Surfing in Cornwall

Surfing in Cornwall

Where can you surf in Cornwall?

Due to its fantastic location along the Atlantic Ocean, Cornwall has some of the best surfing beaches in the UK. However that’s not to say that every beach is suitable for surfing. Far from it, there are many beaches that are dangerous or just don’t have the right types of waves for beginners, intermediate or expert surfers.

Cornwall’s mild climate, great beaches, and large waves have made it the UK’s surf capital. The Fistral Boardmasters surf competition has taken place in the region for many years and has attracted some of the best surfers, the UK and the rest of the world have to offer.

With such a vast number of beaches around the coast of Cornwall, it’s often difficult to know where to go. Below you’ll find a list of some of the best beaches to help you pick.

5 great surf spots in Cornwall

Fistral, Newquay

Why is Fistral good for surfing? Fistral provides some of the most consistent quality waves on the North Coast of Cornwall. Along with consistency, the waves at Fistral also get bigger at times providing some of the best Big Waves in Cornwall. Not only is it the most famous surfing beach in the UK, but it is also one of the best. Check out our Newquay Fistral Beach webcams to see surf conditions before you travel.


Perranporth is fairly good for surfing and especially during the summer months. Although Perranporth can become quite busy, the beach is so large you can often find a decent spot. However during winter months the quality of the waves are less appealing mainly because the area is exposed to the strong winds and large swells.


Porthleven is good for surfing but it’s not a place for beginners or the fainthearted. Waves are fast and the swells are good on Cornwall’s best reef break, making it really popular with more experienced surfers. Surfing at Porthleven can be dangerous at high or low tide so make sure you’re up to the task.


Godrevy beach is very popular with all levels of surfer and provides decent waves through most tides. The beach is very exposed to the elements and as such, it can provide some fantastic swells. However on the other hand if the wind is in the wrong direction the waves can be choppy.


Sennen beach is quite exposed to the elements due to its position on the far west coast of Cornwall. As such, surfing can be very good depending upon the conditions. The beach break offers reliable surf with breaks both to the left and to the right. With good winds and conditions there is nowhere better to surf in west Cornwall.

Best beaches in Cornwall for beginners

There is a huge variety of beaches in Cornwall that are suitable for beginners. The main thing to consider is safety and how you are going to learn. The best way to learn is to have lessons and there are lots of great surf schools in the region. Popular beginner beaches include Polzeath, Fistral, Gwithian, Watergate Bay and Widemouth Bay.

Can you teach yourself to surf?

The simple answer is no. Although it is possible to teach yourself to many things, the best way to learn to surf is by having lessons. Reading and watching videos always makes things look much easier than they are. The reality is that you’ll spend the first few times when you start learning in the water, falling over whilst trying to stay upright.

Without proper lessons, you’ll simply become disheartened and end up quitting. There are many surf schools throughout Cornwall to choose from so before you get started book a few lessons.