Surf Lesson Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be a strong swimmer to take part in s Surf Lesson?

For beginner surf lessons we ask that you can swim 25 metres. Your first surfing experience will be in waist deep water to let you get used to the surfboard and waves without venturing too far from the shore. Each of our surf lessons are suited to the abilities of the individual or group and all surf coaches hold Surf Life Saving and Surf Coaching Qualifications.

What do I need to bring for my Surf Lesson?

Just bring yourself, a swimming costume, towel and if you have soft feet, a pair of flip flops for the short walk to the beach. We’ll supply all the surfing equipment you need.

What happens in a Surf Lesson?

The surf lesson begins with a briefing in beach safety and good beach practice, then its onto an introduction on how to handle your surfboard, entering the water and catching waves!

What is the minimum age for children joining a Surf Lesson?

Children 8 years old and up are welcome on a group surf lesson without an adult. We recommend that children under 8 years old are accompanied by an adult on a Private Surf Lesson or a Family Surf Lesson.

What happens if the surf's not up?

We use weather charts and our local surf knowledge to estimate what conditions will be like on the day of your lesson. If we feel that there really is not enough surf on that particular day for a quality lesson, we will endeavour to offer another or suggest a different date that is convenient for you. If there are no waves and we cannot move your surf lesson to another date then a full refund will be issued. Please see our Terms and Conditions of Service for more detail.

I’ve never been Surfing before. Can I still do it?

Yes of course! Over 80% of the people that join us have no prior surfing experience. Find out more about our surfing lessons or get in touch and we will help you pick the perfect surf lesson for your first surfing experience.

What if I can’t swim?

To take part in a group surf lesson you will need to confidently state that you can swim 25 metres. If this is not the case and you are unsure if you can swim 25 meters you will still be able to join a lesson - we will however recommend a private surf lesson and request that you sign a declaration you are happy to take part in the activity and that you have advised us that you are not a strong swimmer.

If you or someone in your group can not swim at all, please get in touch and we will be able to recommend alternative activities for non-swimmers

Is surfing safe?

Yes, surfing is very safe and low impact sport. It is however a physically demanding activity and we ask that you listen and take on board the instructions and surf safety advice given to you by your surf coach. Cornish Wave surf instructors will always make judgements on the content of a surf lesson based on your abilities and wishes and will never allow you out in surf that is deemed dangerous. We will always endeavour to find safe and suitable conditions for your surf lesson - this may mean delaying or moving your surf lesson time.

All of our surf instructors are qualified beach lifeguards and are in-house trained & assessed to the highest standard. Your safety in the water is paramount. Read more about our Surf Lesson Safety here.

How long is a Surf Lesson?

Typically all of our surf lessons are two hours long once you are in a wetsuit and you will typically spend 90 minutes in the water. This does not include the time needed to fill out our participation form and get changed. You will need roughly three hours in total from start to finish.

Surfing can be a tiring activity and we have found that a two hour surf lesson is an ample amount of time to put in to practice what you have learnt. For those wanting a longer surfing experience, we offer multi-session packages such as the Surfari Surf Package.

What is the difference between a Group Surf Lesson and a private Surf Lesson?

Group surf lessons in Newquay are made up of members of the public with various experience levels and age ranges. We operate with a 1:8 surf coach to pupil ratio. Each group surf lesson is different and contains a wide mix of adults, families and individuals, these surf lessons are great for those wanting a safe, fun and informative introduction in to the basics of surfing.

Private Surf lessons are the best way to enjoy learning or improving your surf skills. Whether you join us as an individual, couple, small group of friends or family hiring your own surf coach gives you the exclusivity, and undivided attention of your own dedicated instructor. We have found that people who take private surf lessons will begin to develop surfing skills more quickly through committed surf coaching.

What time do Surf Lessons start each day?

We run daily group surf lessons in Newquay at 9am, 12pm and 3pm. We are governed by the tide so booking in advance is essential. For our Private Surf Lessons you will need to enquire in advance so we can discuss the best option to suit you. Often our private surf lessons are held “out of hours” depending on the best surf conditions, tide and crowds.

Do I need to be fit to join a surf lesson?

You should be prepared to undertake moderate physical activity. Surfing is a physically demanding sport and as with any sports some form of fitness will allow you to progress within yourself. If you are new to the sport typically your surf lesson will be delivered in the shallow white water and as such you can go at your own pace. All of our lessons are broken down into sections to allow you to absorb the techniques and take breaks rest.

