The Salty Sea Dog
There is sometimes a small ride-able wave at Gyllly and when larger swells arrive surf conditions can be as big and clean as those on the North Coast beaches making both Gylly and Swanpool frequented surf spots in Cornwall. The centre of both bays have sandy bottoms with reef to the east and west ends of both beaches. Crowds can be a problem as these are town beaches.
It’s a short drive to many other fabulous surf spots in Cornwall from Kinbrae House such as Porthleven for a clean reef break and slightly down to coast to Pra Sands for a sandy bottom bay with a clean break. When the South Coast spots are not working, as they need a larger swell, then it’s likely that there could be a wave breaking somewhere if not on all North Coast surf beaches. It takes about an hour to drive to Sennen Cove close to Lands End where the might of the Atlantic comes crashing in. A slightly shorter drive from Falmouth finds you in St Ives where there are a couple of smaller beaches than Sennen that produce some clean waves.
For the veteran surfer Kinbrae House is located about 40 minutes drive from Godrevy and Carbis Bays and about a 45 minute drive to Newquay and the many other surf beaches of the North Coast. There are larger and more remote beaches to be found with multiple breaks so crowds are not generally as much of a problem. Remember during good swells and school holidays the breaks close to towns will tend to be more crowded and paid parking is generally a rule of thumb. If you are a National Trust member you can park for Free at Godrevy and other large beaches on NT land throughout Cornwall.
We are lucky to have some of the cleanest water in Europe if not the world so watch out for seals, basking sharks and dolphins as well as a superb array of sea birds whilst you wait out back for the wave of the day to have your name on!
Happy wave hunting and enjoy our waters, but most of all “surf safe.” Here are a few tips.
- If you have not surfed in Cornwall or its your first time surfing a new break, then always let someone know where you are going to go surfing.
- If possible try and surf with friends. If surfing on your own then make yourself known to other surfers in the water with you.
- Don’t paddle out in the line up if you can avoid it.
- Surfers are pretty friendly and will let you know about any strong rips and where the rocks are hiding!
- Always research where you are going to go surfing before entering the water. If no one is surfing a break and its not a break you have heard about then it probably isn’t safe to surf there.
- Check the tide table to make sure that you won’t get cut off by the incoming tide.
- A lot of our beaches are patrolled by the RNLI life guard service but be responsible even on monitored beaches and always stay out of swimming areas.
- Do not go out when the waves are too big for your own ability.
- Be vigilant and watch out for fellow surfers and swimmers in the surrounding water.
After a hard days surfing you can return to Kinbrae House and if you are still in your wet suit why not try the outdoor piping hot shower, strip off (but please keep your “boardies” on when showering as we don’t want to frighten the neighbours!) you can then leave your board in a surf rack and hang your suit up to dry in readiness for your next surf safari.
For the wanna-bee surfer, there are many clubs and companies offering surf board hire and lessons throughout Cornwall. Here are a few:-
Surfing Great Britain. Website: – www.surfinggb.com
DanJoel Surf School – Mullion – Helston. Website: – www.danjoelsurf.com
Fistral Beach. Website: – www.fistralbeachsurfschool.co.uk
Mawnan Porth Website: – www.thesurfclubcornwall.co.uk
David and Tamara, both surfers, are happy to give advice where the best places to surf will be on a given day.
If you fancy braving the waves but are not yet a hardened surfer then Wesup on Gylly Beach offer courses and rental for stand up paddle boarding and Kayaking. Close by are the bays of Swanpool and Maenporth from where you can hire surfboards and kayaks too and take surfing lessons.
For Surf Lessons at Maenporth contact:- Website: www.falmouthsurfschool.co.uk
For stand up and kayaking lessons and hire contact Sean White at:- Wesup – Cliff Road – Falmouth TR11 4PA. Telephone: 01326 311830 Website: – www.wesup.co.uk