Cornwall: Surfing for Beginners

As the weather begins to heat up and Britons flock to the great outdoors in their thousands, there is no better time – or excuse – to get outside and discover a new sport or hobby. The benefits of finding a new sport to enjoy can make a huge difference to your life.

Getting involved in outdoor activities can have a positive impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as being a great way to make new friends and get away from the generational social media addiction.

Surfing is a great new hobby to uptake: it will improve your health, relationships, your overall stress and happiness levels and is a great escape from day to day life. If you are interested in taking up surfing as a hobby, and you’re not sure where to start – look no further.

What Will I Need?

The first time you try surfing it is always best to hire both a board and a suit – they are often a big investment and if it turns out that you really can’t enjoy surfing, or you are turned off by not being able to pick up the sport immediately, you can find that you lose a lot of money – even if you choose to sell your accessories.

Once you have tried it a couple of times and you’re sure you’re committed to the sport, buying your own board and suit is a necessity. When buying a board you will need to consider whether you’ll be surfing all year round, or only in the summer and buy a suit accordingly. It is important to choose a wetsuit that fits you perfectly, otherwise they won’t work – so use a guide to help you when choosing your suit.

Try out a couple of boards before you decide to purchase one. There are many advantages to different boards in different environments, so make sure you are happy and the board will be the best for where you usually surf before you make a final purchase.

Where can Beginners Surf?

When choosing where to surf it is of paramount importance that you only enter the water where it’s safe for your ability. If you have only tackled the waves a couple of times, you CANNOT head to where the professionals practice and expect to have no problems. As a beginner you need to start small and work your way up the bigger waves and more unpredictable beaches.


Polzeath is a favourite for beginners all over the country. It is often avoided by seasoned surfers, however bigger swells attract surfers of all abilities on good days. If you’re looking or somewhere smaller, with likeminded beginners – Polzeath is the place.


Godrevy, like Polzeath, is a favourite amongst beginners – although considered to be a “level up”. It is the perfect place to transition from those beginning waves, to tackling the bigger and more ferocious beaches.

It is an idea as a beginner to avoid beaches such as Portreath, Porthleven and Constantine – although perfect surfing beaches, the reef wave breaks and strong rips make it a place for professionals only.