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Cornwall Surfing: Where to learn to surf on your holiday

All holidays can be utilised for something different. Whether it is simply relaxing, sightseeing, or even using the time to learn a new skill. Cornwall is an ideal spot for all of these purposes, especially when it comes to learning how to surf.

There are indeed countless locations where one can learn to do so, with its many wonderful beaches, you are spoiled for choice. This is why we have put together the below list, picking out just some of the many great locations where you can learn to surf during your next Cornwall holiday.

St Ives Surf School

Based right in the heart of the town, St Ives Surf School is regarded as one of the very best places to learn how to surf with their dedicated instructors. Offering lessons to folks of all abilities, ranging from beginners all the way to advanced, everyone will be able to get involved.

St Ives Surf School is proud that they’re “highly regarded as one of the best places to learn to surf in Cornwall.

“At St Ives Surf School, not only do we run fantastic surf lessons, we also provide SUP, Coasteering and sea kayaking activities from our beautiful beach locations in the heart of St Ives. Our aim is to provide an unforgettable ocean experience in a fun, friendly and safe environment.”

With Porthmeor Beach providing a great setting for the lessons they offer – which also include group discounts – booking a session or two here during your next trip to a Cornwall holiday park is certainly something to consider.

And after your lesson, stopping by somewhere like Sunset Surf café and bar for a bite to eat would certainly cap off a brilliant day in the area.

Harlyn Surf School

With their origins dating back to 1994, Harlyn Surf School on the beach in St Merryn, now have a team of 15 instructors, gathering many awards along the way. Offering surf lessons for beginners and those that have already taken to the waves before, the aim at Harlyn is to break down proceedings to make things as simple as possible.

The ideal spot for families, couples, groups, and individuals, Harlyn Surf School even offer three and five lesson summer camps for children and teenagers. And with their dedicated ‘one hour fun’ session for 5-8 year olds, the whole family can go home having learnt a thing or two.

If you feel like you’ve got the surfing itch after your lessons, the nearby Constantine Bay Surf Store will certainly be able to help you out.

Escape Surf School

Located in Newquay, a verified hotspot for UK surfing, Escape Surf School has been teaching people to surf for over 11 years. Escape is one of very few schools that can boast a 35 year pro surfer as head coach, and has a passion for helping total novices learn the art of surfing.

Escape’s Nadine Ferry spoke to us about her experience having learned to surf in another country, and how learning in Newquay, and indeed at Escape, compares.

“To be honest with you, I truly believe Cornwall is the best place to learn to surf and Newquay’s Towan beach seems to be the most sheltered and consistent beach for beginners-intermediates in the summer and beginners-advanced in the winter.

“One of the reasons for this is that our continental shelf is long and quite far out to sea which makes the waves lose their energy closer to shore, this make for a softer and slower wave. I believe this as I have had my own experience coming from Australia and trying to learn to surf there, it is definitely easier and a more progressive way of learning.

“Regarding the local surfing community of Newquay and its beaches I believe it really embraces beginners who have a surf lesson, as the mentality of surfers here think, we all started somewhere.”

Escape Surf School is open 12 months of the year and seven days a week, offering everything from one day taster sessions to intensive courses over an entire week. Operating out of two different beaches, Fistral and Towan, Escape Surf School are able to continue teaching no matter the conditions.

And if you find yourself working up an appetite during your lessons, heading on over to Harbour Rest Café for an all-day breakfast or a selection of sandwiches and ice cream will surely hit the spot.

Adventure Bay

Based out of Whitsand Bay, Adventure Bay is a surf school where top quality instruction is available from a team of experienced surf coaches. Students will partake in a gentle warm up on the beach, and shown skills such as how to catch waves before then heading into the water itself.

Supervised by lifeguard trained instructors, Adventure Bay provides a safe and friendly atmosphere where beginner groups will be small enough so that each student can get the maximum benefit. The minimum age is seven years old and all equipment is complimentary.

The View restaurant on the cliffs of Whitsand Bay, provides a truly spectacular setting for a nice meal after a day of surfing with both lunchtime and evening courses being served.

Perranporth Surf School

Perranporth Surf School describe its ethos as being to “provide the highest quality surf lessons, in an informative and fun way, and at the best value possible.”

Perranporth Surf School is the area’s longest established school, and takes pride in teaching this exhilarating sport to those of all abilities by providing both fun and informative lessons. Ranging from the ages of seven years and older, Perranporth Surf School has a team of Surfing England qualified instructors to help develop your skills.

Set right on the beach at Perranporth, the school offers single introductory lessons for those just starting out, and for those in for a real commitment, full week surf courses are also available. And if the whole family fancies getting in on the action, discounted packages are available for groups of varying sizes.

Perranporth Surf School says “We realise that any surf school business can only be as good as the sum of its instructors. We pride ourselves on having a core team of coaches who share our passion, and who find great reward in seeing the first etchings of “stoke” on the faces of first-time surfers, or witnessing their students breaking through the plateaus and barriers in their surfing progression.”

If you come away with the surfing bug during your holiday of lessons, stopping by an establishment like Perranporth’s Bathsheba Surf shop will provide you with all the kit you need to continue your new hobby.

Gwithian Academy of Surfing

Gwithian Academy of Surfing is one of the longest running surf schools in Cornwall, and highly regarded in the area.

Surfing can be an incredibly fun activity and Gwithian Academy makes sure to keep their lessons as such while also taking surf tuition seriously, ensuring that each student finds them rewarding. Gwithian is one of only three locations in Britain that are an accredited surf school by the Academy of Surfing Instructors.

Gwithian Academy said that “our surf coaches span the range of surfing disciplines from complete beginner, where we teach you the basics of surfing, intermediate level, where we help fine-tune your surfing technique, up to advanced elite surfing level. We coached the British Junior Surfing Team many times. So a surf lesson with us can help you to achieve all your surfing goals.”

Located on the beachside location of Gwithian, the northern point of St Ives Bay, close to the towns of Hayle, St Ives, and Penzance, the school comes equipped with all the facilities one could require, including a classroom, surf shop, and carpark.

The Rockpool bar in nearby Hayle is a fantastic spot for top food, good music, and a sandy back garden to relax in after a fun but hard days surfing tuition.

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