Putsborough is a long sandy beach sheltered by large cliffs at its southern end. Fondly referred to as ‘Puts’, this beach is a real beauty with great views and lots of space to spread out.
You have to park in a large field that overlooks the beach, just be aware parking here is not cheap and you have to pay at a small hut upon entry.
More surf spots in Devon? Don’t miss our expansive guide to surfing along Devon’s two coastlines.
But what about surfing Putsborough? Let’s take a look at the waves the best conditions and some local tips for surfing at Puts.
Can you surf at Putsborough?
Yes, despite being so far up the North Devon coast Putsborough does still get waves but they are considerably smaller than similar beaches further down in Cornwall.
The ideal swell direction is from the west and offshore winds are anywhere from an easterly direction, if there’s any south in the swell the large headland at Baggy Point can block off a lot of the size so keep that in mind when you’re checking the surf report.
The beach is lifeguarded through the summer months which makes it a perfect location for beginners or people just starting to learn to surf.
Are the waves good for surfing at Putsborough?
When the conditions align at Putsborough it can provide some great surfing conditions. It’s also a great option if spots like Croyde and Saunton Sands are a bit messy because of southwesterly onshore winds. The large cliffs at the south end of the beach provide excellent shelter when you’re trying to get away from the wind.
The waves here aren’t powerful as other brakes further down the coast so it’s a great place to go when you just trying to improve your surfing skills.
Best surfed from low through to mid tide it can be punchy and fun when a good ground swell arrives. On smaller days it’s great for minimal and foamies with little banks all up and down the beach.
As you move further up the beach the waves get slightly larger but less protected by the large headland. If you travel far enough up the beach you’ll eventually reach Woolacombe and Combesgate which can have great winds when the winds light offshore.
Because it’s one of the only options when the Winds are onshore it does get busy in the lineup. Try surfing very early in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening to avoid the crowds.
Learning to surf at Putsborough
Barefoot Surf School is the only school operating out of Putsborough and luckily they’re myriad of good reviews speak for themselves
Specialising in complete beginners they’ll help you familiarise yourself with the beach, waves and your surfboard before taking you out to catch your first wave.
Check out all of their surf lessons and courses here.
Other surf spots close to Putsborough
Just a mile or two up the sand you’ll find the small surfing town of Woolacombe. It tends to get a bit more swell than Putsborough so well worth a look if you need to eek a bit more size out of a dwindling swell. Check out our guide on surfing Woolacombe to find out when to go and what the waves are like.
Heading south you reach the iconic beach break of Croyde. This high-performance arena can throw up some world-class barrels on its day but you’ll have to deal with the crowds of other surfers vying for the waves.
Head over to our detailed guide on surfing at Croyde to get the low down on how to score the low tide barrels this beachie is famous for.
If Woolacombe’s looking way too big and windy then your next best bet is the long left-handers of Lynmouth. This cobblestone point is a regional classic that doesn’t disappoint.
Don’t miss our guide to surfing Lynmouth’s classic point break set-up.
Can you surf Putsborough on a high tide?
Yes, but not right in front of the car park. Further along the beach the rocks quickly disappear into a sandy beach but down at the car park end you’ll be playing with fire, there are large submerged rocks all along the inside.
Can you bodyboard at Putsborough?
Yes, head to Putsborough between low and mid-tide for some great waves when it’s on. If it’s busy down by the cliffs you can head further up the beach to find some peace.
Is it dangerous surfing at Putsborough?
As long as you avoid the rocks to the left of the bay at higher tides it’s relatively safe surfing here. It can get crowded in summer with learners and surf schools so make sure to stay aware of other surfers around you.