How to Know What Surfing Lesson is Right For Me

Thinking about surf lessons Newquay? Here is the insider’s guide to knowing what surf lesson is best for you.

Making the choice to join a surf school for tuition is an important decision that certainly starts your surfing career off in the right direction. But what actually happens, what do you learn and what type of surf lesson is best for you?

These are just some of the common questions we are asked by people who join us at our Newquay surfing school. In this post we go behind the scenes, break down what actually goes on and answer those common questions that all beginner surfers face when learning to surf.

Benefits of taking a surf lesson:

Before we get into the detail of answering those important questions, let’s take a look at some of the top benefits of getting some surf tuition from the pros.

  • Get answers to common surfing questions
  • Gain insights & coaching based on tried & tested methods
  • Discover the do’s & don’ts and save the embarrassment of surfing faux pas
  • Build your confidence in the ocean
  • Save time by learning the correct methods from the start
  • Learn the basics from a professional surf instruction

Whatever your rationale or taking a class, learning to surf in a supervised environment with a qualified surf instructor is the best way for you to get a complete introduction in the surfing world, giving you a great head start in the sport.

different types of surf lessons & what is involved in each one?

We’ve kept it simple for this post but you can find out more information by getting in touch or by visiting each surf lesson page.

  • Group lessons
  • Private lessons
  • Progessor surf course

All of our lessons are two hours long from once you are ready. We don’t include enrolment time or getting changed as part of this so you’ll have plenty of time on the beach and in the water.

‘Our pledge to anyone joining us for a surf lesson is to have passed on enough information for you to feel comfortable enough to rent some surf equipment and head out to a beach and practice surfing on your own with a clear understanding of basic surfing techniques and beach safety awareness.’


Group surfing lessons are designed to provide a fun and informative introduction to surfing for absolute beginners. You’ll be in a group of up to 8 other likeminded individuals, typically the lessons are made up of a wide variety of budding surfers from solo travellers, couples, groups of friends and families, all eager to give surfing a go.

Delivered by a friendly and experienced surf coach your group surf lesson is fun and safe environment to pick up the basics.  Perfect if you want to see what all the fuss is about or if you’re at the start of your surfing path with surf lessons in Cornwall.

What will I learn? 

  • Introduction to beach & surf safety
  • Basic surf terminology & parts of the surfboard
  • Prone surfing, how to catch waves on your stomach, and controlling your surfboard.
  • Fundamentals of how to pop up, ride waves to the shore and wiping out safely.


Private surf lessons are the arguably the best surf lesson format for learners seeking optimum coaching – you can enjoy these as part of a small group of friends, family or on a One to One basis.

1) Choose a private surf lesson if you want the undivided attention of a surfing professional, maximising the amount of knowledge, skills and feedback you can obtain.

2) Mixed ability groups – if you are visiting Cornwall with a group of friends or maybe some have more surf experience than others, a lesson exclusive to your group gives the coach flexibility to provide tips for both beginner and developing surfers without the distraction of other members of the public in your group.

3) small children under 8 years old? Typically surf schools in Cornwall only accept students into group surf lessons that are eight years and older. If you have youngsters who are dying to surf then private tuition is the best way to ensure they have a great time and learn about the sea safely.

click to Take a look at our range of private surfing lessons 

Condensed learn to surf courses tailored to your ability and timetable are the ultimate vehicle to learn & improve quickly.

Much like an intense driving program, these progressor surf courses are a full immersion into the surf world. A good learn to surf course should touch on all areas of surfing from the basic physical movements to understanding the ocean and even the finer details of surfboard shapes, styles and history.


Learning to surf or even developing your surf skills can be a long draw out process for most.  It seems that unless you’re lucky enough to start surfing at a young age or have plenty of time to donate to your new favourite hobby, surfing can prove to be a frustrating road to success.

