About Bude Surf Life Saving Club

Bude Surf Life Saving club has over 100 adult and intermediate members and has well over 150 junior and nipper members.

We have a large club house with changing facilities, showers and toilets, a meeting room and kitchen as well as a gear store.

Active members learn and teach surf life saving techniques, patrol the beaches providing extra safety cover and informing the public about beach safety.

Active members have opportunities to gain internationally recognised surf life saving qualifications and compete at events. Weekly training takes place at Crooklets beach and the club facilities are in use year round. There is also a full social calendar.

A wide range of training courses is available through the club to gain nationally recognised qualifications in Lifeguarding, surf craft competence, IRB driving and first aid.

New members are always welcome as are visitors from all SLSC clubs.

Bude SLSC clubhouse

Club History

The Surf Life Saving movement in the UK was instigated through a chance meeting in 1951 when Alan Kennedy met fellow Australians who had returned from war service in Cornwall, and who enthused about the surf, particularly at Bude. This information was the start of Alan's journey to Bude.

Upon leaving Australia in August 1951, an assurance was given to Judge Sir Adrian Carlewis, Australian National President, by Mr Kennedy that all endeavours possible to develop surfing and surf life saving overseas would be made and a visit to Bude would be arranged as soon as possible. This first visit to Bude was made on 1st May 1952 and to quote from Alan's biography, "What surf and a place for surfing".

After meeting with the then Harbour Master and local lifeguards, a full report was returned to Australia stating that, to develop surf life saving in the UK, it would be necessary to have a reel, line and belt and a surf ski. This information aroused much interest in Australia and one Aussie, "Sprint" Walker, visited Bude on his way through Europe to the Helsinki Olympic Games. On his return home he too enthused about the prospects of spreading the "word" to Europe and the requested equipment was dispatched to arrive in London in late 1952.

After further visits to Bude and meetings with Town Council officials enough interest was shown and the equipment was forwarded to Bude by rail on 1st August 1953. On Sunday 2nd, August 1953 members of the Bude Youth Club and others received the first instructions on Australian surf life saving methods. These instructions resulted in two squads of eleven members gaining Surf Bronze Medallions on the 8th and 9th August.

On the evening of the 9th August it was moved and recommended the foundation of the Bude Surf Life Saving Club and on 10th August a cable was forwarded to Australia S.L.S.A. with the results of the examinations and the Bude club was born.

Today, more than sixty years on, Bude Surf Life Saving Club has logged well over a thousand rescues and numerous more preventative actions.
The Club patrols Crooklets Beach from late May to mid-September each season, as well as providing training for most of the professional lifeguards in the North Cornwall area. In 1977 Bude S.L.S.C. moved from its original headquarters beneath a wooden beach hut to its current clubhouse which was built mainly by members.

Throughout its over sixty-year history, the club has been completely self-financing. Fund raising activities include regular demonstrations of life saving techniques and the popular traditional Poldark Fayre which is enjoyed annually by locals and tourists. On Christmas day more than 500 swimmers take part in the annual Mike Moyle swim which usually attracts an audience of a couple of thousand people.