A History of Surfing at Watergate Bay

A History of Surfing at Watergate Bay

Welcome to Watergate Bay

If you’ve been to Watergate Bay before, you’ll know all about its perfect surfing conditions, stunning golden sands and world class restaurants. We take a look at the surfing heritage that runs deep in this slice of Cornish heaven.

A seaside spectacular

Us Brits have always loved the seaside; it’s in our veins and we often forget that you can never be more than around 70 miles from the sea in the UK. Granted it’s no tropical paradise, but we’re are as much water-folk as any islanders – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

The scenic Watergate Bay served well as a bracing, Victorian tourist attraction that would blow the cobwebs out of dusty city-dwellers from across the country.

The hotel was built way back in 1900 and with the opening of the hotel came in increased interest in our beloved bay. Well-to-do’s would flock down South to wake up to the fresh sea air, take a dip in our feisty waters and feast on the local fishermen’s catch.

Watergate Bay - A Stunning Cornwall Surf Spot Watergate Bay – A Stunning Cornwall Surf Spot

Surfing Roots

We’re not sure when Watergate Bay witnessed it’s first surfer, but as surfertoday.com reports, there is video evidence that surfers had actually been using the Newquay area since the 1920’s.

This fascinating tale of a group of friends shows that early attempts to ride a home-made long board took place in North Cornwall in 1929 – a key part of European and even world surfing history!

Despite the perfect waves and geography, surfing wasn’t as popular back then as it is today and it wasn’t until the influences of surf-mad 1950s America filtered across the pond that the sport really kicked off at Watergate.

The area was also home to one of the first skate parks in the UK. The park opened in in 1970’s and there’s even some cracking footage to be found in the archives – skateboards and bellbottoms -who would have thought?!

Watergate Bay in Recent Times

Watergate Bay has remained a firm favourite among surfers for good reason. It’s unique geography makes it one of the few North Cornwall surf spots that produces good waves in almost all conditions. Combine this with the unrivalled beachside facilities on offer and it’s a clear winner.

Not content with ranking highly with surfers, Watergate is also firmly on the map for foodies with top restaurants including Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen’ opening in recent years.

Nowadays this top surf spot is one of the most highly rated beaches in Cornwall. It is especially popular for family surf lessons and is one of the favourites on our multi-session Surfari Package.

Learn more about surfing at Watergate Bay.

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