Safety When Coasteering

Safety cannot be an afterthought when operating in such a dynamic and challenging environment as the ocean.

Our Coasteer guides are fully trained and qualified beach lifeguards and first aiders. Only experienced guides lead our sessions after several seasons of assisting a lead guide. Sessions are always run by two qualified and experienced guides.

We ask that participants listen to advice from our guides and comply with instructions during the session. We include a comprehensive safety briefing at the start of the session as well as practical tips and advice on coasteering techniques.  We will point out obstacles and navigate a safe route whilst on our coasteering journey while taking in all the best features the coast has to offer. Having fun safely is our top priority.

All our Coasteering routes are fully risk assessed and details can be viewed upon request. We hold £5m public liability insurance.

We are members of the Coasteering Charter Group who seek to establish best practice within Coasteering. The Coasteering Charter Group is recognised by the RNLI, Marine Coastguard Agency and the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority.

safety

Frenquently Asked Questions

What if it is raining?

We will being getting wet anyway! It’s a fun activity to do on a rainy day on which you may otherwise be stuck indoors.

What are the age limits for coasteering

The minimum age for Coasteering participants is usually 8 years old, we recommend all children under 13 are accompanied by an adult unless it is a large group of childen of similare ages. 
There is no upper age limit so long as the participant is physically able.

Do I need to be a strong swimmer?

Participants should be able to swim 50m unassisted. We will however cater to the ability of the group and break up swims with climbing, scrambling and jumping.

Is it cold?

The water temperature in peak season gets up to a balmy 18 °C. Earlier in the year it can be colder. We provide good quality thick wetsuits to keep you warm.

What do I need to bring?

You will need to bring swim wear for under the wetsuit, a towel, warm clothes for afterwards, sunscreen and any medication you usually carry along plus details of who to contact in the event of an emergency.

How long does Coasteering last?

Our sessions are half day session lasting around three and a half hours. This includes the meet and greet at base & paper work, kitting up, travel to venue, plenty of fun in the water and a cuppa back at HQ.

Can I bring a camera?

If it is waterproof and floats yes! We also advise having a lanyard as a way of attaching it. We also have a GoPro camera which we often take on sessions.

Will I need insurance?

Cornish Coasteering has £5 million of public liability insurance to cover its activities.

Rain

What is Coasteering?

 

Coasteering involves scrambling, sea swimming, climbing and cliff jumping your way around a section of coastline. You will gain a unique perspective, challenge yourself and have immeasurable fun!

Coasteering is an organised group activity run by qualified leaders through an insured Coasteering center such as Cornish Coasteering.  The routes that are used are known inside out by our instructors who have extensive knowledge of the effects of tide, wind and swell. Having said that though no two sessions are the same and instructors are adaptable and have to think on their feet to ensure that routes match the groups’ abilities.

Scrambling is not like walking down the street, every step you take has to be given some consideration. Common sense prevails here, stand on the gripy and avoid the slippery. Baricles or any texture in the rock will help your feet stick. Anything green or smooth and wet is to be avoided if posible. Using a third point of contact, like holding onto a rock as you scramble will also reduce the risk of a slip or trip.

Swimming whilst Coasteering is a little different from swimming in the pool for a couple of reasons. Firstly you are in a completely wild environment and the scenery is stunning! You will navigate your way through gullies and into lagoons. Waves will lift you up and down and push and pull you as you swim. You just have to go with the flow. Secondly swimming in coasteering equipment takes a little getting used to. You are very buoyant and will float on the surface like a cork. This has the advantage that if you get tired you can completely relax and bob around whilst taking a breather.

The climbing that we do is mostly traversing, meaning that they are more sideways than they are vertical. We will be climbing above water so that if you do slip you can exit the rock face safely into the sea (we call this bailing out).  We will generally be climbing to get somewhere, somewhere often being a jump, climbing onto ledges and natural platforms that jut out over the sea.

Cliff jumping is what springs to mind for most when they think of coasteering! There will be lots of opportunities to jump during your session. We tackle the jumps in ascending order during the session, starting with little jumps and working our way up to the bigger stuff. We coach a safe technique to jump and also to land in the water so you will need to demonstrate this a lower and middle heights as we work our way up. If you are jumping well you will get the green light to go bigger. Of course jumping is not for everyone and there is always the option to swim or scramble around a jump and avoid it whilst watching the others jump. We do find that most people do want to try at least some of the jumps and some just can’t get enough. At lower level and some safe platforms there will also be the chance to have a dive, belly flop, bomb or stunt jump.

what is

What equipment do I need to go Coasteering?

