As home to the UK’s first surf reserve, there are plenty of opportunities to practice your surf in Devon. Whether you are a seasoned pro, trying it out for the first time or are just an occasional surfer, here are our top tips for surfing this summer while in Devon.

Firstly – where to surf

Surfing is a much loved activity in Devon and you’ll find companies offering tuition and equipment hire all over the coast, no matter where you are. You can even do a bit of SUP on some of the region’s rivers if you’re more inland.

Here are our top places for surfing:


Though not boasting the same conditions, Bantham is one of the best on the south coast for surfers. It has a consistent swell but beginners should still make sure to stay close to the beach in case they get caught unawares.

Bigbury on Sea

Near to Bantham Beach and famous for Burgh Island and the solo hotel that sits on it this beach has some decent waves, though at certain times of day, you can walk between the beach and Burgh Island, so keep an eye on the tide times for the best experience.


Located in North Devon, Croyde is arguably the most popular surfing spot in the county. It has the perfect conditions for surfing and is even home to a surf museum, people offering tuition and even accommodation that has room for you to store your boards and your wet suits!


Neighbouring Croyde and Woolacombe, Putsborough is another good one for all stages of surfer, but only the most experienced should go to the south end of the cliffs where the waves can be more unpredictable.

Saunton Sands

This large beach is also in North Devon and is much loved by holiday makers as it has hotels that sit right on the beach. It’s a popular one for beginners and is a great place for getting in some practice because of the gradually increasing waves.

Wembury Beach

Close to Plymouth, this beach is known to hold up to 10 foot swells making it a fun place to get out on the waves. Like many of the beaches in this area, it can be busy but the current is fairly calm and stable so it’s a good choice for all abilities. 


A good option for both experienced and beginner surfers would be Woolacombe beach in North Devon. Not only is this beach amazing for surfing but is also Britain’s best beach! It is incredibly popular in the summer but is long enough for everyone to have  enough space.

Secondly – when to surf

So, depending on how you look at it and whether you want to brave the cold weather, you can surf all year around. You’ll often find the better waves are when the weather is a bit windier, the most popular times to surf in Devon are between July and September when the weather and water is warmer.

Thirdly – staying safe

While we want you all to enjoy yourselves, it is important to stay safe, not just for yourself but for other beach users.  Here are some simple ways to stay safe and have a good time!

Never surf alone
Tell someone where you are going, when and what time you expect to be back
Never surf if you see any flags or warning signs
Check the weather and tide times before heading out
Always wear a wetsuit
Know your limits
Always wear a leash and make sure it is easy release in case you get into trouble
Be considerate to other beach users

Next – surfing etiquette

Like we said, be considerate to other beach users by following this surfing etiquette

  • Priority always goes to the person closest to the peak
  • No snaking
  • Priority always goes to the person furthest out
  • Paddle wide, not through the peak
  • Don’t drop in
  • If you are caught in a wave, stay in white water
  • Do not throw your board
  • Do not dive head first
  • Priority goes to the person first to feet or on the wave
  • Communicate by calling left or right when surfing

Want to give surfing a go and don’t know where to start? Check out some of the companies offering tuition and equipment hire across Devon – you can find these businesses all over the coast, especially during the summer.

Find out more about watersports in Devon