Thursday 21st April 2022

North Devon Surf School Spotlight: Nick Thorn

The stunning North Devon coast is a thriving area for surf schools and watersport adventures on its award-winning beaches. In the first of our spotlight series on individual North Devon surf schools we take a closer look at Nick Thorn Surf School. Based in Putsborough, and with over 20 years experience – Nick is one of the most qualified surf instructors in the area.

We highly recommend Nick to our guests for lessons in surfing, stand up paddle boarding, and coasteering. All abilities and age groups will be expertly looked after in very safe and experienced hands.

If you're thinking of trying something new, booking sessions for the kids, surf hire or simply a fun experience why you're visiting North Devon - here is a guide to Nick Thorn surf school. Let's dive in...

About Nick Thorn

Nick Thorn is one of the most highly qualified surf instructors in the country, with over 20 years experience as a lifeguard and surf coach. Nick Thorn's surf school is based in Putsborough – a fantastic location for adventures in the stunning North Devon beaches.

In the local area, Nick has completed some legendary challenges with significant proceeds raised for charities. Most notable was his single-handed swim from Lundy Island to Woolacombe in aid of Children’s Hospice South West. An impressive swimming feat which has not yet been matched by anyone else!

Fully Accredited Surf School

Nick Thorn Surf School is a full Lifeguard Training Centre and Surfing England Accredited level 4 Surf Accredited School. Although the dedicated team has grown, Nick remains central to the teaching of lifeguard and instructor qualifications carried out by the business at his surf school.

The knowledgable team will provide a friendly and supportive environment to either experience your very first wave (for beginners). Or provide training to perfect surfing skills necessary for competition.

Surf lessons are typically 2 hours in length and offered to individuals (from 8 years and above), as well as larger groups and corporate experiences.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) has grown in popularity year on year. There is a great choice of SUP locations in North Devon and Nick Thorn is one of the go-to specialists for paddleboarding experiences, having been one of the first surf schools to teach the sport in the country. Nick offers a range of SUP activities which will provide a fantastic way to explore the dramatic North Devon coast.

As well as Paddleboarding lessons and tours, Nick offers private SUP sessions with all equipment provided. XL SUP Board is a fun way to explore the coast with a group. As well as Lundy Island SUP tours, perfect for families to enjoy the breathtaking scenery together.

stand up paddleboarding with nick thorn surf school


If you're looking for the ultimate adrenalin fuelled activity then coasteering is for you. Explore parts of the North Devon coast with Nick Thorn's team that you wouldn't normally get to see. Another experience suited very well to groups and families who are looking for an activity with a difference on their North Devon break.



Whether you prefer surfing, SUPing or coasteering we think you're guaranteed to have a great time with Nick Thorn Surf School. Don't just take our word for it though, here are some of the glowing customer Trip Advisor reviews Nick has received:

"I've booked with Nick few times already. The instructors are great and attentive, spotting and pointing out any mistakes and happy to offer advice. Puttsborough beach is fantastic for surfing, it is huge and safe." – TripAdvisor Review

"This was our first time paddle boarding so we were a bit nervous. The team made us feel very comfortable and welcome. We had a great lesson and thoroughly enjoyed the whole exprience, staff were super friendly, made us feel at ease I would highly recommend." – TripAdvisor Review

"We had a great afternoon coasteering ... all gear provided and safely done. Nice small group and no pressure to jump from the higher ones if you didn’t fancy it." – TripAdvsior Review

Special Discount

As a reward to guests staying at Willingcott Valley we have partnered with Nick Thorn to offer 10% off at his surf school. Just quote 'Willingcott Valley' when booking with Nick to claim your 10% off. We hope you enjoy your watersport adventures in North Devon!

For more information, prices and bookings visit: 

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