Watergate Bay is a perfect example of all the right elements coming together in one place to create a unique surfing destination, as our Extreme Academy instructor Nick tells us…
The tide is on your side
Unlike many other beaches in Cornwall, Watergate Bay is a surf spot that works on most tides, and knowing how this affects the waves at the Bay is a bonus. Generally speaking, you’ll find the best waves at mid to high tide – and there’s not that many places on the north coast that work at high. Then again, visit at low and you’ll find two-miles of space to play with and hopefully a peak to yourself – just take care during big swells.
Sure is swell
Facing straight out into the Atlantic, Watergate Bay picks up a lot of ground swell and is a safe bet during small waves. It also takes advantage of working on most swell directions, although a westerly swell is best. If there’s not much swell around then low tide is your best bet. Or, if you like your swell’s massive like our instructor Nick (above), you’ll find high tide is your friend.
The Bay works best on a light south-easterly offshore wind, but the best thing is that waves are sheltered at high tide by our big imposing cliffs. If everywhere else in Cornwall is blown out, it’s always worth checking for a sneaky high-tide dip. At the other end of the spectrum, low tide can be quite exposed. But once the wind picks up past 20 knots then it’s time to get the kites out for a kitesurf.
The pros surf here
A centre stop on the UK Pro Surf Tour, the Bay plays host to The English National Surfing Championships every May. This year, hundreds of the UK’s best surfers will battle it out over the weekend of 2-4 May 2015. The final of the Rip Curl Grom Search also lands on 15-16 August. If it’s good enough for the pros, it’s good enough for us.
With high performance wetsuits, accessories like boots, gloves and hoods, storage lockers, surf hire, lessons and general advice on where to surf, the Extreme Academy has everything you could need to surf right on slipway to the beach. Oh, and there’s warm showers. Then when you’re warm and ready to refuel, you’ll find plenty of places to eat and drink whatever your fancy.