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14 February 2018

Meet Lawrence from Ocean High

Enhance your stay at the Mount Haven by exploring Mount's Bay on the water - from stand up paddle boarding into the sunset to kayaking through crystal clear waters around St Michael's Mount. 

Meet Lawrence, owner and operator of Ocean High.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

After graduating from University with a Degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography, I started my 18-year long career in public aquariums as a diver hand feeding sharks in an aquarium in Sydney, working my way up to be curator of a couple of the UK’s largest aquaria.  I started kitesurfing way back in 2000 in the first years of the sport and it soon became a passion.  I decided to set up my kitesurf school Ocean High in 2008 so we are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. Stand Up Paddleboarding arrived on the scene 5 or 6 years ago and in the last couple of years has grown massively to be the worlds fastest growing watersport.

I set up Ocean High in Mount's Bay as West Cornwall is one of the most ideal locations to learn to kitesurf when it is windy but is also one of the most magical places to paddleboard when it is calm with St Michaels Mount as a majestic backdrop.

What activities do you offer at Ocean High?

We offer lessons in kitesurfing from taster introduction lessons through to 1 to 1 coaching.  We use the latest blue-tooth 2-way radio communication helmets to massively increase the speed of learning.  The learning curve is fast and the adrenaline buzz is high. We are a British Kitesports Approved school and only use the latest cutting-edge kites and boards.

We are also a British Stand Up Paddleboard approved school and offer a variety of options from intro lessons of 1 hour to the more in-depth BSUPA courses as well as coastal adventures and trips down the Helford River.

What can visitors expect when they join you on your eco-tours?

I love to share my passion for SUP and combine it with my passion and knowledge of the marine environment around us and so I have developed Eco-SUP tours where we use Paddleboards to glide silently over seagrass beds armed only with masks and snorkels and Bathyscope underwater viewers to observe the marine life from the dry deck of a SUP.  I can explain what animals and plants you are seeing and about the ecology of the area.  We have been visited by seals and dolphins in the past (although we can’t guarantee that) and it is truly magical being out on the water with these creatures.  We have had harmless barrel jellyfish the size of a dustbin float gracefully below us and have had schools of fish flying out of the water around us as they get chased by mackerel beneath them.  Each day is different and makes me so grateful I can share this with our guests.

Are all the activities you run weather dependant?

All of our activities are weather dependent but when its too windy to SUP, then it is usually ideal for kitesurfing or powerkiting! So there is always an activity to get you out in the fabulous Cornish Air.

Where is your favourite place to SUP, and why?

I have been lucky enough to have kitesurfed and SUP’ed in many incredible places around the world and next to New Zealand I’d say my favourite location would have to be the Scillies. They are only 20 miles away from Penzance so do yourself a big favour whilst you are here and take a trip (even if it’s a day trip) and discover this magical set of islands so close but a world away.

Are there any ‘secret spots’ that are best accessed by sea in Mount’s Bay that you can recommend?

St Michaels Mount is such an iconic and stunning location, but in my opinion, the best view of the Mount is on the seaward side and to observe it from a SUP is one of those moments that my guests will always remember and not many people get the chance to experience.  There are a few other secret coves and caves to find along the coast for the more adventurous and experienced paddleboarder that we explore on our coastal adventures.

We also rent paddleboards and kayaks from the beach at Marazion for people with previous experience so you can explore the Bay at your own pace.

Apart from water sports in the Bay with Ocean High, what would be your top recommendation to people visiting Cornwall?

Watersports are our passion but if there was one thing we were not able to get in the water it would have to be taking a spectacular walk along the coast path anywhere from St Ives to Zennor especially if there is a large swell running.  Stunning…and a great excuse for a cream tea afterwards after all that exercise!

In one sentence, how would you describe Ocean High?

Ocean High is dedicated to providing the highest level of instruction and memorable experiences for our guests and to hopefully instil you with our passion for our sports and our love of the Ocean and its inhabitants.

If you want to see more of what to expect, view Ocean High's Vision on the Water

Book direct by calling 07801438320 or find out more by emailing Ocean High on info@oceanhigh.co.uk