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Surfing in Newquay
Member Name: sdavey
Date: 15/12/00, updated on 20/12/00 (205 review reads)
Advantages: can hold big waves, good access, surf shops
Disadvantages: Needs the right wind, and tooo many tourists
Surfing in England is interesting pastime, usually involving a winter wetsuit, a map, and a great deal of luck.
On the luck side, i don't do too bad as i live in Cornwall, with the best surf in the uk(i know there are a lot of people who will disagree with that last statement, but this is my opinion after all!).
I have been surfing in cornwall for the last 3yrs, mostly on the north coast, as this gets the best swell. The most widely known place to surf down here is Fistral Beach, Newquay, however on the whole, i avoid fistral.
Why? Well although its the spiritual home of surfing in cornwall, and there is still a good surfer vibe to the place, it just doesn't cut it anymore. In the summer, its usualy too full of tourists, who have rented a plank for the day, and like to paddle in the shore break (mushy waves near the beach, with no power, shape or thrill factor), and even in the winter its very crowded with three or four people trying to get the same wave, which innevitably leads to colisions and recriminations.
Surfing is a very personal experience, just you against the power of the ocean. The last thing you want when you are tearing down the face of a beutiful wave is someone else trying to do the same. There are unwritten rules, like if somones already on the wave DO NOT drop in on them, but when there ao many people out at any one time and only so many good waves, a few rules get forgotten.
On the upside fistral can hold the the big waves well,(i've taken 12ft there), and even has a reef break(VERY big waves, but Very dangerous) if the winds right , but this is its downfall. Being on the exposed Headland, unless the winds right, everything goes down the pan, and youre really going to struggle against the waves, just to get out.
However thanks to the wonder of the internet, you can save some petrol, and check out one of the two surfcams pointed at the beach, and have a look before you commit yoursel
Fistral is not the only beach in Newquay, infact there are 5, and a number of these face in different directions, so you should be able to work around the wind a little, although none of the others can hold BIG surf like fisral
If its just the waves your after there are better, and more reliable to be had up the coast a little, but Newquay still boasts a good surfing atmosphere, easy access, good parking, and good shops. Not to mention about 20 pubs and 4 nightclubs.