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Intro to Coasteering: What It Is and Why Is It Great

Sea breeze on your face and waves crashing below as you leap from craggy cliffs into turquoise water below – welcome to the world of coasteering. In recent years, this blend of adventure, exercise, and exploration has surged in popularity.

What is Coasteering?

At its heart, coasteering is an invigorating amalgamation of rock climbing, sea swimming, and cliff jumping, allowing participants to navigate and experience the coastline in a way few have before. But how did this thrilling activity come to be?

The roots of coasteering can be traced back several decades to the rugged coastlines of the UK, where outdoor enthusiasts would traverse the rocky shorelines, combining elements of mountaineering and sea-level traversing. Over time, this evolved, integrating more daring aspects such as cliff jumping and underwater swimming. By the 1990s, what began as an improvised coastal exploration had matured into the structured adventure sport we recognize today.

Breaking it down, coasteering consists of several essential components. First, there’s the swimming, often in open waters, battling waves and currents to get from one point to another. Climbing plays a pivotal role, requiring participants to ascend and descend rocky outcrops, using both natural holds and sometimes even aided routes. Cliff jumping, ranging from a few feet to dizzying heights, offers the most adrenaline-packed part of the experience. And of course, exploration remains at its core. Navigating the intertidal zones, one can discover marine life, hidden caves, and a perspective of the coast that remains inaccessible to most.

The Necessary Skills and Fitness Level for Coasteering

As with most adventure sports, it’s not about physical strength but a blend of mind and body. Here’s what you should ideally possess before diving into this adventure:

  • Basic Swimming Proficiency: Before anything else, a fundamental level of swimming is imperative. While you won’t be swimming the English Channel, you’ll face open waters, waves, and occasional undercurrents. Everybody who takes part in should be able to swim a minimum of 50 metres.
  • Comfort with Heights: Those cliff jumps can range from a few feet to several meters high. If you’re someone who gets vertigo on the first step of a ladder, gradual exposure and building comfort are vital before the more significant leaps.
  • Stamina for Climbing and Swimming: It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon. The combination of climbing, swimming, and general navigating can be taxing. A moderate level of endurance ensures you’re not exhausted halfway through the journey.
  • The Mental Aspect: The ability to remain calm when faced with challenges, whether it’s a tricky climbing spot or unexpected wave, is invaluable.
Coasteering in cornwall

Safety First

As with all adventure sports, safety in coasteering is paramount.

  • Understanding Tides and Currents: Coastal waters can be unpredictable. Knowing when the tide is coming in, or how strong the currents are, can be the difference between a thrilling day out and a dangerous situation.
  • Guided Tours: Especially if you’re new to the sport, going with a seasoned guide is more than recommended—it’s a necessity. Not only do they know the best spots and routes, but they’re also trained to handle emergencies.
  • Gear Up Right: While we’ll delve deeper into the gear in subsequent blogs, remember that a good wetsuit, helmet, and appropriate footwear aren’t just for comfort—they’re vital for safety.

Coasteering’s Global Popularity

From its humble beginnings on the rugged coastlines of the UK, coasteering has catapulted onto the global stage, with hotspots emerging from Australia’s coastlines to Hawaii’s volcanic shores. The appeal is universal; the blend of adrenaline and exploration resonates with adventurers everywhere.

Yet, it’s impossible to talk about coasteering without paying homage to the UK’s integral role. Not only is it the birthplace of the sport, but even today, areas like Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales or Cornwall’s shores remain iconic destinations for enthusiasts worldwide, offering a blend of history and unparalleled coastal adventures. We have broken down the best spots across the UK here.

You can some amazing coasteering in Cornwall and Pembrokeshire below:

Coasteering in Bossiney Bay, Cornwall
Exciting Coasteering Adventures in Bossiney Bay, Cornwall!
Beginner Private Coasteering in Cornwall
The perfect foray into the world of coasteering – private lesson in Cornwall.
Group Coasteering in Cornwall – Mousehole & Praa Sands
Our Group Coasteering Adventures run daily from Mousehole & Praa Sands, Cornwall
Group Coasteering in Cornwall – The Lizard
Our Group Coasteering Adventures run daily from Mousehole & Praa Sands, Cornwall
Eco-Coasteering – A Low-Tide Adventure
Experience the Wonders of Nature: Low Tide Eco-Coasteering in Newquay
Family or Private Group Coasteering by Towan Beach
Private or Family Coasteering Adventure Tailored to you by Towan Beach
Heritage Coasteering Adventure – Discover Newquay’s History
An adventurous way to learn about the region’s past!
Hidden Gem Coasteering – ‘Adventure Gully’ by Towan Beach
Discover a Hidden Gem Minutes From Towan Beach, Exclusive to This Centre!
Night Coasteering in Newquay
Our most adrenaline-fuelled coasteer under the cover of darkness!
Coasteering from Newgale Beach
Experience Coasteering at Newgale Beach! Dive into caves, climb cliffs & embrace nature’s thrill. Safe & fun!

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Max
Co-founder and Chief Adventurer

I am Max, the co-founder and CEO of adventuro. We are on a mission to help you get into the sports you have always wanted to try, or develop in the sports you love, exploring new skills and locations. We do this by partnering with the best instructors, guides, and activity centres to get a great spread from beginner all the way to instructor training.

For too long, it has been way to confusing to find your next steps, or even to know where to start when getting into adventure sports. I am an experienced and/or qualified paraglider, skydiver, scuba diver, freediver, power boat driver, snowboarder, kitesurfer, kayaker, mountain biker, surfer, dirt biker, wakeboarder, and sailor.

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