THE 10 BEST BEACHES TO SURF IN CORNWALL
With so many beaches to choose from, how do you know which are the best spots you should be hitting…
Cornwall is the UK’s surf capital with nearly 200 stunning beaches to choose from. With consistent waves swelling in from the Atlantic, a milder climate than the rest of the country and a lifestyle to match, it’s easy to see why thousands of people head to Cornwall to pick up a board.
But with so many beaches to choose from, how do you know which are the best spots you should be hitting? We’ve put together a list of our favourite places to surf right around the county. So, whether you’re a beginner or someone looking for a bit more adventure, you’ll be able to find it in Cornwall!
FISTRAL BEACH, NEWQUAY
Fistral Beach is a particular favourite of ours at Cornish Wave and one we go to a lot. With a long stretch of sand and consistent waves, it’s great for all levels of ability. For many, it’s not just the best beach to surf in Cornwall but the best in the UK – so you can expect it to be fairly busy.
In the winter months, the Atlantic swells can get pretty big. Check out the Cribbar for one of the best big wave spots in the country.
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Polzeath is a great beach for beginner surfers who are looking for calmer waters to learn the basics. It’s a very wide beach with plenty of protective coves to let smaller waves through. It’s right at the mouth of the River Camel and the surrounding towns and restaurants can make it quite a crowded beach in the summer. It’s still worth heading to – especially if you’re wanting to learn in a beautiful area!
Gwithian is a long and popular beach about 20 minutes from St Ives. Unlike some others on this list, the length of this surfing beach means it’s pretty uncrowded, even in the summer months. You need to make sure you check the wind and weather conditions before heading to Gwithian as it’s quite exposed and the water can easily turn choppy.
PRAA SANDS BEACH, HELSTON
And now for a beach on the south of the peninsula – and probably the best-known one. This beach is more for advanced surfers who are looking to catch some hollow, pretty heavy rights. Because of its location, this Cornish surf beach gets crowded when there’s a northern wind or a swell from the south, so be prepared to share the waves with a few others!
Sennen beach is an iconically beautiful Cornish beach with green fields running into white sand and brilliantly clear water. It’s also a great surf spot for all levels. Sennen is close to Land’s End and therefore pretty exposed to weather and the various swells coming up from the Atlantic. The north of the beach tends to see higher and stronger waves, whereas to the south the waves can be knee-high and ideal for learning. When other surfing beaches in Cornwall are flat and calm, you can expect some waves at Sennen.
WATERGATE BAY, NEWQUAY
This is another favourite of ours and one we take surf classes to regularly. Just a couple of miles from Newquay, this beach offers different-sized waves for all levels. In summer, it tends to be slightly calmer but in winter the waves get pretty powerful and heavy and the conditions are ideal for advanced surfers. You can check out our favourite Newquay surf beaches here.
MILLOOK HAVEN BEACH, BUDE
This beach is becoming ever more popular amongst local Cornish surfers looking to avoid the crowds at the sandier beaches along the coast. This pebble and shingle beach is ideally located for westerly winds, which means fun and challenging conditions for experienced surfers. One of the best things about this beach is the stunning cliff backdrop. It’s a paradise for wildlife and surfers alike!
And there it is. Ten of the best beaches to surf in Cornwall. A mixture of landscape, waves and locations – there’s something for every surfer. If you want to give Fistral or Watergate a go, get in touch with us to book a private or group surf lesson. We’ll be happy to show you the best bits these beaches have to offer!