Polzeath used to be a very quiet coastal village in North Cornwall but in the last few decades, it has quickly transformed into a bustling seaside town with more holiday homes than actual residents.
Located just south of Port Isaac and tucked away behind Pentire Head this idyllic stretch of sand is the perfect destination for beachgoers and tourists and draws massive crowds each year.
If you’re thinking of surfing Polzeath or planning a surf trip in the local area you’re in the right place with our in-depth guide packed with all the local surfing knowledge you need.
Can you surf at Polzeath?
Yes, Polzeath is well known for its great surf and gets fairly consistent swell pouring in from the Atlantic all year round. The ideal swell direction is from the west and offshore winds blow from the east.
Due to its popularity, Polzeath has a wide selection of surf schools, rentals and shops to choose from and you’ll regularly find surf lessons running in the summer months.
What is the surf like at Polzeath?
Polzeath is never going to be up there with the best high-performance waves in the area but it makes up for it in other ways.
Thanks to the large headland at Pentire Head, Polzeath receives a little bit of shelter from the dreaded onshore north-westerly winds that destroy many of the other surf spots in the area.
It’s also slightly more sheltered from swell than other west-facing surf beaches like Bude and Constantine so it’s a great option if the surf looks just a little too big at other spots.
The waves are pretty mellow here for most of the year just like in the video above. On the rare occasions a good ground swell arrives accompanied by offshore winds Polzeath offers some pretty good waves from low to mid tide.
A lot of surfers like surfing Polzeath because of its user-friendly peaks that don’t break with as much power as other waves on this coast.
Surf spots around Polzeath
Just up the coast from Polzeath is the surf town of Bude, with Widemouth Bay and Crooklets having great peaks all up and down the beach. Check out our guide on surfing at Bude for tips on where and when to go.
Heading south you’ll find Constantine Bay, the beach here is great through all stages of the tide and picks up a little more swell than Polzeath. If you’re a shortboarder or looking to escape Polzeath’s crowded lineup, surfing Constantine Bay is a great alternative.
Learning to surf at Polzeath
Polzeath’s host to lots of surf schools and you can hire equipment and learn to surf yourself if you don’t want to join a lesson.
Can you surf Polzeath at high tide?
Yes, even though the beach does get considerably smaller at high tide you can still catch waves all the way until the tide is full. If you’re a beginner or learning to surf this is a great time to get out in the waves because they’re generally smaller, less powerful and considerably less crowded with other surfers vying for waves.
Can you surf at Daymer Bay?
Yes, despite being tucked well and truly behind the headland at Stepper Point, Daymer Bay does still receive swell and surfable waves during very large groundswells with offshore easterly winds. If surfing Polzeath isn’t an option, Daymer may be worth a look.
Is it dangerous surfing at Polzeath?
Polzeath is a relatively safe place to surf, as long as you avoid the large rocks on either side of the beach and stay within the lifeguarded zones you will be absolutely fine.