what is coasteering?

Never heard of coasteering? Don’t worry, not many people have. It’s a relatively new adventure sport that has increased in popularity. If you like adventures though then it may be a great choice for you if you’re looking for a unique way to explore the coastline.

Coasteering is growing in popularity, coasteering in Devon and coasteering in particular at Baggy Point in Croyde will give you an experience like no other can. Coasteering doesn’t require any previous knowledge or experience to enjoy. You just need to make sure that you are accompanied by an experienced guide, then it can be an action-packed adventure that can be enjoyed by adults and even children as young as 8.

Here’s a short guide that will tell you everything you need to know about coasteering.

Coasteering is a term that covers a combination of adrenaline-filled activities. It is the exploration of a coastline by using various means including climbing, cliff jumping, swimming and scrambling. It allows you to get a real understanding of the coastline and experience nature in a way that would be impossible otherwise. The great thing about coasteering is that it’s a lot of fun, and you never know what hurdles you’ll come into contact with (although the guides usually do). It can be a way to push your limits and step out of your comfort zone or choose a coasteering experience that very much is within your comfort zone. Essentially, coasteering can be as extreme as you want it to be, or as much as you’re physically capable of at least.

Coasteering originated in the 1980s in Pembrokeshire as a result of surfers scrambling their way to the best surf spots along the coast. Since then it has become much more of an adventure sport and isn’t based around surfing as the end goal. Now coasteering is about coastal exploration with a touch of adrenaline added in to keep it exciting.

Since the 80’s Coasteering has become one of the fastest-growing water-based activities in the UK. Suitable for families, hen and stag parties and corporate groups, coasteer adventure centres run a variety of courses to suit your level of adventure.

Coasteering is the exploration of coastline at sea level. It’s like a nature trail along a rocky coast involving scrambling, swimming and jumping along rocks and into the sea. Coasteering is a unique and adventurous way to explore the coastline around you. A coasteer is as much about adrenaline-fuelled fun as it is about enjoying and exploring the natural habitat along your coastal route.

Coasteering can be a good way to explore caves that may not be accessible by any other means. Adventurers often get the chance to go inside caves and have great fun getting to them. Depending on the area a lot of the trip could be cave based. Coasteering routes vary depending on where you are in the UK and what you’re looking to get out of your adventure. Some trips can last a whole day, whereas others may only last a few hours.

As you’d imagine, jumping off cliffs and climbing along rocks does have some danger associated with it. Coasteering is very much centred around providing adventurers with a safe way to test their limits, however. Safety is the number one priority for coasteering guides, doing these activities without the supervision of a guide however is a bit of a silly thing to do and will almost certainly result in injury at the very least. Coasteering guides are experienced accredited professionals that tailor a coasteering adventure for those that want to try coasteering. It’s also important to realise that just because you’ve been coasteering before doesn’t mean you should go again without a guide.

Guides are crucial to your safety and take many factors into account when planning a route including the weather and sea conditions and the tides, they also have knowledge of the local area and the routes along the coastline. A guide will calculate a route based on the risk factors involved and other things that usually wouldn’t be considered if you tried to go alone, including avoiding seabird and seal breeding areas or anywhere else where coasteering may disrupt the sea life.

Coasteering with a qualified guide is not dangerous. You are kitted out with a wetsuit buoyancy aid and helmet. Your guide will assess the sea state, the tide and weather so that you have a safe and enjoyable coasteer. If you decided to coasteer alone then you could be risking your life, so Coasteering is always advised as part of an organised group with a qualified guide.

You should always check that the Coasteering operator you choose is part of AALA and the National coasteering Charter. Your guide should be very familiar with your route, the tide, and the natural environment you will be exploring.

You may be surprised to know that many coasteering guides take both adults and children on trips. Children younger than 8 years old aren’t permitted to go coasteering, however. Apart from this, most people in good health can try coasteering with a recognised operator. It does help if you can swim and are comfortable being in the water for extended periods, although technically you only need to be able to doggy paddle to be able to go coasteering as you’ll have a buoyancy aid, wetsuit and helmet provided to you by the guide.

So if you are fit and well, can swim and are aged over eight years, then Coasteering is accessible to you. You should have a degree of confidence in the water, but your guide will happily calm most nerves and fears you may have. Your buoyancy aid is an excellent source of safety and comfort during the adventure. With a variety of routes to choose from, you can ease yourself into discovering the beautiful sport of Coasteering.

Is coasteering exciting? When you coasteer, you use your muscles for swimming, scrambling and hauling yourself along the route. Mentally you are challenged, and it’s a total release from the strains and stresses of everyday life. Coasteering is a healthy sport which keeps you fit and nourishes the mind; it sure is healthy!

Who can coasteer? The Coasteering courses on offer will have jumps of varying sizes. Often a coasteering route will allow you to skip a leap. What typically happens is that you push your boundaries of comfort and end up being genuinely exhilarated when you make a jump you never expected to achieve.

Is coasteering good for you? When you coasteer, you use your muscles for swimming, scrambling and hauling yourself along the route. Mentally you are challenged, and it’s a total release from the strains and stresses of everyday life. Coasteering is a healthy sport which keeps you fit and nourishes the mind; it sure is healthy!

What do I need to go coasteering? The main pieces of safety equipment are a helmet, a buoyancy aid and a wetsuit. You’ll need some old shorts to go over your wetsuit, and a pair of old trainers to protect your feet. Most coasteering centres will provide you with the wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmet. You’ll probably need to provide the trainers and shorts. All you need is an excellent guide. Finally, you should go Coasteering when the tide and weather are right.