally for 32 years, is aimed primarily at adults who already swim but want to do it more easily. Rather than fine-tuning a swimmer’s strokes, the method develops an entirely new swimming technique.

The program is taught in two ways: through two-day clinics, several of which are held most weekends across the country, or via a video/DVD. Laughlin reports that in 2003 about 2,000 people took Total Immersion clinics and more than 30,000 bought instructional books, videos and DVDs. I opted for the DVD and joined an indoor swim club.

According to Laughlin, the first step adult swimmers need to take is to forget everything they have learned about swimming. Swimming “is not about using your hands to push water toward your feet,” but about slipping through the water with as little drag as possible.

To achieve streamlining, Total Immersion swimmers keep the head just below the surface of the water, which lifts the hips and legs and ensures that the swimmer stays parallel to the surface, offering as narrow a profile as possible to water in front of the swimmer.

Swimmers also reduce drag by performing most of the stroke cycle on their sides, switching quickly from one side to the other as the recovering hand enters the water. The switch, Laughlin asserts, also produces torque for additional propulsion.

In addition, Total Immersion-trained swimmers keep one arm extended in front of them all the time to lengthen the body’s profile, which, like a sleek sailboat hull, encounters less water resistance. That constant arm extension leads to what is called front-quadrant swimming, in which the extended arm doesn’t start to pull until the recovering arm is in front of the head and about to enter the water.

Laughlin’s method relies on a series of 14 drills. Each one adds a small, incremental skill until all the elements of the stroke are in place. The emphasis is on balance, fluidity and careful perfection of motions rather than on building strength by powering through laps.

The method worked beautifully for me: I can now swim freestyle for 30 minutes, and with pleasure. The drills were easy to do, and I enjoyed mastering the progression. The sequential nature of the method motivated me to get back to the pool day after day. But it took me several weeks to get a complete stroke again. Total Immersion is not a quick tune-up.

Although I’ve become a fan of the method, I have no doubt I would have improved with a stroke clinic or by getting coaching at a Masters club.

Many of Total Immersion’s techniques — as opposed to its instruction method — are similar to those of the YMCA and the Red Cross. Some of the differences are merely matters of degree: how far to roll the body or how deep to hold the head.

The feedback of an instructor has great value. In fact, at the end of the tutorial I found a Total Immersion-trained instructor to give me some one-on-one coaching.

One thing that all the experts agree on is that you need patience to make a new technique your own. Steve Jordan explained: “To create a new habit on a clean slate takes a few repetitions. To replace an old habit with a new one sometimes takes many hundreds of repetitions.”

But if you’d like to do more than sit by the side of the pool this summer, it’s worth it.

Ruth Kassinger is a Washington area freelance writer.



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Backstroke Ban

Swimming pool bans backstroke

A local council has banned it’s swimmers from doing backstroke in the pool as it fears they could injure themselves if they collide. Swimmers at the Daisyfield pool in Blackburn  have been told they can do only forward strokes during busy periods when the pool is divided into lanes, officials said. “This is not about threats of legal action,” said Kate Hollern, of Blackburn and Darwen Council responsible for culture, leisure and sport. “We are simply limiting the times when people can swim backstroke to prevent dangerous collisions. “We would expect that people would be concerned for their own safety as well as that of others so we are being proactive in introducing these rules.” She said the new rules complied with guidelines issued by the national Institute of Sport and Recreation Management, and were “designed be inclusive to ensure that all people can use our facilities in a safe way”.    


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Swimming With Dolphins

Depressed? Swim with dolphins

swimming holiday with dolphins

Taking a dip with dolphins can be a tremendous therapy for people with depression according to a study published on Saturday in the weekly British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Nature lovers – biophiles to give them their scientific name – have long argued that interaction with animals can soothe a troubled mind but this claim has always been anecdotal lacking the scientific data to back it up.

Seeking to find out more psychiatrists Christian Antonioli and Michael Reveley at Britain’s University of Leicester recruited 30 people in the United States and Honduras who had been diagnosed with mild or moderate depression.

The severity of their symptoms was calculated according to established yardsticks for mental health the Hamilton and Beck scales which are based on interviews and questionnaires with the patient.

No antidepressants

The volunteers were required to stop taking any antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy for four weeks.

Half of the group was then randomly selected to play snorkel and take care of dolphins each day at an institute for marine sciences in Honduras.

The other half was assigned to a program of outdoor activities also at the institute that included swimming and snorkelling at a coral reef but without the dolphins.

Two weeks later both groups had improved but especially so among patients who had been swimming with the dolphins.

Measurable symptoms of depression in the dolphin group had fallen by half and by two-thirds according to the two scales – twice as much as in the non-dolphin group.

In addition a self-rating measurement of anxiety symptoms the Zung scale found a fall of more than 20% among the dolphin group compared with a decline of 11% among the non-dolphin groups.

“To the best of our knowledge this is the first randomised single blind controlled trial of animal-facilitated therapy with dolphins ” say Antonioli and Reveley.

“The effects exerted by the animals were significantly greater than those of just the natural setting. The echolocation system the aesthetic value and the emotions raised by the interaction with dolphins may explain the mammals’ healing properties.”

