Surfing At Mawgan Porth

surf at mawgan porth

Mawgan Porth, fondly referred to as Mawgies by the locals lies to the north of Newquay, approximately 4 miles up the coast. Despite its close proximity to the UK’s surfing hub, it feels very secluded and rugged with large cliffs reaching up either side of the beach.

Often used as an escape from the bustling crowds down the road Mawgan Porth is slowly becoming more popular with lots of development being carried out and the hills overlooking the waves slowly filling up with new builds.

But compared to some of the other options surfing throughout Cornwall you can still get a relatively quiet surf in, particularly early and late in the day.

Considering surfing at Mawgan Porth? Carry on reading to find out the best time to surf and what you can expect from the waves in our handy guide…

Can you surf at Mawgan Porth?

Yes, Mawgan Porth is an absolute swell magnet and hoovers up any waves the Atlantic Ocean has to offer. Offshore winds blow from the east and it produces great waves with any swell from a westerly direction.

If some of the town beaches further south are looking too small you can head to Mawgan Porth for a good chance of an extra foot or two on the wave face.

Is Mawgan Porth good for surfing?

Yes, 100%, when Mawgan Porth’s on it can produce some of the best wedges to be found all up and down the coast. The large cliffs on either side refract swell that moves across the line up creating the iconic teepee’s that we all love to surf.

Best surfed from low to an hour after mid-tide there’s a good variety of waves despite the beach not being massive. The beach get’s considerably smaller at high tide and the waves tend to backwash and jumble.

At low tide, the south of the beach opens up another bay that has great waves in smaller swells. Predominantly lefts peel across sandbanks that build up at the side of the bay offering powerful sections and the occasional barrel on the right day.

For the regular footers, the refraction on the right side of the bay creates ramp-like wedges that can feel like mountains when you take off but reform and peel all the way through to the inside on a good day.

A great bonus here is the large cliffs on either side, cross-shore winds that would play havoc with other surf spots don’t have the same effect here and as long as the wind stays light you can still find great waves.

Learning to surf at Mawgan Porth

Mawgan Porth has become popular enough with people learning to surf for surf schools to start popping up in the small village. Our personal favourites are below.

The Surf Club Cornwall

Founded in 2006, The Surf Club Cornwall operates out of the Married To The Sea surf shop just off the beach at Mawgan Porth. They offer private and group surf lessons with expert ISA Level 2 Instructors.


Kingsurf Surf School in Mawgan Porth is a great place to get your first introduction to the world of surfing with great instructors and a friendly relaxed atmosphere.

Where else can you surf close to Mawgan Porth?

If the waves at Mawgan Porth aren’t looking great or you want to find a new surf spot there are loads of options further up and down the coast.


Newquay has got some great beaches from Fistral to the much more sheltered town beaches where you can escape from onshore winds. Take a look at our guide to surfing Newquay to find out more about all the different waves at this spot.

Constantine Bay

Heading north you’ll reach Constantine Bay in no time. This quality beach break has everything from sand-bottomed peaks to a quality left-hand reef at the southern end of the bay.

Harlyn Bay

If it’s blowing a gale from the south or the waves are too big at Mawgan Porth consider heading over to Harlyn. This sheltered spot provides protection from even the strongest south-westerly gales. Find out more over in our guide surfing at Harlyn Bay.

Can you surf Mawgan Porth at high tide?

Yes, high-tide Mawgan Porth is great for beginners, if you’re trying to find some long rides and quality waves you’re better off waiting for the tide to drop out.

Is it dangerous surfing at Mawgan Porth?

Despite being lifeguarded for the summer Mawgan Porth is still a very dangerous break due to the strong rips that accompany the waves here. Best avoided unless you’re an experienced surfer or taking part in an organised and supervised surf lesson.