10 surf schools for beginners

St Ives Surf School | Credit David Gray

Surfing is every bit as much fun as it looks and the true Cornish experience is not complete without riding the waves. Here are 10 surf schools worth checking out and you can also make your recomendations below. Keep safe: Make sure you check out our top safety tips too.

St Ives Surf School – St Ives
Based right in the heart of St Ives on the stunning Porthmeor Beach, St Ives Surf School offers a great selection of surf lessons; for absolute beginners, improvers or advanced surfers and groups of 1 – 30+. You’ll learn beach safety, paddling techniques, how to catch waves and the fundamentals of getting to your feet on the board.

Newquay Activity Centre Surf School - Newquay
Newquay Activity Centre Surf School is located at the world famous Fistral beach, a first choice for local surfers. From beginners to worldwide professionals, the waves here offer something for everyone. Only a 10 minute walk from the town centre makes it easily accessible and you can pick up rented boards, wetsuits and organise lessons. 

King Surf School – Mawgan Porth
Kingsurf surf school provides fun, professional and safe surfing lessons for all abilities, from one lesson taster sessions to week long surfing courses. Mawgan Porth beach faces the same direction as it's better known big brother Fistral beach which enables it to attract some of the best waves Cornwall has to produce, but without the crowds. 

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.

Gwithian Academy of Surfing – Gwithian near Hayle
Gwithian is a beautiful place to learn to surf and is perfect for beginners offering waves that break all year round due to the gently sloping nature of the beach. The surf forms and breaks very slowly giving aspiring surfers more time to get to their feet. Here, the Gwithian Academy of Surfing offers individual or group lessons, with a variety of courses to try out.

Falmouth Surf School - Falmouth 
Falmouth Surf School provides plenty of courses for the whole family including a kids club on Saturday mornings. Transport is provided to wherever the best waves are within Cornwall and all equipment is included such as wetsuits and boards. 

Big Blue Surf School - Bude
Based at Summerleaze beach in Bude, north Cornwall, the Big Blue Surf School aims to get you standing on your board within the first lesson. With both land and water coaching, singles, couples, families and groups are set for a great day out. Big Blue Sirf School is open all year round, providing winter suits, hats and gloves in the colder months.

Discovery Surf School – Whitsand Bay
Whitsand is a beautiful, unspoilt corner of Cornwall and you rarely see crowds here. surfing lessons take place either at Tregantle or Tregonhawke, which are 2 beaches along the 3 mile stretch of white sand. The 2 hour beginner lesson provides an introduction into surfing; including important information on beach safety and basic surfing knowledge.

Cornwall Surf Academy – Holywell Bay
Holywell Bay boasts a huge beach, backed by grass tufted dunes and is a perfect example of the north coast’s wide open bays, large enough for everyone to enjoy. Whether you need to improve your surfing skills or you're a complete beginner, the Cornwall Surf Academy caters for all from ages 7 - 88.

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.

Do you know any great surf schools in Cornwall? Let us know by commenting in the Facebook box below.