Cornwall – Surfing as a beginner at Mawgan Porth

After our day trip to Oxford we headed down to Cornwall. I always wanted to try surfing so my boyfriend gave me a surfing course for my birthday. After finishing my dissertation, our trip seemed to be the best opportunity to put this plan into practice. When I was searching for the best spots for surfing as a beginner, I came across this very helpful post by Ali Cairns. I tried to follow his advice and looked for campsites near Gwithian or Harlyn Bay but wasn’t able to find a free spot.

Cornwall is a popular travel destination especially in the summer months. So, we ended up on the campsite Sun Haven Valley near Mawgan Porth. The campsite was more touristy than the others before. I am not sure why it felt not as nice as on the other campsites, maybe because it was bigger. This doesn’t mean that the facilities weren’t great. There was even a differnt food truck coming every evening which made the offer really good. I, personally enjoyed our time on the smaller campsites more but for families with kids this one for example also offered a nice playground and a DVD library.

Sun Haven Valley Mawgan Porth is a rather small but very beautiful bay. After our five days there I, however, think that another beach would have been better for starting our surfing career just because the waves often came in from different ankels and were rarely straight forward. Maybe that was just my unexperience which made it so difficult but you might be better off with the destinations mentioned in the post above.

Mawgan PorthFlip FlopsMawgan Porth 2The campsite was roughly a 15min walk away from the bay. On our first day we had a lazy start waking to a sunny day. We made a full English breakfast on our BBQ and decided to head to the bay to see if we could get a spot in one of the surf lessons right away. We were lucky and booked ourselves into the afternoon lesson with the King Surf School . The lesson was tailored to beginners and taught in a group of around 8 to 10 people.

Generally I would say that a lesson like this is a perfect start to learn the basics of surfing. We were taught the safety rules on the beach and the right technique to stand up on the board. However, I think next time I would go for a couple session just because I was a bit afraid of getting started by myself and felt that more direct guidance would have brought my surfing abilities to a better level.

Despite my own hesitation I had a lot of fun trying to catch the perfect wave and to stand up on the board. I must admit surfing definitely looks easier than it actually is and I wasn’t able to fully stand up. I achieved to surf on my knees though ;).
During our days in Cornwall, we were unlucky with the weather and just had the chance to practice our surfing abilities two more times after the initial course. For this we borrowed a board and wetsuit at Betty’s Surfshop . In my opinion after we had learned the basics it really was important to practice before it would have been of any help to book another more advanced course.

After these first experiences I definitely want to try surfing again. Next time I might book a surf camp somwhere in England or France. Did you try surfing before? Any tips for future destinations?

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