Cornish surf schools for beginners

Escape Surf School, Newquay

Surfing is every bit as much fun as it looks and the true Cornish experience is not complete without riding the waves. Here are seven surf schools worth checking out if you are planning to visit 

Keep safe: Make sure you check out our top safety tips too.


Harlyn Surf School –Padstow
With its reputation as one of the safer beaches in the county, the crescent shaped bay is popular with novice surfers who can learn to master the waves. Harlyn Surf School has friendly professional surf instructors, bringing you everything you could want for your surfing lessons. The school is ideal for children, adults, groups and families and boasts a fantastic range of surf courses. 

Extreme Academy – Watergate Bay 
Watergate Bay is a 2 mile stretch of beach at low tide, a few miles north from the beaches of Newquay. Here the Extreme Academy offers surf lessons for all abilities in either groups or one-to-one, with the latest Gul wetsuits and all the equipment you need to get you started. Make sure to check out Jamie Oliver’s famous Fifteen restaurant on the beach too. 

Freewave Surf Academy - Widemouth Bay

Located just outside Bude, Freewave Surf Academy is a surf school with over 15 years’ experience in taking small groups, families and individuals on aquatic adventures. Their small team of instructors are made up of local watermen and ladies. They will tailor your experiences to meet the needs of the individuals in your family or group. This way, everyone that comes to visit leaves with a smile and a sense of achievement.

Escape Surf School – Newquay
These guys have been teaching people to surf for over 15 years. Their base on the Newquay Cliff Top, overlooking the spectacular Towan Beach and Newquay Bay, is fully equipped with showers, changing rooms and bar & restaurant. The whole team are dedicated to ensuring you have the best possible time learning to surf with them. This is achieved by our innovative teaching methods for beginners which involves holding the tail of the board, whilst the surfer gets to their feet. This helps stabilise the board until the surfer is standing, then they release, and you enjoy the amazing feeling of riding the surf!

Outdoor Adventure - Bude
Outdoor Adventure is a residential activity centre in an almost unimaginable setting on the cliff top at Widemouth Bay. They have a 30 year proven track record of delivering high quality surf lessons that are suitable for individuals, families as well as groups. The coaches are excellent, being highly experienced and fully qualified, they are also great surfers.!They tailor their tuition to the differing levels within the group and ensure everyone receives one to one coaching. 

FlowRider – nr Padstow
Something different... Now you can surf where there's a wave every day! FlowRider Cornwall, based at Retallack Resort and Spa, is the county's only FlowRider and allows people of all abilities to surf every day of the year no matter what the conditions are like. 

Quicksilver Surf School - Newquay

Based less than 50m from Fistral Beach, Quicksilver are open all year round for surf lessons, beginners to advanced levels, coasteering, body boarding or stand up paddleboarding. Their onsite beachside facilities provide hot showers, secure lockers, board storage and separate male and female changing rooms available to use when you book onto activities with them.

Fistral Beach Surf School - Newquay

Based on Fistral Beach, the Home of British Surfing, there is no better place to enjoy surfing the Cornish waves. Open all year Fistral Beach Surf School has the largest selection of surf hire in the UK, and a team of instructors dedicated to making the most of everyone’s time in the water.


Surfing safety tips

  • Never have your board between yourself and the coming waves.
  • To avoid collision with others, keep a safe distance, say fifteen feet or the length of you, your leash and board combined.
  • Beginners should always wear a leash or leg rope tied to their surfboard.
  • Every Beginner surfboard should also have a safety nose guard to prevent dangerous impacts with the surfboard nose.
  • Beginners should always surf with a buddy for safety, plus it is cool to share your surf experiences with.
  • When you come up, try to be facing the oncoming waves and look for your board's location immediately. Loose boards in the ocean are very dangerous objects for swimmers.