Rad trips that just might change your life
Looking for something different, with unique flair and flavour for your next adventure? Well, we’ve rounded up the raddest assortment of epic adventures. From surf and skate retreats to artist residencies where you can learn to shoot snaps with surfing’s most celebrated photographers and accessible outdoor retreats, Sophie Everard finds five unique women’s retreat experiences that just might change your life.
LONDON GIRLS SURF CLUB
Launched in 2017, the female-led action sports group London Girls Surf Club was founded to encourage and facilitate under-represented groups into the sea and onto a ramp. LGSC is about trying something new, setting a challenge, and exploring different environments with the support of the collective. Hosting yearly trips, LGSC has grown into a movement with a mission to empower its community. Originally focussing on making the ocean more accessible to urban-dwelling women, the group have since expanded their focus to partner with charities such as Switchback, which supports young men when they leave prison. LGSC’s next trip will continue their infamous Camp Wipeout, taking place in the heart of the UK’s surf scene, Devon. From the 1st – 4th of September, the community will join together to enjoy surf and skate lessons, eat amazing food from a local private chef, partake in wellness sessions across yoga and workshops, and enjoy live music and expert talks. Tickets are now available at www.LGSClife.co.uk.
Kool Society is a female-only movement that promotes collaboration and celebrates the unconventional. Designed for surfers, skaters, snowboarders and creatives, Kool Society’s board riders residencies believe that the retreat model ain’t broken, it just requires a much-needed upgrade. Hosted at a temporary paradise held in stunning locations mainly in Portugal, each residency encompasses a wide spectrum of activities which involve collaboration between coaches, professional board riders and artists. Previous Kool Society photo workshops include epics where you’ll learn to shoot photos with legends of the likes of surf photographers Serena Lutton, Beatriz Ryder, Leesa Flemming and Catherina Cardoso, and experiences with pros including Sanne Hörvallius. Each season Kool Society launch new residency themes and new locations, so stay tuned for the next drop via their website.
Flora Retreats are led by the incandescent Flora Christin, single fin style-maven and Indonesia’s first competitive longboarder. Uniquely designed to improve your longboarding whatever your level is, expect to be guided through in-depth surf lessons and analysis whilst exploring some of the most striking and breathtaking spots in the world in Indonesia alongside some of Indo’s top log coaches, and Flora herself. From basic knowledge of reading waves and popping up to taking your first cross-step and beyond, you’ll be guided at your own pace.
CG YOGA RETREATS
Yogi, nutritionist, sponsored mountain biker and stand-up paddle-boarder Casey Gemma is an all-round adventure lover running awesome accessible retreats in Devon. In April 2021, Casey broke her back cycling and became paralysed from the waist down and a full-time wheelchair user. But don’t think that’s stopped her. Thinking she would never teach yoga again let alone run a retreat, Casey is now back in the saddle, running accessible yoga retreats welcoming all abilities, physical or mental difficulties, in the heart of North Devon. From soothing yoga sessions to meditations, wholesome food, hiking, swimming, crafts and adaptive yoga and SUP yoga led by Casey, expect to toast the days stoke around campfires before nestling down in a cosy yurt under the stars.
WOMEN AND WAVES BARBADOS
Cornwall-based Women and Waves run a smorgasbord of seriously epic experiences, from beginner and intermediate surf programmes, to surf x language weekend courses, trips to El Salvador, Bali and more. We’ve got our eyeballs on their Barbados outpost, where you can expect to sharpen your surfing skills in the turtle-dappled tropical waters of the Caribbean. With tropical sunshine, warm water and laid-back vibes, it’s pretty much what dreams are made of. Expect expert tuition, and island tours of Barbados through local eyes, from coconut-lined Crane Beach to the turquoise Batts Rock Bay. You’ll glimpse a side to the island that many wouldn’t see – unless you have a local as your guide…and part of your new crew of all-female surfers.