Phil Nelson

MD and Owner of SurfLines (set up in 2000)


  • Originally from Oxfordshire (about as far as you can get from the mountains and sea!)
  • Left school at 17 and got an apprenticeship (YTS) at one of Oxfordshire’s LEA Outdoor Centres in Mid Wales (Woodlands OEC)
  • Then worked at various centres in various countries before coming to Bangor as an Independent student in 1991.  Been based here ever since.
  • Proud father of two boys, Huw (3) and Noa (14 weeks)
  • Complete the Anglesey Ring o Fire Ultra Marathon in 2013 on very little training and having never even run a marathon distance!  Sailed across the Atlantic twice.  Love ski mountaineering, wild swimming, Stand up Paddle boarding.
  • The learning that I gained on my undergraduate has definitely shaped my attitude towards business and life in general.
  • Graduated from SHES 1994 BA Hons 2:1
  • Graduated for Bangor Business School with Executive MBA in 2012. 
  • As Surf-Lines director, Phil has been in the outdoor industry all his working life – including outdoor education centres, national training establishments and private businesses. With most of those years spent here in Snowdonia, his experience and ability to organise a programme of high-quality adventure courses is unrivalled.
  • Collaboration with SHES:
  • As part of a KESS (Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship) funded PhD – Alex MacGregor and supervisors Tim Woodman, Lew Hardy
  • Also Sponsored Trys Burke on an ATM – Now full-time, and currently sponsoring a further ATM (with SHES) and an KESS Master student (Pontio).
  • Have also had a total of 10 graduates/undergrads on work placements on the GoWales programme, many of which led to full-time employment (two still with me).
  • Currently working as a consultant for the new world first SurfSnowdonia project in Dolgarrog, Conwy Valley.