The good news is, given time in the water your surfing will improve even if it doesn’t feel like it.  To give yourself that little boost to get ahead of the curve, taking a few tips from a dedicated and qualified surf coach can really give you that edge, progressing your understanding and developing the correct techniques that are proven to work.

Understand How to Spot a Rip Current

How to Understand Rip Currents & Surf Safety.

Learn the key points of how to identify rip currents & surf in safety.

Being able to spot a rip current is an important skill that could one day save your life or the life of other surfers. In this post, we aim to highlight some vital information about rip currents and basic surf safety.

What is a rip current?

A rip current is a body of water that travels away from the shore, out to sea. This body of water contains strong flowing currents that can move quickly out to the deep ocean, often exhausting the surfer’s ability to out paddle the rip currents strength.

Rip Current:

‘A body of water trying to find it”s own level’

How to spot a rip current?

– Look for patches of water that are darker in colour to the surrounding water

– The surface of the water flickers or dances in the area where the rip is

– Waves look different and don’t break as often

The characteristics of rips change quickly and don’t always show all of the above signs at once.

Why are rip currents dangerous?

“Rips are strong currents running out to sea, which can quickly drag people and debris away from the shallows of the shoreline and out to deeper water.” (Source)

How to handle a rip current?

If caught in a rip current, don’t fight it! Paddle parallel to the shore or back to land at a 45-degree angle.

– Examine your options

– Never ditch your surfboard

– Call for help

– Paddle parallel to the shore or an angle of 45 degrees to escape the ‘grip of the rip’. Never swim against it.

What causes a rip current?

Rips are made up of three distinct parts. Understanding the details of each of these greatly improves your knowledge and understanding of what causes rips and understanding how to deal with them.

Feeder – This is where the rip originates and is where the water brought towards the shoreline by waves, starts to recede back into the ocean.

Neck – As waves break and dissipate on the shallow shoreline, water then needs to return back out to deeper water.

In areas of the beach where there are deep channels sided by shallow sandbanks or fixed piers or headlands, water will naturally flow towards deeper areas and back out to sea.

Head – This is typically behind the surf zone and often where the strength of the current will weaken and slow down.

What are the different types of rips?

Fixed – Often found at large exposed surfing beaches, away from headlands, rocks or piers. As sandbars build, shift and break up, fixed or ‘open coast beach rips’  can be found regularly along the beach.

Permanent – Found where the beach has established piers, cliffs, groyne’s or any permanent feature extending into the surf zone. Otherwise known as ‘Topographic rips’, these immovable obstructions interrupt the parallel flow of water and force the rip to travel along the feature out towards the ocean.

Travelling – Initially, this form of rip current travels parallel to the shoreline, then changes in direction heading out to sea.

Flash rips – Caused by a sudden shift in sandbanks or a large increase in surf size.

Key points & facts about rips

Rip Currents are caused by waves

Rip currents can be very strong and travel up to eight feet per second.

Rip currents account for over 80% of rescues performed by beach lifeguards in the US.

Over 60% of RNLI lifeguard incidents involve rip currents. (Source)

A rip is strongest near the surface of the sea.

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Activities In Newquay: Why We Love Adventure Activities (And You Should Too!)

Why we love activities in Newquay.  Join us for exciting adventure activities in Newquay and share our passion for Surfing lessons, Coasteering sessions or Wild Camping. From making memories with family & friends, exploring nature to keeping fit – these are just some of the reasons why we love adventure activities.  

Corporate Adventure Days UK

Our corporate team building activities in Newquay provide a fantastic platform for companies seeking to celebrate a successful year, create group cohesion or simply share in an outdoor activity experience with colleagues. Create a tailor made corporate adventure activity package to suit you. 

The History of Surfing in Newquay, Cornwall

Discover the rich history of surfing in Newquay. We ask why Fistral beach is the ‘Home of British Surfing’, discuss the link between surfing & tourism in Cornwall and what the future holds for surf schools in Newquay. 

