Don't get board
Newquay in known as the surfing capital of England because this is where it all started and where thousands of surfers from all over the world flock to every year to ride the waves on one of its beaches.
Newquay is a centre for the surf industry in Britain, with many surf stores, board manufacturers and hire shops in the town.
At the centre of Newquay's surfing status is Fistral Beach which has a reputation as one of the best beach breaks in Cornwall. Fistral is capable of producing powerful, hollow waves and holding a good sized swell. Fistral Beach has been host to international surfing competitions for around twenty years now, most recently the Rip Curl Boardmasters Tournament which now has a new sponsor and is called the Relentless Boardmasters Festival. After three years at the Boardmasters Tournament Relentless took the title sponsorship in 2009 and again in 2010. The tournament takes place at Fistral beach, with the music festival taking place at Watergate Bay.
The English National Surf Championships are held at Watergate Bay in May each year.
Newquay is also home to the reef known as the Cribbar. Breaking at up to twenty feet, the Cribbar was until recently rarely surfed as it requires no wind and huge swell to break. It was first surfed in 1967 by Jack Lydgate, Bob Head and Rod Sumpter. The recent explosion in interest in surfing large waves has seen it surfed more frequently by South African born Chris Bertish who during a succession of huge clean swells in 2004 surfed the biggest wave ever seen there.
On the 2nd September 2007, 300 surfers arrived at Polzeath beach to set a new world record for the highest number of surfers riding the same wave.
Towan Beach is the location for the proposed Newquay Surfing Reef, a controversial project which has caused a fierce local debate.
Other beaches used for surfing in Cornwall are Bude, Polzeath, Trevone, Harlyn Bay, Porthcothan, Mawgan Porth, Crantock, Holywell, Perranporth, St.Agnes, Porthtowan, Portreath, Gwithian, St. Ives, Sennen Cove and Praa Sands.
Adventure Bay Surf School, Tregonhawke Beach, Whitsand Bay, PL10 1JZ, Tel: (07722) 913206, Web: www.adventurebay.co.uk
Big Blue Surf School, 35 Victoria Road, Bude, EX23 8RJ, Tel: (01288) 331764, Web: www.bigbluesurfschool.co.uk
Blue Wing Surf School, 113 Tower Road, Newquay, TR7 1LZ, Tel: (01637) 874445, Web: www.bluewingssurfschool.co.uk
Cornish Wave, 4 Alma Place, Newquay, TR7 1NF, Tel: (01637) 872031, Web: www.cornishwave.com
Cornwall Surf Academy, Holywell Bay Holiday Park, Holywell Bay, Newquay, TR8 5PR, Tel: (01637) 831369, Web: www.cornwallsurfacademy.com
Extreme Academy, On the beach, Watergate Bay, Newquay, TR8 4AA, Tel: (01637) 860840, Web: www.extremeacademy.co.uk
Fistral Beach Surf School, Fistral Beach, Headland Road, Newquay, TR7 1HY, Tel: (01637) 850737, Web: www.fistralbeachsurfschool.co.uk
George's Surf School, Polzeath Beach, Wadebridge, PL27 6TB, Tel: (01208) 479006, Web: www.georgessurfschool.com
Harlyn Surf School, Higher Harlyn Caravan Park, St. Merryn, Padstow, PL28 8SG, Tel: (01841) 533076, Web: www.harlynsurfschool.co.uk
Kennack Surf School, Kennack Sands, Cadgwith, TR12 7LZ, Tel: (01326) 290871, Web: www.kennacksurfschool.co.uk
King Surf School, Mawgan Porth, Newquay, TR8 4BA, Tel: (01637) 860091, Web: www.kingsurf.co.uk
Lusty Glaze Adventure Centre, Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay, TR7 3AE, Tel: (07497) 005899, Web: www.lustyglazeadventurecentre.co.uk
Perranporth Surf School, Beach Road, Perranporth, TR6 0DE, Tel: (07974) 550823, Web: www.perranporthsurfschool.co.uk
Porthtowan Surf School, Beach Road, Porthtowan, TR4 8AA, Tel: (01326) 212144, Web: www.porthtowansurfschool.co.uk
Raven Surf School, Widemouth Bay, Bude, EX23 0AW, Tel: (01288) 353693, Web: www.ravensurf.co.uk
St. Ives Surf School, Porthmeor Beach, St. Ives, TR26 1JZ, Tel: (01736) 7933938, Web: www.stivessurfschool.co.uk
Sennen Surf School, The Blue Lagoon, Sennen Cove, TR18 7DF, Tel: (01736) 871817, Web: www.sennensurfschool.com
Shore Surf School, St. Ives Bay Holiday Park, 73 Loggans Road, Hayle, TR27 5BH, Tel: (01736) 755556, Web: www.shoresurf.com
Surf's Up Surf School, The Beach House, Polzeath, PL27 6TB, Tel: (01208) 862003, Web: www.surfsupsurfschool.com
Waves Surf School, 13 Parc Eglos, St. Merryn, Padstow, PL28 8NW, Tel: (01841) 521230, Web: www.wavessurfschool.co.uk
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