I have my own wetsuit or Surf Board, can I use them?

You are more than welcome to bring any of your own surf equipment to use on a surf lesson with us.

We tend predominantly use winter thickness wetsuits for the majority of the year. Customers tell us that they enjoy their surf lesson more when wearing a thicker, warmer wetsuit.

Can I wear my glasses or contact lenses when I'm Surfing?

If you feel that you will struggle to see without your glasses then yes please do wear them. We suggest securing them to yourself with a piece of string so as not to lose them. Daily throw away contact lenses are the best option for surfing.

What if I'm afraid of the Surf?

Every surfer is coached to their own ability through out al of our surf lesson types and formats. If you are wanting to gain water confidence as part of your surf lesson we strongly suggest that you take a Private Surf Lesson so that the coach can really break down those barriers and take the time to explain the sea, conditions and build a comfort zone that you are happy with.

Are your Surf Coaches qualified?

All of our surf coaches are experienced surfers with a passion for teaching and passing on their surf knowledge. Each of our coaches hold a beach lifeguard qualification and a surf coaching qualification. We underpin this with our own in-house training where pass on our tried and tested lesson plans and coaching techniques. You can find more information about our surf coaches on our Meet the Team Page and on Surf Lesson Safety page.

How do I book my Surfing Lesson?

Booking your surf lesson in advance is essential. In order to confirm your place in our diary and to guarantee your experience we ask for full payment in advance.

The easiest way to book your Surf Lesson is to use our online payment service to book you activity quickly and easily.

Alternative methods to get in touch to book Surfing:

  1. Send us an email at to let us know the dates that you are visiting the area and the activities that you would like to take part in.
  2. Give us a call on 07771 718 125 or 01637 872031 and we can talk you through the details and get you booked in. Lines are open between 7am and 9pm each day.
  3. Get in touch with details of which activity you would like to book and the dates you would like to go Surfing using our online contact form

Once you have sent us a booking enquiry via email or using our contact form, we will reply with a suggested timetable or activity session time and price. You can then confirm that you are happy with the details.

Pay in advance by giving us a call to pay over the phone on 01637 872031 / 07771 718 125. Please have your credit or debit card details to hand. Alternatively, you can use Paypal to pay for your Surf Lesson - just let us know and we can send you a link to complete the payment.

Once a payment has been made you will be sent your booking confirmation. Have a good read of this to make sure your booking details are correct. Bring the booking confirmation with you and present this to your instructor on your arrival.

Please note that full payment will need to be taken prior to any Surf Lesson.

Do I need to book in advance?

All of our surf lessons have limited availability so booking in advance is essential. We tend to run lessons at 9am, 12pm and 3pm however this does vary due to the tides.

Can I buy a Surf Lesson as a gift for a friend?

Activity vouchers are a popular gift for birthdays or Christmas presents. These can be pre paid to a value of you're choosing and paid in advance either over the phone on 01637 872031 / 07771718125 or via Paypal. Vouchers will be sent electronically via email as part of a booking confirmation and can be tailored to suit the occasion. Recipients of the voucher can simply enquire with the dates of when the wish to take their activity quoting the voucher number. Get in touch to enquire about Surfing gift certificates.

Where are you based?

Our address is 4 Alma Place, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1NF, UK. Cornish Wave is based on the grounds of Custard Point Surf Shop. If you cant find us please give us a call on 01637 872031 / 07771718125.
For our private surf lessons delivered at Watergate Bay and Perranporth Beach you will be provided with directions and a meeting point in your booking confirmation.

Where will I go Surfing?

Our main location for surf lessons in Newquay is Fistral Beach and Towan Beach in Newquay. For Surf Lesson packages such as the Surfari Surf Package and the Progressor Surf Package, other beaches are also used such as Watergate Bay and Perranporth Beach.

What if it's raining?

Here in Newquay on the coast of Cornwall our weather changes by the minute. If the sea conditions allow us to deliver your lesson safely, it will go ahead. Taking part in a surf lesson can be a great addition to a rainy day — you're going to get wet anyway!

Will it be cold?

In the summer months (May-Oct) the water temperature is surprisingly warm. Typically we use nice warm winter wetsuits for the majority of the year. Depending on when you join us for a surf lesson we can also offer wetsuit boots, gloves and hat. A warm surfer is a happy surfer!

