A holiday to Devon is a wonderful thing; this beautiful piece of English countryside has so much to explore, and its costal environs are among the very best anywhere in the country. Devon really is the perfect place to learn how to surf, with its numerous sandy beaches and passionate love of the ocean. And Hideaways is the ideal home base from which to do so. But just where are the best places to learn? There are plenty of options, so we have tried to narrow it down for you, helping you decide on where to learn to surf during your next Devon holiday.
Bantham Surfing Academy
As mentioned, you are indeed spoilt for choice if you want to learn how to surf when visiting a Devon luxury holiday cottage, and Bantham Surfing Academy in Kingsbridge is one of the finest available.
Situated on Bantham beach in South Devon, this surfing academy is able to provide lessons to those across the spectrum, from novices right through to the very advanced. Bantham is a British Surf School Centre of Excellence and is therefore able to give their students all the support and expertise needed to master the waves.
Lessons at Bantham Surfing Academy start at £35 for beginner lessons, which last for 2 hours. Discounts are available for multiple lesson bookings. Lessons for 5-8 year olds are also available for £25 per child.
Triocean Surf shop
If you are really getting into the surfing spirit while in this neck of the woods, Triocean Surf shop is a wonderful place to visit for all your surfing gear and equipment. They also specialise in surfboard repair and equipment hire.
Croyde Surf Academy
Croyde is a verified hotspot for surfing and is replete with wonderful surfing schools. One of the very best is Croyde Surf Academy, who takes pride in teaching folks to surf the right way, only instructing the very best techniques.
Their accredited instructors have over 10 years of surfing experience and their passion for waves is more than a match for their expert knowledge. Not only is Croyde Surf Academy a wonderful place to learn to surf, but in the summer months, BBQs are often hosted on the beach after sessions, providing a great environment for meeting new people in the surfing community.
Speaking to Croyde Surf Academy, they said: “Through all the laughs and good times, Croyde Surf Academy is dedicated to providing the ultimate in professional instruction, dedication and safety to every person aged 5 to 85 who crosses their path.”
They went on to describe just what is on offer: “Surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, glorious beaches, great food, restaurants, hampers and an amazing hub of surfing fun – Croyde Surf Academy provides customised packages for families, groups and individuals.”
Students are able to choose from numerous lesson types, with courses that include beginner, improver, intermediate and advanced lessons. And if you really want to go the whole nine yards, private lessons are available for one-to-one tuition, no matter your surfing ability.
Redwood Surf Shop
Croyde is not only a great place to learn how to surf but also an ideal place to pick up some much needed surfing equipment. Located on Hobbs Hill, at Redwood Surf Shop you can both hire boards and pick up second hand equipment, should you desire.
Surf South west
With locations at both Croyde and Saunton, Surf South West are able to offer lessons and courses to help you on your way to surfing supremacy in some of the country’s most stunning ocean settings.
We spoke to Surf South West who told us a little about their fantastic school.
‘’Surf South West's surf schools offer surf lessons, surfing courses and surf holidays at Croyde Bay in Devon, and Saunton Sands, North Devon, England. Our first surf school was established in 1996 and 2017 marks our 22nd year as the premier surfing centre in the UK providing surf lessons for all levels including 'learn to surf' beginner surfing lessons. Surf South West is proud to be the first surf school to be awarded the highest 'Centre of Excellence' status by Surfing England.’’
The surf school is open every day from March 25 to November 5, but lessons can still be arranged outside of these dates if the instructors are available. The cost of their lessons include the use of a board and wetsuit and start at £32 for a half day lesson. One-to-one lessons are also available to give you the attention you need.
Blue Groove Restaurant
If you are looking for a bite to eat after a hard day of surfing, the Blue Groove Restaurant in Croyde is a fantastic spot with plenty of personality stemming from its classic beach style. Located in the heart of Croyde, Blue Groove is able to offer breakfast, family lunches, vegetarian and kids’ options, along with evening dining.
Found at Baggy Point, along the stunning National Trust coastline, is Lyndon Wake Surf School that is able to provide, along with surf lessons and coaching for those of all abilities and levels, coasteering and stand-up-paddleboard sessions if you are looking to mix things up a little.
Lyndon Wake was founded in 2012 by Ripcurl Pro rider Lyndon Wake, who is able to offer his expert knowledge to learners alongside other top surfing instructors. Beyond the exciting and thoughtful lessons available, Lyndon Wake also provides hot showers and a changing room for its students.
The experienced team at Lyndon Wake provide surfing lessons for all, regardless of skill level, with sessions for complete beginners, improvers and advanced surfers. And if there are a few of you looking to learn, group sessions are on offer, including a 2.5 hour lesson at £35 per person.
