Cornwall is already the number one destination for holiday makers in the UK, which is no surprise with its long and sandy beaches, warmer waters and even its own microclimate! And with the majority of the country opting for staycation holidays over foreign getaways, the sunny county in the South West has become even more popular, with holidaymakers visiting in their thousands. Whilst surfing has always been the go-to sport in Cornwall, anyone who’s visited a beach in the area recently must be looking the other way if they haven’t already noticed the huge rise in stand-up paddle boarders! So, after chatting with our community online and visiting some spots ourselves, we’ve gathered ten of our favourite SUP schools and equipment hire in Cornwall!
Extreme Academy, Watergate Bay
Teaching from the idyllic Watergate Bay in North Cornwall, Extreme Academy have all the experience, knowledge and equipment you need to learn to surf and paddle board, or simply improve your skillset. Nobody knows the waves of Watergate Bay better, and the team of professional instructors are bursting with passion and experience, ready to teach to you all you need to know to start riding the waves.
SUP options start with their ‘Explore the Bay by paddle’ package, which is a two and a half hour tour around Watergate Bay for £40. Upgrade to the SUP Safari for £45 per person, or opt for their group package – the ‘Mega SUP’ which fits up to six people on to one board for £160 which gives you two and a half hours.
St Ives Surf School, St Ives
Celebrating ocean-based fun in the heart of St Ives, the St Ives Surf School is highly regarded as one of the best places to learn to surf and SUP in Cornwall. With a diverse team of specialists who LOVE exploring the sea, pupils here are treated to bespoke surf lessons and coaching. For those not interested in surfing or paddle boarding, the team also offer kayaking tours and coasteering adventures!
Running from two beaches in St Ives, you’ll leave with an unforgettable ocean experience in a safe, fun and friendly environment. SUP lessons start from £40 per person, with money to be saved if you book in groups!
Harlyn Surf School, Harlyn Bay
Described by the Sunday Times as the ‘best surf school on the North Cornish coast’, Harlyn Surf School has been teaching people to surf for a whopping 25 years, so is worth a visit if you’re seeking a highly rated surf school. Not only is Harlyn Bay consistent and perfect for surfing and paddle boarding of all levels, but the backdrop is stunning too… who wouldn’t want to paddle around surrounded by granite cliffs, blossoming fields and golden sand!
With a team of professional surf instructors, you’ll get a proper education in technique and safety training, as well as a whole load of surfing energy and passion from coaches who have travelled the world doing what they love. Level 1 paddler lessons start from £45 per person, with guided SUP tours also costing £45. One on one technique sessions and family lessons are also available, simply head to their website to find out more.
Fistral Beach Surf School, Newquay
Widely regarded as the home of British surfing, Fistral Beach couldn’t be a more perfect spot to start your journey on the board, and with a range of lessons for all abilities, Fistral Beach Surf School is the ideal place for you to learn! Teaching throughout the year and with all the equipment and boards you need, you’ll be set to surf or paddleboard whatever the weather and whatever your ability down in Newquay. Choose from group lessons, private sessions, lessons specifically for children, surf days and even whole weekends.
Freewave Surf Academy, Bude
Thousands of surfers and paddle boarders descend on Bude Beach to hit the water every year, so the Freewave Surf Academy really is in an ideal spot to teach newcomers and experienced paddleboarders, from small groups to families and individuals. With over fifteen years of teaching experience, the small surf school is made up of local instructors who are all passionate experts when it comes to surfing, with extensive knowledge to teach you everything you need to know.
Taster SUP sessions start at £40 per person which offers two hours of training made up ninety minutes of tuition, and thirty minutes free paddle time. If you’re feeling confident, step it up to the SUP Improver sessions which offers two lessons for the price of £75 per person. All equipment is included in the price.
Global Boarders Surf Co, Gwithian
Recognised as a Centre of Excellence at Gwithian Towans Beach, the team at Global Boarders have everything you need to stand up on your board and start riding waves or paddling. Credited for their friendly and knowledgeable staff, the coaching team at Global Boarders are highly experienced with surfing experience from around the world. And with a passion for safety at sea, trust that you’re in good hands with the team in Gwithian.
SUP equipment starts at £30 per day, simply use the link below to get in touch with the team and book your slot!
Gwithian Academy of Surfing, Gwithian
The team down at Gwithian Academy of Surfing offer lessons every day between April and November, giving you the chance to learn the basics, or if you have more experience, fine tune your technique. They pride themselves on working hard to make sure your experience is as safe, fun and rewarding as possible.
And if SUP is more your thing, we don’t blame you – who wouldn’t want to cruise along the water’s surface with the sun shining down? If this sounds like your cup of tea, then you’ll be pleased to hear that SUP boards are available to hire from £20 for two hours, rising up to £35 for a whole day’s use, £80 for three days and £125 for the whole week!
Wesup Paddleboard Centre, Falmouth
Based on Gylly beach in Falmouth, Wesup is one of the most popular providers of SUP lessons and equipment hire in the South West, with so many options to choose from for beginners in need of learning the basics, to experienced paddlers looking to hire some kit for a day’s adventure.
Private lessons start from £70 per person, whilst group taster sessions cost £25 per person, and equipment hire starts from £15 per hour. Whatever your experience or preferences, you’re sure to find something suitable for you at Wesup!
Loe Beach Watersports, Truro
Located between Truro and Falmouth, the clear waters of the South Cornish coast will make your time with Loe Beach Watersports an even more memorable one. Hire equipment that includes kayaks, paddle boards, motorboats and sailing dinghies… head off with a picnic to explore the local area, or stop off at one of the local waterside pubs for lunch.
One on one SUP lessons cost £70 per person, with lessons for two people costing £50 each, and group sessions costing £35 a head. If you don’t fancy a lesson and just feel like hiring the equipment, then prices start from £15 for one hour, leading up to £50 for the day.
Gylly Adventures, Falmouth
Operating from three stunning spots around Falmouth and St Austell, Gylly Adventures is a top adventure activity provider in Cornwall, offering a range of activities from Kayaking, Paddle boarding and coasteering.
Paddle board lessons are based in Charlestown near St Austell and cost £45 per person which entitles you to ninety minutes of training to get you on top of the basics. Or if you don’t fancy a lesson and instead want a day alone on your board, then head to their Charlestown beach to hire a paddle board, with prices starting from £15!