Something that has for many years been associated with the warmer seas of Australia, the Californian coast of the USA and South Africa, surfing popularity has rocketed in the UK over the last decade or so and now even hosts some of the worlds professional surfing competitions attracting big names like Kelly Slater and female number one star, according to the World Surf League, Sage Erikson.
Surfing in the UK is thought to have begun on the beaches of Jersey in the Channel Islands and the beaches of Southwest England in the county of Cornwall. Its increasing popularity however has seen a massive expansion in the number of beaches surfers are seeking out including Abersoch on the Llyn Peninsula, Saltburn in the Northeast and Lossiemouth Beach in Scotland. However, if those locations might be a bit on the cold side for you, why not head to Cornwall and take advantage of the warmer currents at some of these classic surf spots.
Perhaps the classic and first place most surfers head to is Fistral Beach situated in Newquay. With what is known in surfing as a left handed break – when a wave breaks from left to right as you are looking at it from the beach – Fistral can have waves as high as eight feet. Possibly its most famous wave is the ‘Cribba’, that occurs during higher than normal swells. The only downside to Fistral is that it is usually the most crowded. It is a good spot however for beginners as there are a number of surf schools there to choose from.
A place where you are virtually guaranteed your own little piece of surf is Gwithian Beach located near the town of Hale. The beauty of this beach is that is very, very long and has a number of different breaks (wave type and size) so it is ideal for the more experienced surfer or beginner alike. It does get quite windy so attracts a lot of windsurfers, but they are considered a different breed amongst the surfing community and keep themselves to themselves.
For a quiet location and the last place to consider is Polzeath Beach. This little town located not far from Padstow has become known in recent years a one of the most relaxed surfing beaches. It has nice calm waves so is ideal for the beginner. Holiday accommodation in Polzeath is also easily available but get there soon as it is becoming increasingly popular.