When it comes to learning to surf in the UK, it’s simple… head to Cornwall! With the best beaches, fantastic weather, and biggest waves, it really is the capital of surfing in our country! And if it’s surf schools you’re looking for, whether you’re a beginner or experienced surfer looking to top of your technique, you’re spoilt for choice in Cornwall. After speaking to our community, we’ve listed our top 10 favourite surf schools across the beautiful county of Cornwall!
Escape Surf School, Newquay
Escape Surf School is based in Newquay – the centre of the UK surfing scene. Teaching people to ride the waves for over 17 years, this is one of the longest running surf schools in the country and are one of the only schools in Newquay with two ex-professional surfers on their coaching team. And with multiple awards under their belt, the team at Escape Surf School are bound to have you standing up on your board in no time. Beginner group sessions start at £35 which gives you two hours of teaching tailored to your level. One on one lessons start at £100 per person.
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 and is worth a visit if you’re seeking a highly rated surf school to learn the sport! Not only are the waves in Harlyn Bay consistent and perfect for surfers of all levels, but the backdrop is stunning too… who wouldn’t want to learn 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. Beginner and refresher lessons start at £45 per person, or step it up a level and join the two-lesson course for £90, or opt for a private surf lesson for £120.
Big Blue Surf School, Bude
Based on the beautiful beach in Bude, Big Blue have been teaching people to surf for over 15 years, and in that time have introduced almost 30,000 men, women and children to the sport. So, if you’re thinking of learning to surf and you’re in the Bude area… look no further! The team really do cater to every need, so you feel as happy and comfortable on the waves at possible, with surfing lessons for kids, lessons just for women and girls, groups and corporate events. Lessons start at £35 per person which gives you up to three hours of training. Private lessons start at £115 per person and up to 5 friends or family can join you for a small extra cost.
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 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.
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 or 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.
Introduction and improvers lessons stat at £35 per person, but the team also teach stand up paddle boarding, kitesurfing, bodyboarding, handplaning and waveski – they really put the extreme in Extreme Academy!
Freewave Surf Academy, Bude
Thousands of surfers descend on Bude Beach to ride the waves every year, so the Freewave Surf Academy really is in an ideal spot to teach newcomers and experienced surfers, from small groups, to families and individuals. With over 15 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. Group taster sessions start at £40 per person, whilst private lessons start at £90 per person, with an additional £40 for extra friends or family that join.
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. 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.
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 in Cornwall. With a diverse team of specialists who LOVE exploring the sea, pupils here are treated to a bespoke surf lessons and coaching. For those not interested in surfing, fear not… the team here also offer paddle boarding lessons, 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. To learn more about the lessons available and book a slot, get in touch using the contact form on the St Ives Surf School website.
Waves Surf School, Different locations across Cornwall
Teaching from 5 stunning beaches between Padstow and Newquay on the Atlantic Coast of Cornwall, the team at Waves Surf School offers lessons and advanced coaching for all ages and surfing abilities. With a passion for surfing and a range of lessons including intensive sessions, weekend courses and 5-day packages, there’s something for everyone at Waves Surf School! They also offer sessions for corporate events, stag and hen dos, school groups, early bird sessions, couples surfing, private groups and more.
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 of surfing, 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. Group sessions start at £40 per person, whilst private sessions start at £120 per person.
Stoked Surf School, Perranporth
Stoked Surf School, nestled within the seaside town of Perranporth, offers fun, safe and professional surf lessons for all ages and abilities. The school provides top-tier surfing lessons, unique coaching methods like ‘The Loop’, and offers an exceptional range of services for all levels of surfers – so much so that in 2023 they won the Tripadvisor “Traveller’s Choice” award.