When people start listing their favourite places to go surfing, some might be surprised to hear Cornwall listed. The truth is, Cornwall is one of the best places to go surfing, especially through the late autumn season. It seems that the ocean is the right temperature, the wind is from the right direction, and the waves are the right height this time of year to make Cornwall one of the premier places to surf in the entire world.
North and South Cornwall
The southern beaches of Cornwall are well known for their surf accessibility. In fact, Weymouth, Plymouth, Falmouth, and other prime locations attract a great number of holiday surfers. However, this often creates a problem for those looking for less crowded beaches. The tourist and surfing industries in these areas are thriving, and the surfer can always find lodging and restaurants. The businesses in these areas are also friendly to the surfing set, welcoming wet suits and sand in most areas.
However, more and more people are discovering the northern beaches of Cornwall surfing. Swansea, Barry, Bideford, Bude, and other locations along the coastline offer prime surf and services, as well. A great deal of this property is National Trust land, so it has not been as developed, and the surfer can have a more pristine experience.
Surfing Conditions in Cornwall
On the northern side of Cornwall, surfing is possible even in stormy winter weather. The reefs in this part of the continent face the west. This means that when winter weather strikes the southern coast, the swells on the northern coast are perfect for surfers. Coves that face the north suddenly become the prime location for surfing, and those storms that swamp the southwest corner of the coast become perfect swells in the coves. Talk to some of the locals to find out where the seasonal swells are the best, because you will find both summer and winter surfing here.
In addition, the beaches of northern Cornwall are well maintained. Not only are the beaches pristine, the topography is as dramatic as the area’s heritage. Cliffs, caves, and dramatic scenery make this one of the most picturesque locations for anyone on holiday.
The waves all along the Northern Cornwall are fairly uniform in height, ranging from 3 feet to 5 feet. At Mawgan Porth and Watergate Bay, you will be more likely to find the 3 foot waves. These swells may be little, but they last a whopping 12 seconds.
At Constantine, Harlyn,Treyarnon, Tebarwith strand, and Polzeath you will find 4.5 foot waves, while the beaches at Crooklets, Widemouth Bay, Sandymouth, Summerleaze, and Crackington Haven sport typically 5 foot waves. Each of these will last for about 7 seconds, providing a pretty good rush for even the experienced surfer.
Surf Schools in Cornwall
There are quite a few high quality Bude Surfing Schools. Freewave Surf Academy, TJ’s Surf Shop, Escape Surfboards, Harlyn Surf School, and Seed Surf Co all provide gear and board rentals, and lessons from beginner to advanced.