We provide all of the equipment that you will need  for coasteering so all you need to bring is swimwear and sun cream (hopefully!).

For our coasteering sessions we provide

5/3mm thick winter wetsuits. Even in summer it is colder being fully immersed in the sea than it is say surfing and the temperature tends to be slightly lower around headlands than at the beach. Our winter suits keep you toasty.

Wetsuit boots give your feet protection  keep you warm and provide grip. You will be walking across rocks, barnacles & mussels so you will appreciate some protection on your feet. They are also easy to swim in.

Wetsuit shorts protect our wetsuits from the barnacles and are cheaper to replace than the wetsuit itself.  It also adds some extra protection and warmth.

A buoyancy aid will keep you afloat whilst swimming and provide protection whilst climbing out, scrambling and exploring caves. It will give you extra padding for belly flops!

A helmet protects the obvious whilst you navigate the route. Escecially useful for exploring caves it is the final piece of essential coasteering equipment.

If you have some of your own Coasteering kit that you wish to try bring it along and we will make a judement on it’s suitability. 

wear

What is the history of Coasteering?

Whilst kids have been scrambling over the shore, swimming in the sea and jumping off rocks for time immemorial.  It’s only been in fairly recent times that Coasteering has risen to a popularity that sees it featured in weekend travel supplements.

Various activities containing some elements of coasteering were practised over the last 100 or so years including sea level traversing by climbing clubs who circumnavigated headlands. The RAF at St Mawgan also used this activity as a form of training for military personnel.

Coasteering emerged in it’s current form as an organised, commercial activity in Pembrokeshire around  30 years ago led by Tyr-y-Felin and has subsequently been established in many coastal parts of the UK such as Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Scotland and Wales.

Coasteering is now in the English Oxford Dictionary; Coasteering The sport or activity of exploring a rocky coastline by climbing, jumping, and swimming.

Who can go Coasteering?

We ask that participants are able to swim 50m unassisted and are 8 years or older. We can take participants under 18 years of age but recommend that those under 13 are accompanied by a parent or guardian unless it is a group of kids all around the same age. 

Coasteering is a great activity for everyone as it is open to all abilities and with no previous experience required. We tailor our sessions to match group ability whether it's your first coasteer or you're a seasoned veteran!

Coasteering is the ideal activity for a variety of groups, challenging the individual and building confidence whilst also facilitating teamwork and trust.   Coasteering is perfect for families, individuals, corporate away days, birthday celebrations, clubs, stag do weekends or hen parties and many more.

PQ team

Where can I go Coasteering?

At Cornish Coasteering we have two main locations that we use depending on the swell, wind and tidal conditions. Both are just a short drive from our base at Dinham farm.

Port Quin is an ideal sheltered inlet at high tide that is protected from the vast majority of swell coming off the Atlantic. This means that even when the surf is quite big around the corner at Polzeath beach it may still be possible to Coasteer here around the high tide. Port Quin features a variety of cliff jumps ranging from 2 - 35ft as well as great wild swims and wave features, climbing challenges and amazing scenery steeped in history.

Port Gaverne can be coasteered on all tides but is more exposed to the reaches of Atlantic swells. The cliff jumping here is also excellent, again ranging from 2 - 35ft in height, we start small and build our way up. The swims here lead through gulleys and into lagoons where there are challenging climbs and lot’s of opportunities to explore. When conditions allow a Port Gaverne coasteer can feature exploring through a myriad of sea caves ranging from narrow tunnels to large cathedral like voids. A Port Gaverne Coasteer takes you to a very rugged and wild stretch of coast that would otherwise be unseen. 

port quin

What wildlife might I see Coasteering?

Coasteering is a great chance to see what lives on the rocky foreshore. Anything that lives here has to be incredibly robust as it has to survive being battered by waves and spend hours out of the water whilst the tide is out.

Shore life

 There is also some bigger stuff out there that if you are very lucky you might see! Keep your eyes peeled!

Big stuff

Big stuff 2

There is a variety of seabirds that can be seen feeding and nesting along the coasteer routes.

Birds

Birds 2