Will my Surf Lesson be cancelled if the weather is bad?

The last thing we want is to cancel any surf lessons and as such we keep a keen eye on the weather. Being based in Newquay, we are lucky to have several protected beaches and bays that are often sheltered from wind and bad weather. This allows us to operate year round with minimal cancellations. Please see our Terms and Conditions of Service for the full details.

Why should I choose Cornish Wave?

Cornish Wave specialise in bespoke private surf lessons in and around the Newquay area where you the individual count. You will learn from some of the best instructors in the UK, using the best equipment and delivering your surf session with tried and tested surf coaching methods.

Our ethos has always been to offer more than just a surf lesson. When you buy a private surf lesson package from us you buy a little bit of Cornish surfing lifestyle and our aim is to pass as much of this onto you for you to enjoy for years to come.

We draw upon over 14 years of working in the outdoor activity industry. All of our instructors are passionate about surfing and sharing their love of the sport, we believe this shows in the quality and dedication to your enjoyment and progression as a surfer.

Are you insured?

We hold public liability insurance provided by the Activities Industry Mutual. The AIM is a long standing a widely recognised mutual within the outdoor activity industry and not just a cheap insurance policy bought on the internet. Please let us know if you need a copy of our certificate.

How Do I find you?

We are based on Towan Head, Headland Point in Newquay, a map of our location is available on our contact information page. All of our daily surf lessons run from this location. I you have chosen a Surfari Surf Lesson Package or booked a Private Surf Lesson at Watergate Bay or Perranporth Beach you will have directions on where to meet us in your booking confirmation.

Can I park near you?

For surf lessons in Newquay meet at our base on Headland Point. There is ample parking within walking distance. For directions on how to find us at any of our locations please refer to your booking confirmation.

Where do I leave my belongings while I'm Surfing?

If you are joining us for a surf lesson in Newquay you will be able to leave your belongings in our changing rooms and make use of the lockers. For surf lessons at Watergate Bay or Perranporth Beach you will need to leave your belongings in the tubs provided which remain locked in our van or in your cars.

Is all the equipment included in the price of the Surf Lesson?

Yes, all the surf equipment will be provided by Cornish Wave. We have a range of surf boards to choose from and use good quality winter wetsuits for the majority of our surf lessons. If we are surfing outside of the main summer months (May - October) then wetsuit boots, and gloves and a hat can be provided at no extra cost. Please bring something to wear under your wetsuit and a towel. If it is sunny we recommend bringing a bottle of water and sun cream.

Can I use the equipment after the Surf Lesson?

Yes, you are able to pre arrange to keep the surf equipment for use directly after your lesson. Please indicate this to us at the time of booking.

What will I learn in my first Surf Lesson?

I you have never surfed before then we start with the basics of beach safety, parts of the surf board and how to catch a wave lying prone on your stomach. We break the surf lesson down into three sections so that you have time to soak up the information and put your skills to practise.

Once you have mastered catching waves and trimming (steering) the surfboard we then move on to standing up and riding a wave toward the beach. This is harder than it looks and takes lots of effort and practise to get it right. By the end of the surf lesson you can expect to safely control your board, catch a wave, pop up and ride it into the shore.

How many Surf Lessons should I buy?

This really depends on you're surfing ambitions and goals. We offer a variety of surf lesson styles and formats. You can join us for a private or group surf lesson in Newquay, Watergate Bay and Perranporth beach.

Here at Cornish Wave we specialise in bespoke private surf lessons and will always recommend this type of surf lesson for learning - two or three progressive surf lessons will give you a lot of time in the sea and plenty of new skills to go away practise and think about.

What type of Surf Lesson do I need?

As specialists in Private bespoke surf lessons and guided tours we will usually recommend one of our private surf lesson packages. These exclusive surf lessons really do allow for the best results in the sea and give a personal touch to your experience.

Can I expect to be standing on my first Surf Lesson?

The majority of our customers will stand up and ride a wave on their first surf lesson. Our surf coaches will give you all the skills you need to succeed and although surfing can be frustrating we are with you for each wave to give tips, advice and changes on technique. You will finish your fist surf lesson feeling comfortable to enjoying surfing by yourself in the knowledge that you are practising the right techniques.

If you have any further questions about our surf lessons please don't hesitate to send us an email using or give us a call on 01637 872031 / 07771 718 125. You can of course also use our Contact Us form.