Croyde Tourist Board
There is so much to enjoy in Croyde and it’s no surprise that it features so prominently on our list. For more information on the various amenities, businesses, and sports activities available, pay a visit to Croyde’s tourist board and plan your day out in the area.
Nick Thorn Surf School
Situated at the beautiful beaches of Putsborough and Woolacombe, the Nick Thorn Surf School is able to deliver exhilarating surfing instruction at some truly breath-taking seaside locations. The Level 4 Master Surf Coach Sessions are the perfect way to develop this new skill during your holiday.
Over the years, the team at Nick Thorn Surf School have taught hundreds to surf and enjoy the rush of riding the waves. They pride themselves on creating a fun and supportive environment where fundamentals can be learnt, but also where people can build towards more advanced surfing escapades.
Nick Thorn himself was able to speak to us about what is on offer at his surf school, while also praising North Devon for being such a fantastic location for surfing.
“North Devon is an amazing part of the world, with its open spaces and rolling dunes down to the beaches. North Devon offers it all. If one day is dull or sunny, you can surf, hike, cycle, canoe, stand-up paddle board, coasteer, shop, walk or enjoy one of the cosy pubs.
“There are plenty of surf schools in North Devon. However, Nick Thorn Surf Coaching is an AALS Licensed lifeguard training centre and I am a level 4 Master surf coach. We run a surf school from Putsborough which is one of the quietest and most family friendly beaches in all of North Devon. Putsborough Beach offers sheltered conditions and great waves for the beginner to advanced surfer. We also offer coasteering and stand-up paddle boarding.
“We can offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience for stand-up paddle boarding, a paddle around Lundy Island or a paddle along Baggy Point to the secret caves of the point itself or a relaxed paddle along the Barnstaple estuary.”
The lessons at Nick Thorn are 2 hours in length and are able to provide for eager learners no matter the size of the party, with individual, group, and school training available. Surf lessons start at £28 for one lesson and are capped at £136 when five lessons are purchased.
We spoke to Woolacombe Tourism, a wonderful resource for information you need to know about the area and what makes Woolacombe so great for surfers.
“Woolacombe is a fantastic award-winning beach, recently voted Number One beach in the UK on TripAdvisor two years in a row. The beach is three miles of golden sands and is beautifully clean, and safe for swimmers and surfers as there are RNLI Lifeguards on duty every day throughout the season.
“There are plenty of facilities at the Woolacombe end of the beach, with parking, catering vans, toilets, beach shops, and surf hire and tuition. The village of Woolacombe has plenty to offer with restaurants, cafes, pubs, shops, post office, accommodation, etc.
“Both Woolacombe and Putsborough are extremely popular with surfers and body-boarders, with fun waves coming from the Atlantic. The surrounding countryside, largely owned by the National Trust, is beautiful, with some great walks and stunning views!”
Discovery Surf School
Rounding off our list is Discovery Surf School at Bigbury-on-Sea, a premier South Devon surf school ideal for teaching you all you need to know, providing professional lessons for all ages in a safe and secure environment.
Operating out of Bigbury-on Sea since 2002, Discovery Surf School likes to ensure small groups for their surfing lessons with the goal of getting you up and riding in your very first lesson. Called “One of the best surf schools in the UK” by Coast Magazine, Discovery is an ASI accredited school who are able to coach beginners right through to advanced surfers.
The 2-hour beginner lessons available at Discovery Surf School start at £38 and include the important and necessary teaching of important beach safety information to help keep you safe while riding the waves. For those that are a little unsure, they are also able to offer 1-hour taster sessions at £20. Group and private lessons are also on offer.
The Venus Company
Surfing is tremendous fun but mastering the ocean can be energy sapping. Luckily, Bigbury-on-Sea contains plenty of great places to eat, including the Venus Company Café, which is perfect for those coming straight off the beach looking for some sustenance.
We spoke to The Venus Company, who are passionate about preserving their beach, about what makes Devon and indeed their establishment such a fine place to visit.
“Set on a spectacular, unspoilt beach on the South Devon coast, Bigbury-on-Sea is the perfect destination for a relaxed beach holiday. It’s a place that’s all about restoring the balance of life; getting active through long walks amongst the rugged coastline, facing the elements through surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, and eating and drinking the best of Devon’s produce.
“The chic take-away café on the beach, The Venus Company, is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. There’s something for everyone, from hearty breakfast baps, to their famous pasties, homemade burgers and cake too. The food is all sourced from local farmers and artisan producers, often organic and certainly free-range.”
Image Credit: Woolacombe TIC