30 and 31 july 2016 were bright sunny day in South West Cornwall (England), with nice waves to enjoy surfing on the Atlantic coast. We were there on holidays, and we took the chance to try body boards and foam boards, as well as to watch some very good guys' performances with hard boards.
Surfing at Fistral and Perranporth Beach (Cornwall)
As you know..., first of all, I am a windsurfer! But why not to try some surf boards, when you get the chance? All in all, waves are always great fun. So, reading on the web and on some guide (lonely planet), we realized that South West Cornwall offers magnificent conditions for wave surfing. Fistral beach, near Newquay, is the most famous spot for surfing. It faces Atlantic ocean, and when sea is calm, at least 1,5 meters wave is guaranteed.
You soon learn that Atlantic ocean wave is not Mediterranean wave, since the first one is, with no doubt, more massive, with huge quantity of waters ready to break on you, if you do not get the right timing to ride it... Wisely, the first day at Fistral beach we tried easier body boards, and spent some time to admire most good local surfers, playing with some 2 meters high waves. Great tricks, good cut back and bottom turn. Personally, I got some good smashes...., but also experienced my first 10-20 meters rides.
We rented at Fistral Beach Surf School, right at the spot. I had my 5 mm wetsuit with me, but I have to say that it was even too much warm, since a 4 mm one would have been ok (water temperature about at 14 °C). Nice feeling, since it was quite a warm day (about 22 °C), and you could stay at the beach wearing only your bathsuit (even if, for us coming from Italy, they looked more like spring time conditions, instead than summer ones). For a very good webcam, that gives a clear idea of the spot, click here.
On sunday we tried Perranporth beach, an incredible 3 miles (4,8 km) long beach, where we found easier conditions, with waves not higher than 1 meter, even if with a short period (less than 10 seconds between each other). It was the occasion, for me and my son, to try two different kind of long foam boards.
One (the yellow board in the pictures), larger and so a little bit easier, even if less turning; the other one (the blue one), narrower, more fast and turning, but more difficult for me to stand up on it. I managed to put my feet on the board, even if I didn't managed to stand up completely, but only with my knees bent. I also got a jellyfish under my foot: painful at the beginning, but by the end of the day pain had completely disappeared.
We went out at low tide, for about 2 hours, after which we were quite tired. The high tide reached the maximum at 17,00, without any appreciable variations in waves conditions. Only beach had disappeard for about 150 meters! We rented boards at Ticket to ride Surf School, meeting some nice guys, and fair prices. Check here the webcam of the spot.
We didn't try to surf there, but we have to say that we found easy and nice conditions to surf also at Porthmeor beach, in the wonderful St Ives. Here it's better to wait for the low tide, in order to let some rocks to be out the water, so that they become less dangerous. Waves, the day we were there (Friday 29), were less than 1 meter high (west wind of 25 knots blew on the west coast). We saw that there is St Ives Surf School, were you can hire boards and suits, as well as to take lessons, of course. To check a webcam of the spot, click here.
So we were a little bit disappointed of not having chance to do windsurfing (little windsurf equipment hire, and all in the South Cornish coast), but would not regret it to much, thanks to some funny surfing rides.
Hang loose, Fabio
Below, the video filmed at Fistral beach with the best guys in action, on the 30 july.