If you or your family want to learn to surf – something that's highly likely given the number of surf-friendly beaches in Wales – the best place to start is at an approved surf school. There, you'll learn the basics about boarding and how to stay safe in the sea before giving it a go.
Gower surfing breaks
The Gower Peninsula was Britain’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - and also a great place to learn to surf because of the lack of crowds. Typical surf locations like Cornwall may be a rough-and-tumble of experts and learners, which can make tempers flare and beaches busy. Gower receives the same swell, better shelter from wind and has breaks for all surfers – old and young, beginner and pro – so everyone is more laidback.
Pro surf tips:
- Caswell Bay is perfect for juniors: the car park is close, there are lifeguards and the water’s clean.
- Go south for sheltered dribbly beginners’ waves at Rhossili Bay. Shift towards Llangennith if the surf’s small.
- Rest Bay, Porthcawl is great for a really quick session from Bristol or Cardiff.
Search for surf schools near Gower.
Pembrokeshire surfing breaks
It pays dividends to travel that bit further to get to Pembrokeshire. Because of the way that Britain’s only coastal national park wraps around the peninsula, it guarantees clean gentle waves whatever the weather. Also, because it’s an extra hour beyond Swansea, the beautiful beaches are quieter – ideal for beginners.
Pro surf tips:
- Freshwater West is an unspoilt beach that picks up all the swell, though its large waves are dangerous for beginners.
- Manorbier is amazing – it has a fantastic castle as the backdrop and suits everyone from beginners to advanced surfers.
- Newgale is good for children, and there is fantastic shelter in St Bride’s Bay.
- Search for surf schools in Pembrokeshire if you want some expert tuition in the area.
North Wales surfing breaks
'Mellow'. That's how one surfer described what it's like to ride the waves of the Llŷn Peninsula. At the northern end of the country, the Atlantic swells are more forgiving and the beaches are quieter than those further south. With only a dozen local surfers (plus visitors from Liverpool and Manchester), the vibe is mellow too.
Pro surf tips:
- Porth Neigwl is consistent, clean, spacious and has a sandy bottom, all of which are good for learners.
- Traeth Penllech (Porth Colmon) is a great sheltered beach when Porth Neigwl is too wild.
- Adventure Parc Snowdonia offers a one-of-a-kind surfing experience. It has the world's first inland surfing lagoon that creates perfect waves every time, so it's great for beginners and pros.
The Welsh coast can be fantastic fun and provides great opportunities for adventurous activities, but please read up on the risks and make sure you are prepared.
- Follow these tips from the RNLI for staying safe on the Welsh coast.
- Visit AdventureSmart.uk for further information on how to stay safe whilst exploring Wales.