The best surf schools in Cornwall

Last updated on December 5th, 2022 at 03:17 pm

Picking the right surf school for your learning requirements is essential to enjoying yourself and progressing in surfing.

If you’re thinking of heading to Cornwall to learn to surf don’t miss out on the definitive guide to surfing in Cornwall with an extensive list of the best surf breaks in Cornwall

We’ve carefully selected the best surf schools in Cornwall for you, all based on real feedback from people who have learned to surf there.

The best surf schools in Cornwall:

  • Harlyn Surf School
  • Escape Surf School Newquay
  • Fistral Beach Surf School
  • Cornish Wave Surf & Adventure
  • Quiksilver Surf School Newquay
  • Westcountry Surf School
  • Shore Surf School

Want to know how much to expect to pay for your surf lessons? Check out our short guide on how much are surfing lessons.

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.

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

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 7 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 surfing beach.

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’ll be able to 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 3 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 offer surfing and coasteering lessons alongside adventure weekends where you can enjoy yoga and wild camping.

All their surf lessons take place 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 offer bodyboarding and stand-up paddleboarding as well.

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 really 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 that take place on the cliffs overlooking Watergate Bay.

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

Wetsuits and surfboard hire is included with all their lessons and they are disinfected daily.

Westcountry Surf School start taking bookings in April but availability is limited so make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

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, started back in 1999, Shore Surf School keeps it simple, offering surfing lessons and surfboard/wetsuit hire and they do it really 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.

You can book 1:1 and 2:1 sessions if you want the personal touch, 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 be sure to visit Shore Surf School and book yourself 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 when it comes to the Atlantic Ocean.

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

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