A Beginners Guide to Tides

A step by step guide about how tides work, the difference between high tide and low tide, spring tides and neap tides and how they affect the waves we surf.

Surfing in Newquay: A Unique Surf Day

Despite the early start, the girls from Unique Home Stays were with us right on time as the sun shone over our beautiful Fistral Beach. Cornish Wave’s head honcho, Jey, and surf coach, Ash were waiting to greet the guys and kickstart the festivities.

Raring to go Raring to go

After suiting up, the group headed down to Fistral Beach where it was time to listen up and get started with some on-land exercises. Ash led quick warm-up, and ran through some important beach safety info.

Pay attention Pay attention

After learning the basics on the sand, it was time to head out into the surf and put it into practice!

Don't be shy! Don’t be shy!

The group paddled around in the white-water close to shore for 45 minutes with Ash keeping a hawks eye on everyone (making sure the ladies was surfing, rather than sinking). Gradually building confidence, the girls soon mastered basic board handling and riding waves lying down.

Ash then collected everyone on the sand once again. Now it was time to school everyone on how to stand up. The real surfing was to commence!

Wait... Surfing or Yoga?! Wait… Surfing or Yoga?! The evolution of surfer The evolution of surfer

Back in the big blue meaning business this time!

I came, I saw, I surfed I came, I saw, I surfed Everybody's doing it! Everybody’s doing it!

Locals had caught wind of the good surf that day and the beach started to fill up with like minded wave-enthusiasts, so the guys called it day and headed for dry land for a hot shower and some lunch.

The smiles on everyone’s faces said it all, but we’re very happy with what Unique Home Stays’s blog had to say about the experience:

“A huge thanks to the team at Cornish Wave, who were the perfect mix of laid-back, professional and completely brilliant.”

The gals from Unique Home Stays were an absolute pleasure and us at Cornish Wave had a ball from start to finish. We’re immensely proud to have given them their first taste of surfing and we have a feeling we might see them again!

Our Fistral Beach surf lessons Newquay are another example of the private, small group bespoke activity packages we offer around Newquay. Contact us now to arrange surf lessons Cornwall of your own!

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Top 5 Things To Do In Newquay | Surfing, Coasteering, Camping in Newquay

The town of Newquay, or Towan Blystra as it’s called in its native Cornish tongue, is positioned on the North coast of Cornwall roughly 50 miles from the Devonshire border and like many Cornish coastal towns, it is primarily a seasonal destination which starts to come alive in early May.


Newquay and the surrounding area has a wide range of activities, things to do and places of interest that caters for a variety of both domestic and European tourists each year. Whether you’re on a family on holiday, a couples retreat, stag and hen celebrations or solo traveller, Newquay boasts a good selection of accommodation and activities to suit everyone’s tastes.

Whilst everyone has a different idea of how they spend their free time, here is our list of 5 Top Things to Do in Newquay.

#1 Learn to Surf in Newquay

Newquay has a rich history with surfing and has long been known as the surf capitol of the UK.  For over 50 years Newquay has been attracting surfers from around the world and has now developed into one of the most popular coastal towns to learn to surf.

The surf school industry has grown in to big business since surfings introduction and as such brought with it National Governing Bodies and recognised surf coaching awards, bringing the sport in line with many other popular sports allowing surf schools to offer peace of mind and a professional approach to potential customers.

The majority of surf schools offer surf lessons for varying abilities, depending on your level and of course budget, generally surf lessons are 2 hours long and include all the equipment

If learning to surf is on your bucket list then taking  surf lessons Newquay on Fistral beach in Newquay is a good place to start.

Surf lesson at Fistral beach, newquay

#2 Coasteering in Newquay

Coasteering in Newquay encompasses all manner of obstacles and elements to get the adrenaline going.  Tidal dependent routes will see adventurer’s in full wetsuits, buoyancy aids, helmets and shoes scrambling over rocks, jumping into plunge pools, negotiating natural sluices and whirlpools with the option of big cliff jumps for the not so faint hearted.  For the nature lover, specific companies offer a relaxed look at the coastline exploring various habitats and the old smugglers caves.  If you have a taste for adventure why not join us for a Coasteer today!

