Surfing Westward Ho

surfing westward ho

Westward ho is a large sandy stretch of beach in North Devon. This coastal village is easily accessible from Bideford and is conveniently positioned on the Atlantic highway.

The beach is lined with hotels and accommodations so Westward Ho is very popular with visiting holidaymakers and tourists alike. Don’t miss our guide to surfing in Devon for more waves in this area.

But what about surfing Westward ho? If you’re thinking of heading here for a surf trip you’re probably wondering what the waves are like, don’t worry we’ve got you covered with our detailed guide to surfing in Westward Ho.

Can you surf at Westward Ho?

Yes, Westward Ho is not your stereotypical surfing destination but it can actually provide some really good waves, particularly for beginners, longboarders and stand-up paddle boarders. There are no rocks to speak off an rip currents are rare making it a perfect surf break for beginners and surf schools.

This beach break is offshore in Easterly winds and works with any swell from a Westerly direction. The ideal swell size is in the 2-6ft range.

Is Westward Ho good for surfing?

Much like Saunton, the waves here are relatively mellow, offering long cruisy rides and a relatively chilled-out vibe. The beach here is massive so it’s really easy to spread out and find waves with relatively few other people in the lineup.

Thankfully due to its relative anonymity when it comes to surfing, Westward Ho doesn’t get anywhere near as busy as Saunton sands and the parking is considerably cheaper too.

There’s a large rocky point that stretches out to see on the left-hand side of the beach which can often provide a helpful channel to paddle out, sometimes even with dry hair!

This area also hides some hidden gems for the more experienced surfer. There are several high-quality reef breaks and point breaks hidden close by for those who are willing to look.

Despite its relative anonymity in the surfing world, there is a thriving surf community here with locals that take to the waves all year round.

Learning to surf at Westward Ho

Believe it or not, it doesn’t get much better for learning to surf than here at Westward Ho. The long sloping beach means the waves are fairly mellow making them perfect for practising your pop-up without nose-diving or getting guillotined by the lip of the wave.

Let’s take a look at some of the highly recommended surf schools that operate out of Westward Ho.

Surf SUP Academy 

Based just a few metres back from the beach Surf SUP Academy offers surfing and stand-up paddleboarding lessons out of their HQ. Better yet they have an onsite photographer so you can grab some great surf picks to show off to your mates!

 Run by James and Rob this quality surf school has cemented itself in the local surfing community. If you’re considering surfing Westward Ho as a beginner I’d strongly recommend getting in touch.

North Devon Surf School

The North Devon Surf School is located right on the beach at Westward Ho so you can’t miss it. Operating since 1988 they’ve gained the well-respected ‘centre of excellence‘ accolade from the UK surf governing body.

If you’re just down for a few days you can jump on a single session or to really master the basics of surfing book up a whole course consisting of 6 lessons.

Other surf spots close to Westward Ho

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to other waves close to Westward Ho. To the north, you’ll find Croyde Bay and Saunton Sands which are both quality beach breaks with Saunton offering slower more user-friendly waves as opposed to Croyde’s high-performance peaks.

Heading north on the Atlantic Highway you’ll be surfing Bude in no time at all with lots of beach breaks to choose from and some great reef breaks if you’re up for a search.

Can you bodyboard at Westward Ho?

Yes, Westward Ho is suitable for bodyboarding and virtually any other kind of wave riding craft including shortboard, paddleboards, longboards and kayaks.

Can you surf Westward Ho at high tide?

Apart from spring high tides when the water can flow right up to the rocky bank at the shore of the beach, you can surf Westward Ho all the way through high water. Though wave power and consistency might decrease a little there are still some fun rides to be had.