Plymouth surf firm on crest of a wave


  • LIFE’S A BEACH: Young people enjoy a Star Surf Camps holiday
 WHEN your business is all about organising international surfing holidays, then languages play a key part.So for Plymouth-based Star Surf Camps, hosting international interns under the EU’s 14.7billion-euro Erasmus+ programme has been a bonus.The Stonehouse-based firm runs surfing training breaks mainly in France and Spain, but also in locations such as Morocco, Maldives, Mexico and even Iceland.

But most of its customers are actually from Germany.

Joe Hobson, company co-owner, said Star Surf Camps has been supplied with interns by Mutley Plain-based Tellus College.

“We’ve had three interns: one Italian and two Germans, although one was half Ecuadorian and therefore fluent in Spanish as well as German,” Mr Hobson said. “They have been brilliant.

“For instance, we wanted to enter the Italian market but didn’t speak the language.

“So the Italian intern was able to work on our social media and did the research. We’ll take it from there.

“And the German speakers have been useful too, because the biggest part of our business is German based.”

Again, these interns helped with social media work – and all of them were given a Star Surf Camps holiday as a reward for their efforts.

“As a ‘thank you’ they can stay with us for a week next summer,” Mr Hobson said.

Star Surf Camps was founded in 2009 – Mr Hobson had previously run Plymouth University’s surf club.

The business still caters for many of the university’s students and alumni.

“We came out of the university and have been successful,” he said.

Star Surf Camps moved into its office in the Millfields in April this year, after relocating from Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands.

“We decided to come back,” Mr Hobson said.

The company has five core staff in Plymouth and up to 300 people working at its “pop-up” camps. It teaches about 1,000 people every year, nearly all of them beginners.

During their summer holiday the campers, mainly aged 18 to 30, learn to surf while having a fun holiday.

“People stay in tents, we build our own pop-up campsites and then take them down,” said Mr Hobson. “But we have some year-round camps run out of hotels and villas.”

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