A surfer’s paradise

All watersports, especially surfing, are hugely popular in North Devon. Here, Trev Toes Lumley, from Eyeball Surfcheck, provides a guide to the best local surf breaks

Croyde Beach

Considered one of the best beach breaks in the country. Works best around low tide when the sand banks, rips, and general shape of the beach help create ‘A’ frame peaks. The waves are fast, heavy and hollow at low tide, for more advanced surfers only! The waves at Croyde, generally, break closer to the shore than most beach breaks in the UK. Mid to high tide offers a fuller more mellow wave.

  • Best time to surf: 1-2 hours before low tide (if spring tides), low tide, or on the pushing tide for neap tides. But, like any beach break, this depends on the conditions, sand banks, etc
  • Best wind direction: Light offshore east and north easterly, although south easterly is also off-shore, but can start to get a slight side chop
  • Hazards: Strong rips at low tide and it gets very busy.

Putsborough Beach

Located at the far end of Woolacombe Beach, Putborough has good amenities and access from the car park. ‘Puts’, as it’s known, can be a bit fickle on the dropping tide but can be really good on the push. Excellent shelter from the headland on south westerlys and sometimes westerly winds

  • Best time to surf: On the pushing tide
  • Best wind direction: South westerly, sometimes westerly and easterly
  • Hazards: Rips at low tide
  • Notes: Can be the best bet if high winds make other spots unsurfable.

Combesgate Beach

Located to the right of Woolacombe’s main beach. It can get shelter from northerly winds, barrels at times when the banks are set up. Good at winter time.

  • Best time to surf: Can only be surfed at low to mid tide due to the rocks
  • Best wind direction: Light/off shore
  • Hazards: Mainly rocks and rips at low tide.

Saunton Beach

A huge beach over three miles long, sheltered from the headland in north-north westerly winds. A nice slow wave with some massive long rides to be had on the right day. An ideal place for beginners or longboarders. Avoid low tide as the walk is long!

  • Best time to surf: Mid to high tide
  • Best wind direction: Light/off shore
  • Hazards: Rips at low tide.

Woolacombe Beach

Known as ‘Main’ beach this is the right hand part of the three mile stretch of sand. It surfs well on all stages of the tide and is popular all-year-round.

  • Best time to surf: Low to mid tide
  • Best wind direction: Light/off shore
  • Hazards: Rips at low tide and it gets busy with other users
  • Notes: Excellent beach for any ability, boardhire is available nearby.

    Find out surfing conditions in our daily surf report, supplied by Eyeball Surfcheck! CLICK HERE >>

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