Surfing in Exmouth

surfing in exmouth

Exmouth is located in south Devon just across the estuary from Dawlish Warren. Surfing in Exmouth requires patience and commitment, waves are rare and the wide-ranging outer banks only leave small windows to surf some of the spots here.

A quickly growing town, Exmouth has a good number of local surfers waiting for the next swell to hit.

Best surfed in large south-westerly and westerly groundswells and northerly winds you can end up waiting a while for conditions to align to surf in Exmouth.

You can find waves for short boarders and longboarders along this stretch of coast with the occasional classic days when the surf forecast comes together.

surfing in exmouth

Surf spots in Exmouth

Distinctive red water infused with sandstone from the cliffs marks the shoreline here.

Providing two quality beaches that work at different stages of tide you can surf Exmouth all the way through the tidal range if you don’t mind a drive in between surf spots.

Orcombe Point

Orcombe Point or Orcombe Beach lies on the far eastern side of the town’s beaches.

Notoriously fickle and busy when it gets good, this can be a frustrating surf spot but when it’s on it can deliver quality beach break waves with the occasional barrel.

Waves can be found between most of the groynes that separate the long beach.

Orcombe suffers from large outer banks that can sap a lot of power out of the waves.

You can only surf from mid to high when the outer banks are covered by enough water to let the swell roll over them without breaking.

As soon as the swell makes it into the inner banks quick wedging waves will start to form breaking close to the shore in shallow water.

Sand builds up against the long wooden planks that make up the groynes providing great banks for any swell that arrives and favouring predominant left-handers breaking from left to right down the stretch of beach.

Best surfed on a shortboard or bodyboard to fully take advantage of the steep waves breaking in shallow water.

Sandy Bay

Sandy Bay produces good waves from low tide all the way up to 2 hours before high when the waves can start to backwash and stop breaking properly.

Surfing here requires a long walk from the top of the caravan park.

You’ll need to find a space on the road leading up to the park and walk down through the caravan park to reach the wave, just follow the signage when you enter.

When you reach the top of the bay you’ll be met with peaks all up and down the beach.

The best quality waves are normally found on the left-hand side of the bay as you look out to sea.

The cliffs here can provide some shelter and there are patches of reef that can create fun a-frame peaks in the right conditions.

The waves here can provide some quality sections and long rides but you’ll need to perfect sticking to the source of power on the wave.

Flat spots can catch you off guard and be ready to cut back to the white water can really extend your surfing time.

Further down the beach, you’ll find lefts and rights with varying degrees of quality, if the main peak is busy you can normally find a wave to yourself further down the beach.

Sandy Bay is suitable for all ranges of surfing crafts including shortboards, longboards, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks.

Surf spots around Exmouth

You can find lots of other waves around Exmouth depending on the wind and swell size.

If it’s wild and messy consider surfing Teignmouth, it’s much more sheltered from south-westerly gales and can even be offshore if the wind goes completely west.

Head down the coast to the east and you can try surfing Sidmouth which can provide a bit more shelter because of a large rock island that acts as a barrier to the wind.

What’s the best time of year to surf in Exmouth?

Much like the rest of this coast, there aren’t many waves during the summer but you can get good runs of swell between October and February if you don’t mind throwing on your wetsuit.

Does Exmouth have a surf shop?

Yes, Exmouth has two shops selling surf equipment and clothing. Edge Watersports and Second Wave are both located on the side shore just before you reach Orcombe point.

Where can you park to surf in Exmouth?

Free parking is a thing of the past in Exmouth and you’ll likely need to park in one of the council-run car parks for the duration of your surf session.

Can you surf in Exmouth?

Yes, Exmouth can provide surfable waves all year round but it is very inconsistent and will normally receive surfable waves only between October and February.