Surfing Lynmouth in North Devon

surfing lynmouth

Lynmouth and Lynton are picturesque villages nestled on the outskirts of Exmoor in North Devon.

The coastline in this area is stunning and hides some real gems for local and travelling surfers.

When waves across the main beaches reach 6-8ft plus this idyllic village harbours a local gem well known for providing leg-burning rides.

surfing lynmouth

Can you surf at Lynton and Lynmouth?

Yes, Lynmouth is home to one of the UK’s premier point breaks, attracting surfers from all over the southwest when the conditions align.

Lynmouth is surfable through all tide ranges but wave size does decrease with the dropping tide. Offshore winds are anywhere from south to east and the optimal swell direction is from the west or northwest. Swell needs to be considerably bigger here than when surfing Croyde or any of the other west-facing surf spots.

The break offers long walling left-handers that roll down the point with varying speed and power. Surfing here offers a giant playing field with waves breaking up and down the length of the point with the exception of the river mouth.

Due to its sheltered position, Lynmouth is a great option when powerful south-westerly winds make most main beaches unsurfable. The large cliffs surrounding the break here offer up some well-needed shelter for surfers on the hunt for clean to cleanish waves.

Surf spots at Lynmouth

The large pebbles that stretch the length of Lynmouth’s shore offer a nice variety of waves that change with the tide. Each wave has its characteristics; you can even plan your surf around scoring your favourite wave.

One thing that stays consistent across all of Lynmouth’s waves is a rip of varying ferocity. Sometimes it’s just a gentle pull, sometimes you spend your whole session paddling just to stay in position.

Main Point

The main point at Lynmouth is without a doubt the best wave when it’s on. Located on the right side of the river that splits Lynmouth it is normally the busiest wave, populated with a mixture of shortboarders, longboarders, stand-up paddleboarders and kayaks it can be a struggle to catch waves amongst the crowded lineup.

Waves here can vary with conditions but on a good day, this point can offer great sections all the way down the length of the wave and the opportunity to perform multiple manoeuvres. Only lefts here, if you’re looking for a right-hander then check out some of the waves further down the guide.

The main point will break from low tide all the way through to mid and occasionally high on very large swells.

Surfing well here requires the ability to maintain speed through your turns, quick off the tops and floaters will help you stay ahead of the often fast-breaking white water. Taking off deep inside the point can often offer up little barrels but watch out for larger sets that break wide and leave you paddling wide just to escape the incoming walls.

Top Point

Located on the left side of the river as you look out from the shoreline, this slightly less predictable break sucks up the most swell out of all the waves on this list. You can surf the top point from low up to mid-tide.

The waves here are the most exposed to the wind so they can be quite ruffled in the predominant southwesterly winds. Try to keep a high line and really pick the spots for your turns because the waves here break fast and you can quickly get left behind with a slightly bogged rail.

Because the waves at the top of the point don’t benefit from the same perfect curve of the shoreline that Main Point does have the habit of closing out and you can quickly find yourself in ankle-deep water in no time.

It’s normally easiest to paddle out at the far right of the point where you can normally rock hop off one of the boulders and avoid too many duck dives. Make sure not to duck dive too deep initially, there are areas where the rocks are more prominent that can ding your board if you’re not careful.

High tide A-frame

As the tide pushes up at Lynmouth swell starts to push over the banks at Top Point and begins to break on a wave tucked further into the shore.

The left here is the longer ride offering up a few good sections before ending in knee to ankle-deep water so watch those fins.

The right here runs into deep water after one maybe two sections but is often the quieter of the two waves. Surfing the right here you can generally paddle back out with dry hair through the deep channel at the side of the wave.

Tips for surfing Lynmouth

Don’t be afraid to go for the walk around if you catch a few waves in a row and find yourself way down the point. Although the large cobblestones make for hard walking it’s often better than contending with the rip when you paddle back up the point.

If you don’t mind varying up your waves I recommend starting right at the top of the point at Lynmouth and working your way down the point. It’s normally much busier further down on the main point so getting a few warm-up waves at the top end is always nice.

Does Lynmouth have a beach?

While Lynmouth offers a pebbly beach at the end of the point it doesn’t have any sandy areas and isn’t a traditional tourist beach.

Where can you park in Lynmouth?

There’s a mixture of paid and 2 hours of on-street parking available all along the front at Lynmouth. If it’s busy you can find parking in a small car park on the other side of the bridge as you enter Lynmouth.

Is Ilfracombe good for surfing?

The coastline around Ilfracombe is very rocky and doesn’t offer any great opportunities for surfable waves. This is just my experience and there may be some waves to find here if you’re willing to spend the time looking.

Is surfing Lynmouth dangerous?

The main danger of surfing Lynmouth is the crowds. The busy lineup means you’ll be dodging all manner of surf craft. If you’re surfing down the line at the top point make sure to be careful of the wooden groins just beneath the surface of the water at the river mouth.

What’s the best kind of surfboard for surfing here?

The waves at Lynmouth break very fast, so opt for a board with good down-the-line speed. If riding a shortboard consider using a quad set-up to help you beat the sections.