Introducing Allannah Brown, ASI Surf Instructor from Newquay, Cornwall!
Posted: 6 November 2020
Meet ASI surfing instructor Allannah Brown. Born and raised in Newquay, Cornwall and a surfer from the age of 13. Being an ASI instructor gives you the opportunity to work anywhere around the world and Allannah has done just that.
1. What is your background?
Born and raised in Newquay, Cornwall, I started surfing from the age of 13 and soon became obsessed.
I found that surfing really helped me through those difficult teenage years, at the time I was overweight, dealing with the loss of several family members and I was being bullied at school.
So even though I was going surfing alone most of the time, I had finally found a place where I felt safe and a place that literally washed all of my worries away and I could just be me.
2. What got you involved in the sport?
I always used to sneak off to the beach by myself from the age of 11 to go bodyboarding, I would lie to my grandmother who I lived with at the time and tell her I was meeting up with my friend and her family.
I remember watching Keala Kennely on the extreme sports channel, she had a mohawk, big baggy board shorts, and she was just so punk, I was so inspired by her attitude, that's when I really started looking at surfing.
One day a surfer ran me over, like I was a speed bump, and his fin went through my bodyboard, and I just thought, well my board is bust now, guess it's time to upgrade to a surfboard.
3. Why did you become an ASI instructor?
Being a saltwater obsessed grom, I wasn't interested in studying or going to Uni, all I wanted to do was to travel the world, surfing all these amazing waves that I had seen in magazines & DVDs, which naturally lead to me becoming a surf instructor from the age of 17, 12 years ago now!
It's also amazing being able to coach people and to see them overcome all of those hurdles that I went through when I was learning, or when I was trying to learn and understand certain things, it's definitely the most rewarding job I’ve had.
4. What are you doing now?
Right now, I am in the Canary Islands getting my warm water fix and hopefully if things go to plan, I will be heading to Austria to live in the mountains for a couple of months with my boyfriend being a snow bum until work starts again!
5. What do you like about being an ASI instructor?
I love the opportunities it has given me and the doors it has opened up for me along the way.
Being able to travel between countries, to experience new cultures, surf new waves and to meet and coach likeminded people is just the best thing.
6. Has COVID changed what you do? How?
I usually spend 90% of the year travelling to different locations to work and surf with Surf Sistas, however COVID-19 has definitely thrown a spanner in the works!
I have spent a lot of time in the UK this year coaching women’s surf retreats with surf sistas in Newquay, Cornwall.
It’s been difficult at times with so much uncertainty going on, but it's also been nice to have some stability and to not be living out of a board bag.
It's made me really appreciate where I have grown up and the people that I have around me at home, plus it's been great to have the time to go and explore different breaks around Cornwall.
7. Tell us about funny or interesting or nice situation that has happened to you with instructing?
So many stories, so little time! Haha!
Probably the strangest and the craziest things I have seen in the water happened this year in 2020.
Whilst coaching a 1 on 1 in Costa Rica back in February, my student alerted me that there was a young couple 'getting jiggy with it' in the white water, lucky for us we were out the back and paddled to a different peak with haste haha.
Also during a surf sistas longboard retreat in October, we were startled when a bluefin tuna jumped out in front of the group! I've seen dolphins, sunfish, basking sharks and seals in Cornwall, but I have never seen a fish that big in all the countries I have been to! The image taken by Megan Hemsworth went viral and it was such an amazing experience to share with the ladies on the retreat.
Photo Credits: @surfsistas
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