Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall.
West facing, exposed beach break with multiple wave choices depending on conditions or ability.
Waves can range in size at Fistral depending on the time of year. Summer sees small, often blown out days while winter can be absolutely macking. It does goes glassy calm during high season which is when it’s time to bust the touring SUP out.
Crowds can be a real factor at Fistral. When the hordes descend finding a quiet area can be nigh impossible. Outside of summer it gets quieter but you’ll never truly be alone. Other hazards are typical open water wave spots. Rips, currents, tides, powerful swell, rocks in places and other surfers all need to take into account.
Newquay, being a busy town, has plenty going on with all manner of pubs, bars, restaurants and nightclubs to choose from. Accommodation is also abundant. Although it still gets fully booked during peak periods. Newquay’s also pretty close to other surrounding villages and towns where you may find more choice. Watergate, for instance, is just along the coast.
10+ almost all of the time. Although there are quieter sessions to be had. If you come here during the annual Boardmasters Festival Newquay is even busier! But it can be a fun festival all the family will enjoy.
Everything you need in Newquay town. Fistral itself has the watersports complex right on the beach with a number of eateries, fast food outlets, surf shops and schools. Including SUP hire and lessons.
Newquay’s Fistral Beach is the epicenter of British surfing. With a town built on the beach’s wave riding reputation, it’s now a Mecca for the hardcore and beginner alike. Being such a bustling town, with a whiff of surf wax in nostrils, has also enticed the party crowd down during summer. There’s plenty going on in terms of nightlife. Although the once truly hedonistic element has been dampened down in recent years. Still, plenty of hen and stag do parties rock into town all wanting a slice of Cornish surfing and the Newquay vibe.
North Fistral is the main peak at the beach and therefore the busiest. Parking can be problematic in high season.
The waves are anything from powerful whimpers to mellow peelers perfect for SUP surfing. If it goes flat there are some great touring/adventure routes to tick off. Paddling round Town Head towards the town beaches is a great one. Just be aware of what’s going on with the weather, tide and surf.
Another option is south Fistral which can offer respite from crowds. Not always, but sometimes (even when North Fistral’s bombed out) you can find space. The wave itself is of similar quality depending on conditions.
The adventurous could paddle round the Pentire Head and into Crantock. Again, know your tides, weather and wave info for the day if attempting this. Mother Nature’s moods can change fast so don’t get caught out.
Paddle boarding has grown in popularity in and around Newquay. Many surfers use it for flat water training to stay in shape when the waves are flat. Not too many actually use a SUP for surfing but a few do. If you’re contemplating it then make sure you have your skills dialled in and observe surfing etiquette.