Global Programs
May 2017 Field ​Study
Student Blogs

Jersey (Channel Islands) map and flag

Facilitating Trade

Student Bloggers:
Caitlyn Ashley, John Cox, Arild Doerge, Mengyuan Fang, Jordan Jensen, Enrica Martey, Sara Murdock, Kaitlyn Pound, Elizabeth Spencer-Berthiaume and Steven Traeger
Jersey students

​Surfing and the Jersey Beaches

After our morning and early afternoon sessions, which included a meeting with Tom Cowsill, the head of Jersey Finance’s Technical Function, and Geoff Cook, the chief executive of Jersey Finance, our class was free to explore the island of Jersey.

A group of our classmates accompanied Professor Magnuson to St. Ouen’s Bay to try our hand at learning how to surf. Not expecting the beaches to be too much more than some rocks and hardened sand, we were all surprised at how scenic they actually were.

St. Ouen’s Bay is located on the ​western side of the island, about a 30-minute bus ride from the town center in St. Helier. Upon arrival at the beach, we met with the instructors of Jersey’s Quiksilver Surf School. Professor Magnuson had already met with our instructors a couple times on the trip, so he knew they would be extremely welcoming of the opportunity to teach our group.

Our main instructor, Jack, was a native of the island and had been surfing here since he was 13. He had just returned from a surf trip to Sri Lanka, and had surfed many places across the world including the west coast of the United States and Brazil.

The instructors, who were more used to teaching children rather than a group of inexperienced adults, were both extremely patient and helpful as they guided us through the water.

After getting into our wetsuits and a 30-minute debriefing on proper technique, our instructor took the four of us who were willing to try it out into the waves. The water was about 55 degrees Fahrenheit but was not unbearable, at least after the initial shock. After an hour and a half in the water, many failed attempts, and a couple bruises along the way, we were able to say we had successfully completed our first lesson. ​We were pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t as cold as we thought it may be, despite the fact that our feet may have been a little numb.

I think overall we were especially impressed by Professor Magnuson, who humbly stated that he had tried to surf “once or twice before”, as he deftly maneuvered through the water and more resembled a surf instructor than our law professor.

The surfing lesson ended up being a great experience as none of us had ever tried to surf in our lives before, and as we were all able to successfully complete at least one ride, we can now say we got our start in the waves of the English Channel.

Again having some more free time after our return from Guernsey, five of us ventured out to St. Brelade’s Bay, another scenic beach located on the ​southwest side of the island. St. Brelade’s is the most popular of the beaches on the island.

Once more, we were shocked that this beach resembled nothing of the rocky coast and choppy water that appeared in many of the pictures that we had Googled before the trip.

It ended up being one of the most relaxing days of the trip as the group that went just hung out on the shore for the few hours of downtime before we returned to our hotel.

Overall, we all thought the shores of the island of Jersey resembled the tropical Caribbean more than an island located in the commonly perceived cold and rainy atmosphere of the Channel Islands.

image link to trip advisor St Brelades Bay pageSt. Brelade's Bay Hotel (photo courtesy of TripAdvisor)
Jersey 3 12 surf 2895​Getting ready to brave the waters of St. Ouen's Bay
Jersey surf coaches​We had excellent instructors!
Jersey3 14 surf 2934​Everyone had a great time surfing
Jersey shore​The scenic Jersey shore
Jersey May 17A view of the stereotypical rocky coast of Jersey