Things to do on the Sussex coast this summer
PUBLISHED: 09:47 22 May 2013 | UPDATED: 13:03 11 June 2013
What better place to get fit than beside or in the sea? Hazel Sillver presents some of the outdoor sports on offer along the Sussex coast this summer
IN THE SEA
Sea swimming, Brighton
Brighton Swimming School run courses in sea swimming called Pool To Pier. Over a series of training lessons (in a pool and in the sea), swimmers will build up the knowledge, strength and stamina to achieve the goal of swimming around Brighton’s Palace Pier.
01273 434390, pool2pier.com
As close as you can get to being a mermaid.... Learn to dive with Mulberry Divers, a PADI 5 star IDC National Geographic centre in Selsey. Beginners spend four days learning the basics in a pool, before being taken out to sea. Mulberry run regular boat trips to local dive sites such as shipwrecks and reefs; they also have a shop offering kit for hire and sale, and a children’s dive club.
01243 601000, mulberrydivers.co.uk
ON A BOARD
Wakeboarding is a combination of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing, with perhaps a sprinkling of madness. The rider is towed by a boat and performs tricks in mid-air. You can learn in the womb-like safety of Hove lagoon and once you’re confident, join the Brighton Wakeboard Club.
01273 424842, lagoon.co.uk, brightonwakeboard.co.uk
Windsurfing & Kitesurfing, West Wittering
While windsurfing is fast and elegant, kitesurfing is more adrenaline-fuelled, more airbourne and more modern. Whichever most appeals, X-Train teach both in the beautiful surrounds of West Wittering beach. There are group and private lessons for all levels, as well as masterclasses with pros such as Jem Hall (4 May), Peter Hart and Jo Wilson.
01243 513077, x-train.co.uk
Surfing is the king of sea sports and be warned, it’s addictive. Twice English Masters Surf Champ Cliff Cox offers one-to-one tuition on Brighton’s beaches, as well as small group trips to Cornwall.
Learn the art of SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) in the beautiful surrounds of Camber Sands. This exciting, new sport is a great way to get fit, travel across quiet water (on seas and rivers) and surf waves. The friendly Kitesurf Centre is right on the beach.
07563 763 046, thekitesurfcentre.com
IN A BOAT
Improve your sailing with Melvyn Cooper, who is passionate about teaching confident technique. Master the arts of rigging, launch and recovery, weather assessment, tacking and more. Adults and children are welcome; you must have completed your RYA Level I and II.
01243 370884, melvyncoopersailing.com
Disabled sailing, Shoreham
The Sussex Sailability charity provides dinghy and power sailing opportunities for people with a wide range of physical, sensory and learning disabilities. They have installed hoists on the jetties to safely take sailors to and from their wheelchairs.
01798 812265, sussexsailability.org
Kayaking, nr Seaford
Enjoy a leisurely, serene kayak lesson in the quiet waters of Cuckmere Haven with Adrian, the Kayak Coach. Once you’re confident and skillful, you can join in one of his sea trips, river trips or sea fishing trips.
07796 203870, thekayakcoach.com
Sea fishing, Bognor & Littlehampton
The West Kent and Sussex Sea Fishing Club regularly organises small boat meet-ups within a 10 mile radius of Bognor and takes a monthly charter trip out of Littlehampton, which goes further out to sea and offers coaching for beginners.
0777 543 8184, kingfisherone.co.uk
ON THE SEAFRONT
Roller Skating, Brighton
There is a weekly street skate along the seafront on a Tuesday night during the summer (for which you must be able to stop at some speed and go around corners). Join the group’s Facebook page via brightonskate.co.uk for up-to-date details. If you want lessons, contact the fabulous Asha Kirkby at Skatefresh – she will have you up to speed in no time.
You know you want to. Ron’s trampolining complex on Hastings beach (next to the crazy golf courses) welcomes children and young-hearted adults. No, you don’t need a child in tow to have a bounce, but you must be under 17 stone. Easily the most fun you can have in Sussex for £2.20.
07849 571 691
This summer a skate ramp will be installed on the flat roof of The De La Warr Pavilion art gallery, which overlooks the sea. This is part of an exhibition by artist Shaun Gladwell that will encourage modern jousting between skaters and BMX riders. There will also be late-night skateboarding sessions on offer.
01424 229111, dlwp.com
Fitness circuits, Bognor
Flex On The Beach is a free 5k fitness trail composed of exercise stations on a series of four circuits. There are challenging pieces, such as parallel bars, and gentler ones such as a T’ai Chi wheel. You can download maps of the circuits from the council website.
ON THE BEACH
Of course Brighton’s beaches are pebbles (boo), but the nice folk at Yellow Wave have created a sandy segment between the Pier and the Marina. As well as a barefoot cafe and kids play area, there are six volleyball courts: you can hire one for a private game, have a lesson or join a league.
01273 672222, yellowave.co.uk
Barefoot running, Rye
One of life’s greatest pleasures is running barefoot on wet sand. The wide beaches at Rye are ideal, but go easy – running without trainers can cause strain and injury if you’re not used it. For lessons in barefoot running technique, contact local teacher Sam Murphy, who also coaches the Rye Runners group.
07817 687241, sam-murphy.co.uk
Worthing Triathlon, 30 June
This year the Worthing Tri will celebrate its tenth birthday. The popular race is men versus women (whoever crosses the line first wins). The swim is from Goring Beach, the cycle is an undulating course out of town and the run is flat along the promenade.
Paddle Round The Pier, Brighton, 6 & 7 July
This very British beach festival takes place at Hove Lawns each year and features a series of races: an SUP marathon, a Paddleboard marathon, Silly SUP races, a Pier2Pier Paddle Race and a Swim Around The Pier. But the event is dominated by The Paddle, in which competitors race around the pier on anything that floats, from a lilo to a door.
Rye Triathlon, 21 July
This new event includes a sea swim off Winchelsea Beach, a cycle ride along Pett Level and a run through Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Arguably the most scenic tri in Sussex.
Bird Man, Worthing, 10 & 11 August
Do you believe you can fly? If so head down to the world famous Bird Man competition at Worthing. Competitors must launch themselves off the end of the pier, via a human powered flying machine. The furthest flight (so long as it is past 100m) wins £10,000.
COASTAL SPORTS SHOPS
Tri Store, Eastbourne
The friendly Tri Store near Eastbourne station has all you need for triathlon and duathlon, including wetsuits (new and secondhand), bikes, trainers and clothing.
01323 417071, thetristore.com
Loco Skates, Eastbourne
Loco are close to the station and have a good selection of roller skates, including rollerblades, quads and aggressive skates.
01323 411030, locoskates.com
Worthing Watersports, Goring
Mike and Sue have all you need for kayaking, windsurfing, kitesurfing and SUP, including boards, kayaks and harnesses.
01903 247742, worthingwatersports.com