Surfers Guide West Cornwall – Gwithian to Porthcurno
In light winds Gwithian has a large following as a surfing beach creating some ideal surf when almost any swell is in the Atlantic. Gwithian can hold larger surf than most of the surrounding areas although this is not for the faint hearted during winter months. Hazards: rips when over 4ft.
is only surfable when huge swells are running. The small rocky point in the middle of the beach can produce a good wave on its day, although generally the large headland to the west protects this beach making it a busy tourist location during summer months.
St. Ives’ main surf spot, north facing and picking up a good swell. If the wind has any south in it, it will be offshore here and will throw off good punch left and right all through the tide. A popular tourist beach and the location for the Tate Gallery, St Ives. This is a good place for beginners. Hazards: rip when over 4ft.
One of the most exposed beaches in the country, which will pick up any swell moving across the North Atlantic. The beach is split into two, Gwenver and Sennen. Gwenver, at the northern end, is best reached by walking round from Sennen along the cliff path although there is a small car park along the small lane leading past Escalls Farm from the A30. The beach works best from low to mid tide and strong rips make it unsuitable for beginners. Sennen is similar to Gwenver, working up to 6ft from low to mid tide although there is often a fast peaky wave at high tide. The rips are strong and beginners should check with the Lifeguards if the surf is very big. On huge days, check out the waves breaking on the Cowloe reef, off the lifeboat jetty, from the top of the cliffs south of the town. Hazards: rips when over 3ft.
Small south-east facing cove, one of the few spots where north-westerlies blow offshore. Works on a south-westerly (or big westerly swell, only on very low (spring) tides. Not suitable for beginners. Hazards: rips when over 3ft.