Surfing in West Cornwall: Our Top Picks for the Best Waves and Beers
We talk a lot about the ocean here in West Cornwall, and also about heading out to catch a few waves. We thought it might be useful to share our favorite spots to surf, and also talk about beer, pubs, and general cold beverage loveliness. Let's start close to home.
Just outside of view from our Brewhouse Café and a stone's throw from our micro taproom on Fore street in St Ives is Porthmeor beach. We can't count how many great surf sessions we've had at Porthmeor. It's a bit fickle and doesn't always have good waves, but when it does, they can be some of the best in the UK. Fast, hollow, and home to some of the finest surfers in the country. If you want a lesson, the team at St Ives Surf School on the beach is top-notch. Follow up with a beer in the West or Porthmeor Café.
2. Godrevy Beach
Across the bay and round the corner from our HQ in Hayle is Godrevy. The other end of St Ives bay, with it’s iconic lighthouse and sweeping sands, provides a perfect set up for waves. Long range swell funnels into the bay and provides waves suitable for all abilities. Ample opportunity and space for all who paddle out makes this a good spot to learn too, using one of many surf schools. After a few waves you can sit in the dunes with a can of Porth Pilsner or venture into The Rockpool Café or The Red River Inn.
Heading further West you get close to Lands End and the incredible beaches of Sennen and neighboring Gwynver. One of the most exposed beaches in Cornwall acts as a magnet for pretty much any swell. Great surf schools, cafes and bars make this a must for anyone looking for surf in Cornwall. We really love taking on the mammoth descent and ascent to Gwynver, it’s home to some of the best wave sin Cornwall when it’s on and you really earn a can of Slipway heading back up.
4. Praa Sands
If you are out West and looking for surf in Cornwall then you have to try Praa Sands. This beach can get busy when there are good waves, but with good reason. Offering up some fast, hollow and at times powerful waves that aren’t for the feint of heart. There’s a café or two looking out over one end so you can enjoy a post surf pint too. Or take a beach BBQ with you and enjoy a can or two of Alba or Hella on the sand.
Up the road is the little village of Porthtowan. Another one of those West facing beaches that can turn relatively small swell into fun and rideable surf. It’s a favourite spot for many in the summer and provides excellent surf, with hire, lessons, and waves for all abilities. Be sure to check out the Blue Bar after a wave or two.
Ok, so we don’t surf Fistral all that much, it’s mainly because we are lucky enough to have all of the above in a pretty tight radius from our brewery home in Hayle. If you are surfing in Cornwall then it makes sense to take the pilgrimage to UK surfing’s mecca at Fistral. The home and birthplace (allegedly) of surfing in the UK has everything a newbie or seasoned surfer might need!
Final point. If you’re new to surfing or going on your own then make sure you tell people where you are going and if possible, when they are there, surf at lifeguarded beaches.
As ever, ask away if you have a question.