Surfing in Cornwall
North Cornwall has fantastic surf. All of the beaches at which we let our houses provide good surf in varying conditions – surf for experts, beginners and children alike.
There are plenty of surf sites available to tell you about the weather, the surf conditions and the breaks. If you surf regularly, you probably use them already ( if not we have included our favourites at the bottom of this page). So here we will just provide a few pointers, probably for those who don’t know the area or just surf for fun a week or two a year.
Whether you surf with an old wooden board, a body board or stand up on a Malibu board – whether 6 or 60 years old – there is so much fun to be had.
Look further down for information on surf shops, weather and surf reports, and local surf schools.
- PORTHCOTHAN – a long walk down at low tide provides the best conditions here. Can be a bit less powerful than some of the other major breaks (thank goodness!). Lifeguards are here in the summer, although there is no board or wetsuit rental.
- TREYARNON – only really works at mid-high tide for regular surfers, although the experts catch a reef break at low tide in occasional conditions. Strong rip on the south side of the beach, but generally Treyarnon is a little more protected than its neighbour Constantine. If it’s too big but holding up in a bit of an offshore wind at Constantine, perhaps try Treyarnon. Some rental in the car park – but mainly head up to see Des at Constantine Bay Surf Store.
- CONSTANTINE – picks up all the waves there are and has plenty of different breaks. Can get busy and can be difficult with strong rips. At high tide the waves almost break onto the beach. Hire your gear at Constantine Bay Stores. A South-East wind works best.
- BOOBY’S – difficult to get to and covered at high tide, Booby’s can be missed. Very good beach break is available here, although it is often red flagged. Along with Constantine, it can be rippy and dangerous.
- HARLYN – ‘THE’ protected beach in the area. For many surfers the decision may be Harlyn or any of the others. It is offshore in the regular south-westerlies and is protected by Trevose Head. Often for many lesser surfers, and occasionally for the pro’s, Harlyn is the place. Guards are on duty in summer, and it is generally the ‘safer’ beach in the area. Boards and suits can be hired on the beach.
- TREVONE – although not as protected as Harlyn and affected by winds like all the beaches except Harlyn, Trevone is a nice place to learn. There are strong rips at the North side of the beach. But often Trevone seems to hold a nice sized wave and maintain a clean wave face when Harlyn is flat, and the rest of the local beaches ripped apart with wind. For intermediates, Trevone may be ideal. Do watch out for the swimmers – it can get quite tight and busy!
WHERE TO RENT OR BUY
There are a number of options in the area:
Constantine Bay Surf Shop – plenty of options for rentals as well as a good range of all you would want. Get there early at peak times!
The Pit – if you are travelling via St Merryn, this is a good option for rentals and purchases
Trevone Beach Stores at the top of Trevone beach offers a variety of surf hire options
Or you can rent at the top of Harlyn Bay at The Harlyn Bay surf school and across the road in The Harlyn Inn; and at Treyarnon you can rent some equipment in the beach car park.
There are a good range of options for surf lessons. Look around and see what works for you, in terms of group size, surfing level, timing and cost. Lessons are great fun and aren’t only for those who want to get serious – its just fun to learn the basics and have a leap forward in confidence and ability.
Lessons will be carried out wherever is best for the day’s conditions and the skill level of the group. Harlyn is often perfect for those learning.
Here are some options:
- Constantine Bay Surf School
- Harlyn Bay Surf School
- Waves Surf School
- MFD Surf School – call Marcio on 07972 585566 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
WEATHER AND SURF REPORTS
The weather can be pretty important.
Generally wind is bad, and low pressure out in the Atlantic is good. If there is wind (and there normally is round here!), offshore winds will prop the waves up, allowing them to peel. This allows a surfer to catch a wave early and go along the face of the wave. Standing or lying down. This is what surfing is all about!
Onshore winds will tend to cause waves to fall over and lose shape. Rolling white water and choppy conditions are symptomatic.
Here are the best ways to stay ahead of the game: