Whether you’re new to the sport or consider yourself a wave warrior, arguably Cornwall’s best surfing beaches are found in Newquay. A hotspot famed for its surfing credentials, whether you’re looking for surf shops in Newquay, surf schools or surf lessons you’re spoilt for choice here. There are no less than 11 Newquay beaches, which makes up an impressive seven miles to explore.
However, some beaches are more suited to learning surfing than others, whether they’re privately-owned with exclusive surf schools offering beginners more freedom, benefit from consistent conditions, or are a little less crowded. Here are our five favourite beaches for learning to surf in Newquay.
Escape Surf School, Newquay
Towan Beach – often called ‘Town Beach’ due to its location – is very central. Because the beach faces north west, its primed to pick up swell but is also sheltered from the hard-hitting westerly or south westerly winds, which means the waves are usually clean making them great for those learning to surf.
There are plenty of surf schools operating from Towan Beach, including Escape Surf School, Newquay Activity Centre, and SSS Surf School. It’s also one of Newquay’s dog-friendly beaches all year round.
Another of Newquay’s central beaches is Great Western. While it’s a privately-managed beach it’s open to all, but because this isn’t a public beach, it means there’s only one surf school that operates here. Generally speaking, it’s a quieter beach, and with fewer surf schools there are typically fewer boards in the water which is good for those learning the ropes.
Recommended for those new to the surfing scene, it was in fact Great Western Beach that first put Newquay on the map for its surfing credentials.
Conveniently, NQY Surf School surf centre, complete with changing room and lockers, is located a few steps away from the sand, with first class tuition and plenty of equipment to hire. Great Western also allows dogs on the beach all year round.
Probably Newquay’s best-known beach, Fistral Beach is known for its wild waves which isn’t necessarily the best for those new to the surf scene. Providing consistent waves throughout the year, thanks to Fistral’s west facing position, exposing it those famous large Atlantic swells, it’s a popular for those want to surf in Newquay. However, most of the advanced surfers head for the northern end of the beach, leaving plenty of room for novices at the middle and southern end of the beach.
Fistral Beach is also dog-friendly all year round, and is also home to many surfing competitions such as the high profile Boardmasters. There’s only one surf school on the beach, Fistral Beach surf school, but there are a few others that operate from here.
Ticket to Ride, Newquay ©Ruaridh Kidd
Just north of Newquay, Watergate Bay is another famous beach. The surfing potential is obvious, with the enormous waves and Atlantic swell. It’s a centre stop on the UK Pro Surf Tour, hosting the English National Surfing Championships with Surfing England every year. And while it may be a popular surf spot for advanced surfers, many surf schools choose to operate here because of its consistent waves.
Lusty Glaze ©Ian Woolcock Shutterstock
Another privately-owned beach in Newquay is Lusty Glaze, which has full public access. Much like Great Western Beach, there’s only one surf school that operates from here providing space and freedom for novice surfers. The beach itself is smaller and less known than its Newquay neighbours. To access Lusty Glaze you’ll need to go down (and back up!) some pretty steep steps, which isn’t ideal for lugging surf boards. So we’d recommend hiring equipment from Lusty Glaze Adventure Centre, who also offer surf lessons alongside other water-based activities.
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