Swim with the Dolphins

Wild and Free Dolphins

Swimming with dolphins – what you need to know

Adult Swimming Lessons

Learn to Swim for Adults

Do you feel that only children can learn to swim?  Do the adult swimming lessons at your local pool leave you cold?  Maybe you been there – done that – still can’t swim.  Maybe you can’t even pluck up the courage to think about it?  My journey as an adult learning to swim.

Almost all adults reading this page will have failed to learned to swim as a child and will broadly fall into 2 categories:

  • Adults who never had the opportunity at school
  • Adults who never got the hang of it at school

If you are reading this now I am assuming you are considering taking adult swimming lessons, and like most other adults reading this page you will have concerns.  Let me just list a few of the comments we get from would-be adult swimmers over and over and over again.

  • I’m the odd one out.  Everyone else can swim.
  • My legs sink.  Swimming lessons just don’t work for me.
  • I just can’t put my face in the water.
  • If I take adult swimming lessons, will I have to go in the deep end?  Panic!!!
  • I’m not just an adult – I’m way too old.
  • Adult swimming lessons for men are embarrassing.

The list is endless but largely there are many many reasons why people manage to talk themselves out of taking adult swimming lessons.  As of today, we haven’t met one single person that can’t learn to swim as an adult no matter what their age or perceived problems.

So if you found this page searching for adult swimming lessons and you’ve read this far, why not contact us and have a chat about you adult lessons.

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Finally an apology for the excessive use of the words adult swimming lessons but that’s what the net likes and we do want to find us every time you search for ‘ADULT SWIMMING LESSONS‘.

Preparing your Child for Swimming

If you have ever seen a baby introduced to swimming, then you will know that being in water is natural and instinctive to human beings. However, it’s very easy to become fearful about water, and rightly so. A child can drown in 20 seconds. So making sure that your child can swim is not only crucial to help keep them safe, but is something you can have fun with. So read on to find out how to build confidence in your child, to prepare them for lessons with a qualified instructor.

The Correct Age for Swimming Lessons

Most babies will take to water very easily, and have a natural reflex to hold their breath under water before around six months. To actually introduce your child to formal lessons or teach swimming strokes, however, your child will need to be at least three years old.

First Steps for Children

To prepare your child for lessons and help them feel comfortable in the water, the main thing to do initially is to get your child used to the water. Never just take your child to a pool, take them out of their depth, let go and tell them to swim. Your child will not only panic, but be in danger.

You can try these simple techniques to help them feel happy in the pool:

  • Hold securely onto your child and glide them through the water
  • Play a splashing game – so they get used to water on their face and in their eyes
  • Practice blowing bubbles in the water, this will teach them importance of not breathing water in, and encourage them to move onto the next step of putting their face in the water.
  • Once they are happy to put their face in the water, you can encourage them to open their eyes. If it stings and they don’t like it, then add goggles to their swimming kit. Helping your child to feel happy with water on their face is a crucial part of taking the fear out of swimming.
  • Sit on the side with your child and show them how to move their legs in the water pointing their toes.
  • Never force your child to go further than they want to. Always make it fun, be positive and stay patient. Not all children adapt to water at the same pace…some are true water babies whilst others will struggle.
  • Always praise your child for their achievements in the pool.

Choosing Swimming Lessons

Once your child is happy to be in the water, then you can research swimming lessons.

You should always feel happy about the instruction your child receives, so always ask these questions first.

  • Will the instructor be in the pool with the children?
  • How many children are in the group? More than ten children to one instructor isn’t advisable.
  • Is my child assessed first?
  • Is the instructor qualified to ASA/UKCC Level 2 and CRB checked? They should also hold a current Lifesavers National Pool Lifeguard qualification/equivalent rescue qualification.

If you’re unsure, check with ASA, who regulate swimming tutors for more advice.

Learn to Swim Award


Zoe Bartlett is making a splash after earning a top award to mark her outstanding achievement in the water.

The seven year old from Rochester, had a major fear of water but this has not stopped her learning to swim.

Now her courage and perseverance have paid off and she is riding on the crest of a wave after she was presented with a Southern Water Learn to Swim Achiever of the Year award.

The successful youngster was one of fifty winners from amongst the 35,000 children taking part across the region. The awards are given to children who have shown great courage in overcoming particular difficulties or for their exceptional performance.

Zoe’s swimming instructor at Strood Sports Centre, Maureen Welsh said: “Zoe was extremely frightened of the water and was terrified of getting her face wet. She would not join in with the rest of the class, but fortunately she never gave up. With great courage and perseverance she has now overcome her fears and can swim and go under water. She is a very worthy winner of the award.”

Zoe was treated to a visit by the Learn to Swim scheme mascot Ollie the Otter, who dropped in to help her celebrate her success.

Nigel Smetham, Southern Water’s Water Manager presented the youngster with a bag of goodies, which included a sports watch, at a special ceremony at Maidstone Leisure Centre.

Mr Smetham said: “This is a tremendous occasion for these children. They have proved themselves in many different ways and made enormous achievements on the Learn to Swim scheme.

To win these awards is extremely significant because the youngsters have been selected from 35,000 children who were taught on the scheme last year.

We are pleased to be able to contribute to the community by helping children learn a very valuable life skill, as well as enabling them to reach their fullest potential.”

The scheme, now in its tenth year, teaches children from 4-12 year-olds and is sponsored by Southern Water. It is run in consultation with the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA).



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