Surf Schools in Newquay

If you want to have a go at surfing in Newquay there are plenty of surf schools to choose from; you can choose surfing lessons lasting just 2-3 hours, or 2-3 days. Like everything, there are a number of Surfing Associations which surf schools might be a member of, so this is a quick exploration of the main surfing schools out there, the main Surfing Associations and some options you can choose.
Surf Boards at Fistral Beach, Newquay
If you just want to have a go at surfing, then a 2-3 hour lesson should give you that fix – and help you find out if it’s a sport you’d like to do more of. If you already know you were born to surf, then one of the longer surfing lessons might be better. For real die-hards, there are surf schools that will choose the best beach for surfing each day and transport you to the right beach in a minibus.

If you’ve never surfed before and are trying out one of the 2-3 hour lessons, then your biggest barrier is going to be the length of time you’ve got to learn what to do and get out there in the waves and attempt to stand up. Many people, in 2-3 hours, will not manage to stand up. There is a surfing practice towel, as seen on Dragons Den, if you want to practise the standing up part before your lessons and/or to continue practising after your lesson. The surfing practise towels are called Ollypops and were invented by a surf instructor in North Cornwall.

British Surfing Association

Until January 2011 the British Surfing Association was the UK’s governing body for surfing. Since that date a new company was formed, called Surfing GB. Surfing GB is working to become the National Governing Body (NGB) for Surfing in Great Britain. The new organisation sets out to raise the profile and professionalism of British Surfing, as well as supporting individual surfers and surfing schools and coaches.

As BSA was the original surfing organisation, many surf coaches still advertise themselves as BSA Approved.

Grading British Surf Schools

Surfing GB grades all British Surf Schools as one of: Foundation, Recreational, Performance, Academy, and Centre of Excellence. and this is dependant upon: The qualifications of the coaches employed; The level of the surf coaching programs offered (ie beginners, advanced); The physical equipment and practical resources available for customers learning.

During the transitional years between BSA and Surfing GB, you’ll see a variety of “approved” options as not every surf school has moved over and joined the new organisation.

If you’re just after a 2-3 hour recreational course you might be more interested in location and price, than whether a surf school is “qualified” or not, but a major consideration in Newquay and Cornwall is sea safety, so it is something you should at least be aware of when choosing the best surfing lessons for your day out in the water.

List of Surf Schools in Newquay

If you’re taking a lesson, they will provide the equipment you need – a wetsuit and a surfboard. Surfboards for beginners are more buoyant than others, so you concentrate on surfing and don’t have to worry about keeping it afloat. You may wish to buy your own wetsuit ahead of the lesson, as that’s something you can use time and time again.

It can be almost impossible to maintain a list of all surf schools in Newquay, their prices, their packages and all the other details as they are continually evolving and offering what people are looking for and adding new options and packages, below is the list of the main surf schools in Newquay:

  • Big Green Surf School: Based at the Base Surf Lodge in Tower Road, this school is close to Fistral Beach, where lessons take place. Members of Surfing GB
  • Escape Surf School: Lessons on Towan or Fistral, whichever’s better that day. 2-hour lessons for beginners, through to week-long surf academy for surfing professionals. Accommodation available. Members of Surfing GB.
  • Errant Surf School: Evening sessions, day sessions and half day sessions. They taught Justin Lee Collins and Keith Chegwin to surf. Members of Surfing GB.
  • King Surf: Based at Mawgan Porth, a few miles north of Newquay. Members of Surfing GB.
  • Newquay Activity Centre: 100 metres from Fistral Beach, on Headland Road.  They also provide a wide variety of other activities including coasteering and kayaking.
  • Reef Surf School/High Five Surf School: Half day, full day, 2-day and weekend surfing lessons. BSA Approved Beach Lifeguards. All instructors are BSA approved, fully qualified beach life guards and members of the National Coaching Federation.
  • Fistral Beach Surf School. The only school based ON Fistral Beach. All individuals and groups catered for. Private surf lessons for individuals or groups – group bookings get free parking at Fistral.
  • Bluewings: Bus transports you to the best waves of the day.
  • Cornwall Surf Academy: Towan, Fistral or Great Western – where the best waves are. From £30 half day – half day surf lessons last 2.5 hours.
  • Dolphin Surf School  Minibus to the best beach that day. From £30 for half a day. Comfortable accommodation available.
  • Hibiscus Surf School Surfing lessons for girls and women by women. Lessons are provided on South Fistral Beach.
  • Offshore Surf School:  Lessons on Fistral Beach. Half day and full day surf lessons with fully qualified instructors.
  • Lusty Glaze Beach Surf Lessons:  Secluded private beach offering surf lessons, or massage/surf  and spa/surf packages.
  • O’Neil Academy  Surf lessons at Watergate Beach, or a mobile facility that comes to you at any beach you choose.  One-to-one coaching, or small groups.

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