The Local Surf
‘A Sunday morning breeze flows through your bedroom window. The curtains dance with the 5 am wind, and the birds start to stretch their wings and sing a song. You awake to the sweet sound, and roll over and check the surf report. Perfect. As always. No need to check. You leap out of bed with grace, and slide on your wet suit, and pull a baggy jumper onto your torso. You grab your travel mug and coffee press, and spoon in 3 scoops of grounded Arabic coffee. The aroma of the grains fills your body with warmth, and your eyes are awake. Pressing the coffee and filling up your mug, you quickly slip on your flip-flops, and pack lightly; A stick of wax, and a water bottle. You grab your soft cotton towel, and through it over your 6’5 Quiver board; freshly cleaned by the oceans touch the night before. Leaving your house, you walk two minutes around the corner, and see the 5:30 am surf. The beach is already gleaming with life, and you politely say hello to your fellow surfers while walking further down the beach. Plenty of room for everyone. The sun is awake now, and is slowly kissing the moon goodnight as the oranges and pinks bounce on the horizon. All you can hear is the delicate waves prancing onto the velvet sand. You can feel all the individual particles of the sand between your toes, welcoming your feet once again to the place you call home. You drop your bag, towel and jumper, zip up your wet suit, and run down to the waves. Nothing is nicer than a 6 am duck-dive wake up call. Your flat up the road might be your house, but this little beach you call Fistral, is your true comfort.’
If you say the word Fistral to any avid surfer, you can guarantee you’ll see their eyes widen with passion. As one of the most popular surfing destinations, backed by high rolling cliffs and sand dunes, Fistral is truly a grand playground for plenty of enthusiasts, who flock down to golden sands whenever possible. Not only is it our local favourite, but Fistral beach is the home for competitions such as Boardmasters, The Quicksilver Skins, The UK Pro Surf Tour, and the BUSA Championships. The waves themselves are never at a fault, regularly reaching heights between 3 and 8 foot. We don’t judge on how advanced you are on surfing, you could be a first timer or a ‘Jaws’ rider, Fistral really is the ideal place for you to show off who you are. A second home to all of us here.
(Photography: Lola Manzanares Gurucharri.)
Watergate Bay – a prime example of all the right elements coming together in one place. Similar to Fistral beach, Watergate Bay has the tide on your side, allowing perfect surfing conditions. You’ll either be greeted by mid to high tide waves, or smaller ankle bitters. Either way, the wide spread golden beach gives you two-miles of space to play. This beautiful spot faces straight out into the Atlantic, picking up a lot of ground swell. A center stop on the UK Pro Surf Tour, the Bay plays host to The English National Surfing Championships every May. We’re not all pro’s here at Seabase, so don’t be disheartened, the Bay still welcomes waves for those beginners. When you’re not riding the waves, the rolling sands and high cliffs makes you feel as if you were abroad. When refueling from the surf, just take a sit back, take a deep breathe; this is simply a nice place to be.
(Photography: Laura Mackenzie.)
‘Mar not my face but let me be, Secure in this lone cave by the sea, Let the wild waves around me roar, Kissing my lips for evermore.’
The Super Bank – framed by a looming sand dune that worships the sunbathers, Crantock is a wide sandy beach that offers a feeling of a different world. We can be often seen riding the waves at this beach; look out for John on his symmetrical paipo! Excellent at low tide, the cliffs to the South offer shelter from cross winds, allowing you to have a clean surf. Fewer crowds than Fistral, but picking up just as much swell, Crantock is a thing of beauty. But, be careful – there can be some gnarly rip currents. Don’t let that get you down, though, Crantock offers great mellow waves, and is often called log heaven at mid to high tide. When the crowds flock towards Fistral, the beach is left untouched, enabling the lone surfer to jump right in, and catch some barrels.
Although not as popular as other beaches dotted around the coastline, Towan is the small favourite for some of us here at Seabase – at least it is for me anyway! I remember when I first moved to Newquay, and Towan Beach immediately striked my interest, and I’ve been down there every evening since. Although smaller than the stretched miles of Fistral and Watergate, Towan still offers the same experience and feeling; fulfilling any surfers needs. The beach faces North West, picking up a perfect swell. Backed by high cliffs, hugging the bay with comfort, Towan becomes sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds, lining up the surf perfectly with clean, effortless waves. Although, before you visit this luxury, you might need to check the surf report, as being a smaller beach than others, the high-tide can occasionally creep up to the Aquarium walls. But, when the surf report reads positive, Towan really calls to the heart of the soul surfer.