The Best Surf Schools in Cornwall Explored (2024)

surf schools in cornwall explored

Looking for the perfect spot to learn to surf in Cornwall?

Here’s our carefully selected list of the best surf schools in Cornwall based on honest customer feedback.

best surf schools in cornwall

Harlyn Surf School

Harlyn Surf School offers a range of watersport activities, including surf lessons and hire.

Located right on the beach, operating out of storage containers, you can’t miss Harlyn Surf School as you park in the gravel car park that services the beach.

Harlyn Surf School is a perfect choice for anyone staying in Wadebridge or the surrounding area, boasting a large team of highly qualified instructors and countless good reviews from their customers.

Check out their website here.

Escape Surf School

Escape Surf School in Newquay has been operating for over 18 years and has the benefit of two ex-professional surfers amongst their teams of instructors and coaches.

Located in the centre of Newquay, Escape Surf School can pick from any of the beaches in the local area that will provide the best conditions for their students.

Escape is one of the few surf schools in Newquay that offers courses for complete beginners alongside surf coaching for intermediate and advanced surfers.

Open seven days a week and offering very reasonably priced surf and stay packages, including breakfast and accommodation, Escape is a great option for someone looking to improve their surfing on a budget.

Check out their website here.

Fistral Beach Surf School

Fistral Beach Surf School is located right on Fistral Beach, Newquay’s premier surf spot.

Offering an extensive range of board and wetsuit hires, they’re the perfect option if you want to try and teach yourself to surf.

Their lessons cater for beginner, improver, intermediate and advanced surfers so you can find a lesson that caters to your current skill level.

If you are worried about how many surf lessons you need to learn to surf, they offer a beginner’s surf weekend, including three surf sessions a day, breakfast and expert video analysis, feedback and tutoring.

Footage of yourself surfing is an incredible tool and asset for improving your surfing as you progress from an intermediate to an advanced surfer.

Check out their website here.

Cornish Wave

Cornish Wave Surf and Adventure offers surfing and coasteering lessons alongside adventure weekends where you can enjoy yoga and wild camping.

All their surf lessons occur in and around Newquay, with their HQ located on Newquay High Street.

Cornish Wave provides great options for stag, and hen do parties wrapping up all their activities alongside wild camping in rustic tents for a weekend to remember.

If you want to break up the day between surf lessons, you can take advantage of e-bike hire and tours all across the Cornish coastline.

Check out their website here.

Quiksilver Surf School Newquay

Quiksilver Surf School Newquay is less than 100 metres from the iconic waves of South Fistral, one of England’s premier surf breaks and often used as the staging ground for the Boardmasters QS surf competition.

Teaming up with local hotels The Esplanade and Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa, they offer luxury surf breaks, rooms with sea views and a range of surfing and other activities.

Roxy Women’s Surf Weekends happen around twice a month, giving women the opportunity for some sun and salt alongside options for accommodation.

If you don’t fancy surfing, they also offer bodyboarding and stand-up paddleboarding.

Check out their website here.

Westcountry Surf School

Operating out of Watergate Bay north of Newquay town, Westcountry Surf School is run by Joel and Naomi and prides itself as the #1 rated surf school for families and friends.

Offering max groups of 6 to a single surf instructor, you can be sure you get all the tips and advice you need to catch your first wave or improve your abilities.

You can also opt for 1-1 coaching to speed up your progress and get the attention to detail you need in the early stages of learning to surf.

Westcountry Surf School provides lockers and changing rooms for all of its customers so you can change in comfort before and after your lessons.

If you’re feeling a bit sore after all the surfing, you can take part in their yoga classes on the cliffs overlooking Watergate Bay.

The stunning views and rolling waves make a Yoga class here an unforgettable experience.

Wetsuits and surfboards are included with all their lessons, and they are disinfected daily.

You can check out their website here.

Shore Surf School

This long-established surf school has a great reputation and fantastic reviews from hundreds of customers.

Located in St Ives and Godrevy and started back in 1999, Shore Surf School keeps it simple, offering surfing lessons and surfboard/wetsuit hire, and they do it well.

Group sessions get substantially cheaper the second and third time, so you can get some real savings by booking three lessons, which should be perfect for most people who want to learn to surf.

If you want the personal touch, you can book 1:1 and 2:1 sessions, lasting approximately 2 hours.

These one-to-one sessions can skyrocket your surfing progress compared to traditional group lessons.

Surf and wetsuit hire is very reasonable at Shore Surf Scholl, and you can hire a foamie for £15 and use it for the whole day.

If you’re heading for a weekend away to St Ives or the Hayle area, visit Shore Surf School and book some time in the salt!

You can check out their website here.

Which side of Cornwall is best for surfing?

Generally, the north coast of Cornwall is considered the better side for surfing and receives the most consistent waves.

The south coast of Cornwall can also deliver fantastic conditions, particularly when the winds blow from the north, making the majority of the north coast onshore and messy.

Which months are best for surfing in Cornwall?

September and October are generally the best months to go surfing in Cornwall.

The water temperature is still warm from the summer, and the swells have started to increase from the Atlantic, making for warm water and large waves.

Can you surf all year round in Cornwall?

Yes, with a good winter wetsuit and accessories, you can surf or learn to surf all year round in Cornwall.

Why are waves bigger in Cornwall?

Cornwall is England’s most exposed county regarding the Atlantic Ocean.

Because of France and Ireland, there is only a small area that is open to swell from the Atlantic.

Most of it is in Cornwall, with some beaches in North Devon far enough down the Bristol Channel to still receive consistent swell all year round.

Why are there so many surf schools in Newquay?

Newquay is England’s ‘surfing mecca’.

It’s home to lots of national surf competitions and was the birthplace of surfing in the UK, cementing its position as the home of the sport.

Newquay also provides lots of surfable beaches in a small area, meaning that you can often find good waves even when the wind and swell aren’t preferable.