Marazion, Mount’s Bay, Penzance, Cornwall
Open water, tidal venue, flanked by Penzance to the west and picturesque St Michael’s Mount to the east. Marazion (or Mazza as it’s more commonly referred to) can either be a wave venue of flat water spot depending on time of year and weather.
Hit Mazza in high summer and chances are it’ll be pretty flat. There may be a sea breeze setting up, depending on the actual month, with a small chance of a tiny wave if you’re lucky. Mostly, however, Marazion will be a flat water recreational/touring spot with a picturesque vista, sandy beach and the tiniest whiff of ‘kiss me quick beside the sea’ culture.
The beach is pretty tidal that throws up a degree of shore dump at high tide as the sand steepens. Towards low it flattens off significantly. If there’s swell it can be quite lined up, if mushy. The push increases the wave’s power but it’s still not as quality as neighbouring Gwithian for instance (10 mins away).
Winter can often be brutal at Mazza with seemingly endless lines of white water to punch through – especially if there’s breeze. Heading towards the Penzance end and Long Rock will give a bit more shelter in Wly blows. Every so often the gusts relent and you’re left with some decent (mellow) SUP surfing waves that won’t destroy you and your kit like elsewhere. Just avoid the high water shore break and you’ll be fine.
High tide shore dump can be an issue and there’s reef in places – particularly if you head further along towards Long Rock. If you’re paddling close to St Michael’s Mount be aware of current and tidal flow around the historic island. It’s possible to circumnavigate ‘the rock’ on calm days. Just be aware it’s hard to be seen once you’re round the back.
Summer sees plenty of other water users and beach goers descend on Marazion. It’s now the local foiling spot – for windsurf, wing, SUP and kite. This means even the merest sniff of wind or a wave will see flyers in attendance, alongside everyone else.
Parking and traffic in general along the road behind the beach can be a ‘mare in summer. Get there early to reserve your park up space and avoid sitting in traffic.
Access is super easy with the roads leading right to the beachside car park. Unlike a lot of North Cornwall locations you don’t have cliffs to scramble down, instead an easy few steps will see you plant tootsies in the sand.
Marazion is close to Penzance, St. Ives and their adjacent villages. It’s a bit of a hub with all manner of watersports riders heading to Maza on any given day in summer. Even during the off season it can be busy.
2-5 in winter with numbers rising significantly as the weather improves.
A bunch of shops/cafes and fast food outlets occupy the beach frontage at Maza with plenty of additional shops, eateries and so on available in Penzance and St. Ives. There are plenty of campsites and accommodation options close by for those staying a few days. Pasty Adventures, the local watersports school in the area, offers SUP lessons/tours as well as tuition in other disciplines. Wind Junkie is another set up that offer SUP tasters and tours as well as windsurfing. And, of course, there are numerous surf shops dotted about.
Marazion is a picturesque part of deepest Cornwall that’s guarded by the historic and looming St Michael’s Mount. If you’re into history, and fancy a nose around the mount, then head across the causeway at low tide or grab a water taxi when the water’s full. For stand up paddle boarding navigating along this stretch of coastline will appeal to the tourers out there whilst a quick ‘round the rock’ jaunt may be too good to pass up on fair weather days. Waves do jack up from time to time and can get quite chunky, although nowhere near as full on as other beaches in the area. Mazza’s wave is also a softer, crumblier type (mostly) unless you happen to miss time a high tide beach dumper.
A focal point for many types of watersport, not just SUP, Maza offers great windsurfing/kitesurfing conditions on its day and is now home to many a foiler who’ve taken the location as their own. If you’re after the quintessential Cornish beach experience you may be disappointed as Mazza has more in common for south coast locations further up the English Channel, albeit with a distinctly Cornish feel.
Plenty of other SUP put in options exist in this neck of the woods depending on what type of conditions you’re after. As an all round SUP spot, however, you can’t beat a bit of Mazza.