The Best Beginner Surf Spots in Cornwall
Every surfer can tell you when and where they learned to surf; that first feeling of gliding across water is just something you never forget. Whether you’re looking for a new family activity to try, or truly want to start a lifelong hobby, you’re bound to make memories when learning to surf in Cornwall. The Cornish coast offers a number of ideal surf spots for beginning surfers with gentle waves breaking over a sandy ocean floor – which is important for when you take those inevitable wipeouts.
It’s important to choose surf spots that suit your needs. Just because you hear local surfers chatting about killer waves at Chapel Porth, doesn’t mean you should jump into those fierce rip currents as an amateur. You simply don’t want to start surfing at extreme breaks, and you don’t want to get in the way of the seasoned surfers who frequent those spots. Start with these beginner surf spots, then work your way up to Cornwall’s more advanced breaks once you feel more confident.
Harlyn Bay is the perfect place to introduce yourself or your entire family to the surf scene. Harlyn is on the north coast – an area that is known for big, blown-out, choppy surf. Fortunately, this surf spot sits in a sheltered bay that stifles the wind and swell, resulting in ideal conditions for learning.
You’ll love that the Harlyn Surf School is right there in Harlyn Bay, offering surf lessons for every level of surfer. Take a family surf lesson or enroll your kids in the summer surf camp to help them advance their skills quickly. Once you’ve finished your lessons, rent some boards and wetsuits for the remainder of your trip and practice your new favorite sport.
If you’re in St. Ives on a sunny day, the aquamarine colour of the ocean will be enough to inspire you to grab a board and give surfing a try. Porthmeor Beach in St. Ives is a right and left beach break ideal for learning to surf most days of the year. Rent some boards at the St. Ives Surf School or take a two-hour beginner lesson from one of their expert instructors. The crowds at Porthmeor Beach are thinner than the more popular Cornwall surf spots, which leaves you more room to hone your skills without worrying about too many other surfers in the water.
Looking for that California surf vibe? You don’t have to go all the way to the West Coast of the United States to find it. Polzeath’s waves are often small and choppy, but you can’t help but get drawn into the surf culture with all the stoke in this town. The atmosphere is friendly, and there’s almost always a fun wave to surf, so if you show up and check it, you’ll probably end up getting your hair wet. Weekdays are the most ideal for learning to surf here because of the lighter crowds, and the sandy bottom is forgiving when you fall off the board.
If you want to learn to surf in the U.K then Cornwall is the place to be. All three of these beginner breaks offer surf schools with world-class instructors to help you really get a feel for the stoke. And if you just want to practice your skills on your own, these areas offer fun rights and lefts with mild currents most of the days of the year.
Matt is a keen surfer and is always seeking out new waves and challenges. He recommends getting a quality surfboard from Fellow surfboards, which will put you in good stead for hitting the waves.
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