Coasteering in newquay

#3 Newquay Harbour Fishing Trip or Pleasure Boat Ride

The harbour is at the heart of Newquay and with regular fishing trips or nature pleasure boat rides it’s another excellent way to explore the north Cornish coast line.  Newquay harbour supports many businesses and is often a main venue for town festivities such as the Joe Way Paddle for Life and Newquay Fish Festival.  Why not check out for further information.

things to do in newquay things to do in newquay

#4 Coastal Walk

Take a stroll around some of the UK’s most dramatic and beautiful coastline. With designated walking paths and a variety of walking routes to choose from it’s a great way to work up an appetite and soak up your surroundings.  From circular routes or walks that include a bus, visit   for suggestions on where to start and finish your coastal walk.

#5 Sunset Drinks

After your vigorous surf lessons Cornwall take some time to watch a Cornish sun setting to really get you in holiday mode. There is a great choice of restaurant bars that are perfect to unwind with your favourite drink and relax as the sun slowly sets out of the sea.  Here are our top 3 places to watch the sun set.

1.      Lewenick lodge, Pentire, Newquay. 

2.     The Watering Hole, Perranporth beach, Perranporth.

3.     Fistral Beach Bar, Fistral beach, Newquay.

4.     The Phoenix Bar, Watergate Bay.

sunset drinks in newquay


Surfing the October Swells

Surfing the October Swells…

Last week another run of big really surf-able swell hit the UK coastline.  As with any good period of surf everyone came out of the wood work to enjoy the spoils.  From freelance builders knocking off early, office workers taking extended lunch breaks it didn’t matter what you did to earn a living , the swell was pumping and you were getting in.

It all started Wednesday evening…

A week full of rainbows and waves !!

By early Thursday morning, the sky was blue and solid 3-4 ft clean sets were rolling into the beaches, it was a great time to get some surf lessons Cornwall.  As many surfers had anticipated the swell to build throughout the day, some were keen to pick off some good fair size waves before it got too big !

Fistral Beach early morning ! Strong off shore winds grooming the waves at Little Fistral just before sunset. Right hander anyone ???

Friday morning wasn’t quite the 4 starts that had been predicted. The size was there but a lot of waves not quite having the right swell direction or simply being to big, many were closing out.

Fistral Beach, Newquay Fistral Beach, Newquay Towan Beach was looking fairly clean compared to Fistral, it was definitely the way to score a good session !! Towan Beach was looking fairly clean compared to Fistral, it was definitely the way to score a good session !!

Up close or from a distance it was a pure Cornish gold watching the waves breaking on the rocks into Little Fistral and the Cribbar.


By Saturday morning some consistent and impressive rollers were making their way to Fistral beach, a real eye opener for many students visiting Newquay to watch the University Surf Championships.

After a though paddle out, this could be your reward ! After a though paddle out, this could be your reward !

The Rescue team was never too far just in case…

RNLI providing a fine service. RNLI providing a fine service.

The size of the swell was definitely not for your everyday surfer.  The paddle out was hard work and the size was quite intimidating at times.  Newquay being Newquay, plenty of people enjoyed the more manageable conditions.

Newquay Bay definitely had the best conditions for beginner and intermediate surfers.

The savior for many.  Newquay Bay.  The savior for many.  Newquay Bay.

In between the flags, it was an absolute mine field !

Newquay Bay was the only option for Surf Schools Newquay Bay was the only option for Surf Schools The Harbour wall was being ripped by the kids all week !!! The Harbour wall was being ripped by the kids all week !!!

Already hoping for the next Swell…

The Cornish sunsets to add up to the days ! The Cornish sunsets to add up to the days !

See all Surf Beaches around surf lessons Newquay!