Martin Connolly, co-owner of Discovery Surf School is an ASI (Academy of Surf Instructors) master coach. Martin is a top rated British surfer and an English National Masters Champion with over 20 years experience as a coach and a lifeguard, on Australian and local beaches. Martin is from Plymouth and has grown up surfing South Devon and North Cornwall’s coastline as well as travelling around the world. Martin is the producer of the 110% Surfing Techniques franchise, selling coaching DVDs/downloads which have a worldwide audience.
Annika Connolly helps to run the surf school, surf shops and online surf instruction business as well as running around after surf groms Sebastian and Kira. Formerly a successful competitor, Annika is also a coach with much experience.
Eva grew up in Ringmore and has been part of the Discovery family since she was a little grom at Surf Club. She is now one of our main coaches with four years under her belt, and lots of experience in the water. Eva also helps to run the office and shop so will often be found doing a mixture of everything. During the summer of last year, Eva completed A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths. She spent part of the winter in Hawaii and now will study biomedical science at university.
Ben is an experienced instructor at Discovery, having got three years of coaching under his belt already. On a busy summer’s day you are likely to find him either helping to run our shop, or taking lessons out in the water. He has grown up close to us and spent lots of time at the beach with his family. Ben has recently completed A-levels in Chemistry, Maths and Physics, and hopes to start studying engineering at university next year. Between now and then he will be spending about seven months with Raz, exploring Australia, New Zealand and Bali.
Spike is in his in third season of coaching with Discovery and as well as being a great instructor he is also an accomplished water photographer. Spike has grown up locally with a love of the outdoors and being in the sea. Since he left school, Spike has spent the last few winters working as a successful surf photographer in Puerto Rico and Morocco, and summers coaching down at the beach in Bigbury.
Sophie has lived relatively locally for all of her life and has always loved the beach. A few years ago she qualified as a surf instructor and since then she has worked summers with us coaching here in Bigbury-on-Sea. Last year she completed her A-levels in Geography, Business Studies and Psychology then decided to spend the winter abroad in search of dreamy waves and a warmer climate. Sophie has now decided to study marine geography, so will be spending large parts of her year up in Cardiff.
Barnaby is an accomplished coach and has spent the last few years instructing here. He grew up locally and spent lots of Saturday mornings in the water at surf club with his friends from school. He spent much of last winter abroad but came back to coach with us for the season. Barnaby finished his A-levels in Chemistry, Physics and Maths last year, and has recently started studying at university.
Cam lives very locally to Discovery, and started his surfing career at Surf Club with a few friends (and now fellow instructors) from primary school. He has spent two seasons coaching with us so far and is a very popular member of the team. At the end of the summer season, Cameron drove down to Portugal to surf with one of his best friends, and is to spend the rest of autumn/winter in New Zealand getting himself some winter sun.
Grace is an experienced instructor here at Discovery, and has coached with us for a few seasons now. She is really creative and is happiest spending time in the water and at the beach. Last year, Grace finished her A levels in Drama, Psychology and English Literature, and spent a lot of last winter in New Zealand. In the future she hopes to travel some more but carry on living the dream here in Devon.
Harry is an established member of the team, and has been part of the Surf School family for many years - before qualifying as a coach he helped out washing wetsuits and surfing with us at the Surf Club. Harry works with us part time doing lessons and Surf Club and is Logistics Manager too! Harry is also one of our specialist Special Needs coaches. When he's not with us at the surf school, Harry spends a lot of time in London, where he has a job in the film industry.
Harry has represented GB in swimming and surfing, Harry represented GB again in Feb 2013 at the World Deaf surfing championship in Hawaii, where he placed an outstanding second in the world. A stand out surfer at Bantham. Harry is our main man with the special needs/Autism surf sessions.
Jack has coached several seasons with us and is a great instructor. Nowadays when working at the surf school you will often find him at our Challaborough shop. Jack has spent a lot of time traveling recently, and enjoys taking photos and videos to document his journeys.
Jess has been part of the Discovery Surf School team for many years - she first started coming along as a pupil when at Holbeton Primary School, and has grown into a talented surfer. Jess is a fantastic coach and has done many seasons with us. Jess now works as a sports coach at a school up near Brighton, but still comes back to visit us during school holidays!
Jess has been one of the country's top young female surfers and is a talented all round sportswoman. Jess studied physiotherapy at the University College St Mark and St John and as well as working for Discovery she is studying for a masters. She is often out surfing her local break of Wembury and here at Bigbury/Bantham.
Joe is in his fifth season coaching with Discovery, having come up through the ranks of Surf Club and becoming fully qualified in 2014. Joe is an accomplished surfer and comes back to coach with us on visits back home. Joe is currently at university in Swansea, and is a second year student studying marine biology.
Joe is in his fifth season coaching and is regarded as one of the best surfers in South Devon, always a stand out in the lineup. He has spent the last few years surfing and working in Noosa in Australia where he has been dominating the lineup on a longboard. Joe recently returned for a few months and got a some lessons under his belt while he was back. He has returned now to warmer waters but we hope to see him in the red vest again soon!
Kai is a fresh face at Discovery but no stranger to South Devon. She has grown up in the area and spent a lot of time in and around the water from a young age. She is passionate about her job and has developed into a great instructor after her first season here. Having recently completed her A-levels, she plans to take some time out this year to explore more of the world.
Katie has been a member of the Discovery family for many years now and on a busy summers day she will be found keeping her cool behind the desk in the shop. As well as helping us out during the summer, Katie is studying for a psychology PhD and working in a supporting role at a school nearby. Katie has recently completed an Ironman, and regularly runs marathons so she's an inspiration to everyone!
Matz has been part of Discovery Surf School for many years and is one of our most experienced coaches. As well as being part of the Discovery team, Matz also works as an enabler with the University of Plymouth and University College St Mark and St John. Matz is a very talented surfer and has appeared in many surfing magazines over the years.
Megan has recently completed her first season at Discovery after training as an ASI instructor and SLSGB beach lifeguard in April of this year. At the beginning of summer this year, Megan completed her A-levels in Biology, Gepgraphy, Psychology and Music at Kingsbridge Community College and plans to go away to Canada for a bit this winter, before returning for another season next year.
Noah is one of the youngest members of the instructor team, and little brother to Eva. He has been around the water from a very young age, and started surfing competitively when he was around 10. Since then he has won many events, and last year was crowned the UK Pro Surf Tour U18 champion. Noah has coached with us for one season, and will continue throughout the winter whilst he studies A levels in P.E., French and Statistics.
Raz started his Discovery journey as a grom living in the local area and coming to Surf Club regularly with his friends. Alongside studying for his A-levels at the local sixth form, Raz has spent many hours cruising around in the water. Raz has completed two seasons with us so far, and for his first free winter he has decided to travel Australia, New Zealand and Bali with fellow instructor Ben.