surfer carving sharply surfing beaches cornwall

Surfing at Fistral Beach

Summer surfing

The Headland is perched above one of Europe’s most famous surfing beaches at Fistral.

Fistral Beach hosts a range of National and International surfing competitions throughout the year including Boardmasters surf, skate and music festival, British Universities Colleges Surfing Championships and the English Surfing Nationals.

Fistral Beach has a consistent beach break and can produce good surfing waves throughout the tides. Typically, one hour after high tide and two hours before low tide will provide good long lines of white-water waves for new surfers and gentle rolling green waves for developing surfers.

The northern end of Fistral Beach is popular with locals and more advanced surfers, allowing beginners ample room further down towards the middle and southern end of the beach.

Autumn and winter surfing

The season with the ideal combination of better waves, warmer water and fewer crowds is the golden spell between mid-autumn and early winter. From late October, the Atlantic Ocean really comes alive as the jet stream buckles and shifts to allow the passage of swell-generating low pressures that bring surf to our shores. The sun sits a bit lower in the sky creating wonderful contrasts of light and temperature that change throughout the day. The coastline is alive and dynamic.

While these natural changes can improve the conditions, here are some things we can do to enhance our surf experience:

· Never surf alone. Lifeguards operate on Fistral untill late October, after that surf with knowledgeable friends or a professional surf guide.
· The sea is warmer later in the year (i.e. December is as warm as May!) so a proper 3 or 4 mm wetsuit is enough, but team it up with boots on chilly mornings.
· ‘Chrimbo-limbo’ is a wonderful time to surf – the atmosphere in the water is jovial and the weather in Cornwall is often mild.
· Tides make a difference. With the shorter days, we only experience one tide during daylight hours so ‘know before you go’.

More info on winter surfing can be found here.

Offers & Experiences

Halloween at the Headland

Join us for a bewitching beach break this Halloween. Famously known for its appearance in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’, experience 5-star luxury with 3 nights’ accommodation and breakfast daily in our iconic Victorian hotel.

Storm watching hotel experience

The best part about visiting Cornwall in the autumn and winter is getting cosy inside our grand hotel and watching the wild weather outside.

The Headland Spa-cation break

Let your body and mind completely unwind as you enjoy two nights of indulgent dining and five-star pampering.

Our Instagram