January 2019’s Ambassador of the Month: Rob Barber

To celebrate the start of another year in Cornwall, we’ve got a new cultural ambassador from Newquay Activity Centre. With over 30 years of experience, Rob has developed a professional bodyboarding career and has been chosen to represent England and Britain across the globe. In 1997 he set up the first bodyboarding school in Europe and since then has coached over 7000 bodyboarders, of all ages and abilities. In developing Newquay Activity Centre, Rob has added surfing, coasteering, kayaking, SUP, bushcraft, snorkelling and a whole host of other activities which you can get involved in here. Read on to find out what cultural secrets he has to share…


  1. Name / name of business / whereabouts in Cornwall are you based?

    Rob Barber, I have two businesses; Newquay Activity Centre and Bodyboard-Holidays. Based at the beautiful Towan beach in Newquay.

  2. What have you done to promote Cornwall’s heritage and culture?

    Through working with Cornwall 365 we have developed a host of unique activities including our Heritage Coasteer, Heritage SUP and Kayak tours.

  3. What has been your most useful Cornwall 365 experience or tool?

    Upon planning our new tours, Cornwall 365 were our first port of call. Charlie helped to facilitate a tour from a local historian and helped work through the logistics involved with making this happen. Our initial trial tour was delivered to guests, which Charlie had invited from Cornish businesses. This created a unique networking opportunity. It was invaluable to the launch of the new heritage and culture tours.

    Newquay Activity Centre

  4. Best experience you’ve experienced (in Cornwall)

    It’s hard to pin-point an individual moment but as I work in the ocean and on the coast on a daily basis I am constantly blown away by our incredible environment. Either Surfing, SUPing, or in particular Coasteering, you get to see a side of the coast that you wouldn’t know existed.

  5. The family taken care of. The business is taken care of. What is your perfect day & evening in Cornwall?

    I love waking in the dark, heading to the beach for dawn and paddling out to my favourite bodyboarding spot, Tolcarne for a high tide session. Scoring waves on my own or with a couple of friends. Followed by breakfast with my fiance Claire and our children Mila and Parker at the Fistral Chef, Headland Hotel or the Lewinnick Lodge. Then a long day at Little Fistral Beach with friends, spent surfing, bodyboarding or investigating the coast on a SUP, then a Beach BBQ to finish.

  6. You have free tickets to the performance of your choice. Who would you take with you (living or dead)?

    Kelly Slater, Noel Gallagher, Richard Branson and Gary Lineker would be my guests and I’d love to watch Kasabian or Oasis in their hey day.

  7. Most unusual performance space you have been to?

    Tehidy Wood has something very special about it. I can’t wait to return to see Rogue Theatre for another performance.

  8. Best live music venue in Cornwall

    Easily the best gig that I’ve been too in Cornwall was Oasis at Eden on my 30th birthday. It’s a great venue.

  9. Your favourite walk?

    I don’t put enough time to one side to walk, I seem to spend my life running everywhere. But my favourite walks have been with my daughter on Pentire Headland in the summer.

  10. Best place in Cornwall to get food?

    I think it’s impossible to beat the quality of the food and the buzz of the Fish House at Fistral. Summer evenings there are unbeatable.

  11. Name one, really different excursion

    That has to be our Night Coasteer. We leave the centre at dusk with wetsuits, helmets, buoyancy aids and fluro glowsticks attached to us. As it gets dark your senses become so acute and swimming in the sea is an amazing experience. Even a tiny jump in to a plunge pool feels as though you are leaping off the side of a building. The caves are pitch black and super eerie. It’s an amazing, completely unique experience.

  12. What’s your 2nd best kept secret about Cornwall

    I still feel that the Newquay coastline holds the most amazing secrets. You think that you are getting to know it and then you’ll see something else that is totally amazing. We teamed up with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust for one of our Eco Coasteers and that day alone found 20 new creatures that we’d never come across. It’s an incredible world in and around the tidal zone of Towan beach and the Gazzle.

  13. If not Cornwall, where?

    I love the lifestyle and climate of San Diego, California. But the best waves in the world are in Indonesia. So a combination of both would be perfect.



Creative Kernow, based at Krowji, is the umbrella organisation for the following nine projects. Together we support the production, promotion and distribution of work by creative practitioners in Cornwall because we believe in creativity's transformative power and want more people to benefit from it.
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