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Learn to Surf in Newquay

Updated on August 7, 2013

Learn to Surf in Newquay

If you're in Newquay for a day, a weekend or a week then why not learn to surf in Newquay.  For stag parties and hen parties a half day learn to surf session can be the ideal activity to have a laugh and enjoy yourself in the water.

When you learn to surf in Newquay, you just need to bring yourself and a towel.  Everything else will be provided for you as part of the price you pay.  You'll get a wetsuit and board hire included.

Some surf schools in Newquay are based at the beaches, some are based in the town but teach on the beach - and some have a minibus and will take you out to what they consider to be the best beach in the area to surf on the day.  You can find one beach is ideal for surfing today, while the next one along's really rubbish, even impossible.

If you're learning to surf, then the waves need to be high enough for you to surf and get on the board, but not so messy it wrecks the experience.  There are all sorts of criteria that go into making up which beach is the best beach to surf today.  Wind direction, wind speed, swell, riptides, height of the waves, choppy or clean ... but you don't need to worry about any of this if you're beginning.  You'll still have a laugh and get to learn the ropes.

Learn to Surf in Newquay

Learn to Surf in Newquay.  Surfboards on Fistral.
Learn to Surf in Newquay. Surfboards on Fistral. | Source

There are literally dozens of surf schools that have sprung up in recent years, so how do you pick a good one? One good criteria to go by used to be whether they were a member of the British Surfing Association (BSA). Since 2011 the main organisation is now called Surfing GB instead, an organisation set up to improve and promote British Surfing and to provide a graded structure of qualifications.

Look at how many pupils the Surf School have per instructor. If there are too many you can get completely overlooked and feel you're being ignored.

You can even look at where they're based, how close is that to where you're staying, do you have to drive/park, or can you walk? If you have to drive/park, then where is the nearest car park and how much is it? Or maybe that's just over-planning.

You can just wander down to most main beaches in Newquay and there's most likely a board up saying surf lessons.

Expect surf lessons to last about 3 hours and expect to pay £25-£40 for a session. Some will charge more, I doubt you'll find them for much less (although I did see one fab offer that included 3 days' lessons and accommodation for just £59! So you can never tell what bargains are to be found).

Learn to Surf in Newquay.
Learn to Surf in Newquay. | Source

If you're going to learn to surf, then learning to surf with a surf school with qualified instrutors is a good place to start.

There are, however, many surf schools in Newquay. Some which have been around for a number of years include:

  • Reef Surf School
  • Escape Surf School.
  • Bluewings
  • Cornwall Surf Academy
  • Dolphin Surf School
  • Hibiscus Surf School Surf
  • Offshore Surf School
  • The Adventure Centre, Lusty Glaze
  • O'Neil Surf Academy

For a larger list, with contact numbers, check out this page: Surf Schools in Newquay

Learn to Surf: Surf Schools

show route and directions
A markerWatergate Bay -
Newquay, Cornwall TR8 4AA
get directions

B markerLusty Glaze Beach -
Newquay, Cornwall TR7 3AE
get directions

C markerGreat Western Beach -
Newquay, Cornwall TR7 2NE
get directions

D markerTowan Beach -
Newquay, Cornwall TR7 1DU
get directions

E markerFistral Beach -
Newquay, Cornwall TR7 1HY
get directions

F markerSouth Fistral Beach -
Newquay, Cornwall TR7 1QA
get directions

Which Surf School's Best For You?

You're going to have a great time whichever surf school you pick, but as you read through their websites and see what they offer, you'll realise that choosing the right one for you takes longer than 10 minutes!

There are all kinds of different offers and choices out there.  There are discounts for more than one lesson, there are inclusive short breaks of varying lengths, there are week-long surf schools and there's surf equipment hire.  A lot will let you do a half day lesson, then for just another £5 you can keep the wetsuit and board for the rest of the day.

The choice is overwhelming.

Ladies Only Surf Lessons

There is a ladies only surf school - where only ladies are taught and they're taught by women.

Other surf schools will offer ladies only sessions.

Hibiscus is a surf school set up just for women, by women.

Surf schools who offer ladies only sessions include: Fistral Beach Surf School, Dolphin Surf,

But if you're after women only surf lessons then check your shortlisted surf schools to see if they offer that, sometimes they've forgotten to mention it, or sometimes it's buried in their website.

Learn to Surf by Champions

A couple of the school coaches are either current, or past champions in surfing, or have coached significant surf teams in the past. If you want to only be taught by 'the best' then track these down. Certainly the Winter Brothers are both champions, but also check out Offshore - and of course the others.

Maybe when you started reading this you didn't realise you could learn to surf for a whole week, get taught by surf champions, get inclusive accommodation .... and for such affordable prices! Take your time and research surf schools to find the best one for you.

Monster Surf: The Cribbar Wave

One wave you might hear spoken about locally is the Cribbar - this has rarely been surfed as it only appears 1-2x a year, or once every couple of years, but with today's instant text-messaging communications surfers can put the shout out the minute somebody spots that the Cribbar's here. Also, with the Internet and weather charts, the Cribbar's arrival can be predicted a few days ahead.

This now means that whenever the Cribbar wave arrives in Newquay, word'll be out on the street and the real pros will be surfng it. If you're not one of the best surfers in the world/country, then attempting to ride the Cribbar could result in death, so it's not for anybody. Just the "bigger boys".

The Cribbar's been photographed and video'd a few times in recent years, thanks to digital cameras, camera phones and digital camcorders - there are now so many people who have these on them that they can capture the minute as it happens and have it online the same day!


Cowley_Mail: Surfboards on Fistral

Stan Shebs, Surfer


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    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      A helpful, well-organized guide! The table is very helpful, and you've put information together in a most usable manner. Should I ever be looking to take surfing lessons in Newquay, this hub will have me covered!