A while back I asked for advise regarding SW England (Cornwall) surf. Now that I'm back I just wanted to write about the town and the surf. I was based out of Newquay, UK which is were surfing was introduced to the UK and is the now epicenter of surfing for the UK. I stayed at the Belushi hostel and booked a coach/board with the Escape surf school. They gave me a decent selection of hyperflex boards to choose from. They were a bit wider than what i normally ride but the waves are so gutless you need the extra width. This area has a selection of 4-5 beachbreaks with a few other hidden options (tide dependent). Their main beach is Fiscal which on its day (from what I've seen from video) has the same quality as NJ. On my stay, this beach is the most exposed so it was blown out the whole time. On the other side of the head land is Towan which is what I surfed most of the time. First, let me say, the "core" award goes to the British hands down. They have a handful of surf schools in the area doing daily lessons in water as cold as our end of winter/early spring (mid 40s). And these ppl are coming out in huge numbers, kids, women, old men are all throwing on that wetsuit to catch a few. I was fortunate enough to catch a "proper" swell while I was out there. My judgements are based soley on this one swell. The wave quality in the area just sucks. I surfed different set ups and each one was the most gutless and hard to surf wave I have ever encountered. I am a heavy footed surfer so it was strange to have to surf to light to gain speed. The size was there but it would fatten up no matter what the tide/bottom was...it was strange. Also another bizarre feature of British surf is the tides. There are drastic changes from high to low (up to 15+ft). And the tide moves insanely fast. Due to this, you must chase the waves after each set. The following set will break a few feet out from the last and so on. Since its constantly moving you cant use normal landmarks and techniques to catch the sets. Local knowledge is a must. Like look at the rock on the left headland, when you see whitewater here a set will break in 2 minutes...ect. I think the area is doomed because of the tides, it fattens any and all sets. If one sneaks through, for the most part it will dump and close b/c the sand bottom is so flat and featureless. Also, the talent level isnt very high out there which is good for any travelling surfing. On the other hand, I dont understand why they dont have a higher level of talent b/c the wave is so easy to learn to surf/longboard. Maybe this has to do with the fact that the waves are so gutless it prevents further growth or maybe its just the way they surf. If you travel throughout Europe, sometimes you find they just do things different for no reason other than to be different. For example, the talent level in CA is so high b/c of wave quality and the fact everyone can emulate the Pros. Here the "good" surfers are just average. This trip was on of the better surf trips I have had even though the waves arent that good. Being around "kooks" (the good kind) for a few days was refreshing. Its great to see people who have all the elements against them,cold water, drastic tides, crappy waves, and still persist for the love of the sport. I have never met such a "core" group of people. When I say the whole town was surfing...I mean it. Lets face it, most of us in NJ only surf cold water b/c we are surfers. Out there, you see kids bodysurfing simply for the love of the water/ocean. They even sell wetsuits in the food store. Because of all this, I fell back in love with the sport and will make it my duty to be out on any swell I can. As I get older I was getting more and more into the groove of "its too cold to go out for that junk". Our summer slop is consider good surf to them so its the least I can do to catch a few on a smaller day even though the water is cold. So if you are in the SW England area, absolutely check out Newquay. Its awesome and refreshing to know that somewhere in the world, surfing still has "the tribe" feel. The Brits were fun to surf with. With their big silver dollar eyes when you do a good turn or their ear to ear smile when someone catches a wave. We deal with enough to just get waves in NJ so lets try to remember why we are out there and bring some good vibes to the water...Shaka!!!
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Thread: SW England Surf Trip Review
Apr 26, 2012, 04:25 PM #1Senior Member
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SW England Surf Trip Review