Tell us a bit about yourself

I have a lovely family, a gorgeous wife and two beautiful girls Alana 6 yrs old nearly 7, and Betsy 4 yrs old going on 24, lol! She is a character. I was Born in Margate Kent 1979 , Dad was a Londoner and my Mum was from Cornwall they married and had myself and my sister Emily. I have been surfing from the age of 13 years old, I became a beach lifeguard at 17 years old  and at 24 years old I travelled to Bali and Australia just over a year later I returned to study to be a secondary school teacher at Canterbury Christ church uni, stressed with teaching I had the opportunity to buy a surf school 2011 from a friend who was selling. In 2010 I joined Margate RNLI lifeboat crew and became a volunteer crew member meantime I gained employment at East Kent College as a first aid instructor. Due to my passion in drawing I opened up a second business tattooing and laser tattoo removal, its taken me all over the country and the United States of America. 

What do you offer your customers?

Surfing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, bodyboarding, monster sup, surf shop and the start of some great coffee shop.

How long have you been practising paddlesport?

I started practicing paddle boarding when I bought the surf school in 2011. I remember asking Steve West, “what do you do with the paddle once you caught the wave?”. I thought you just chucked it and paddle back out to get it after you caught a wave!

When was the moment that you realised you wanted to make paddlesport your vocation?

To be honest, it’s been a good alternative to when there is no surf for clients, and a great sport to do when there are no waves to tour around the coast with friends and even catch waves when there is a little swell.

What is the most significant moment in your career to date?

There is a few – teaching all abilities to achieve their potential in the water (and seeing their faces when they do!), and winning the South East Tourism Award and shaking hands with the Queen of England through the RNLI.

My best paddle ever was…..

We have some wonderful sun sets at Margate main sands, so on hot day, boardies on and watching the sun set!

Where is your favourite place to paddle in the UK?

Thanet coastline (I have to say that), but actually Ben at South West Paddle in Plymouth took me to Drake island that was an amazing paddle with Ben and Monty, in Plymouth.

Who are you most influenced by?

Family, friends and people that give help in this industry and are supportive. 

What’s next for the industry?

I am learning to be a personal trainer and will be focusing on beach circuits and balance boarding. Oh, and I have just bought a foil board to learn how to do it!

What is your top tip for anyone interested in giving paddlesports a go?

Keep your head up and don’t look down at your feet , look towards where you want to paddle to.

Learn more about Kent Surf School run by Andrew, and all of the courses on offer.