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24 September 2014

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Devon's surfing beaches (continued)
Surfers on beach
Surfers are spoilt for choice
Continuing our round-up of Devon's best surf beaches.

Simon Alexander reports on the surfing hang outs you really don't want to miss.
Latest surfing conditions for Devon and Cornwall

Latest surfing conditions for UK coast

World tour surfing photo gallery

News from the surfing competition circuit

Surfing Record Broken
Surfing Magazine

One Stop Surf


Kneeboard Surfing UK


Surfing Croyde Bay

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There are currently 250,000 surfers in the UK.

The biggest surf normally occurs on a pushing tide, especially on the Bristol Channel coast.

Croyde Bay in North Devon and Fistral Beach in Cornwall are two of the most popular surfing beaches in Britain.

The first ever degree in surfing was offered by the University of Plymouth.

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Woolacombe offers more quality beachbreak waves, which in the past have been ridden by the sports elite. The venue was once a popular venue for top national and professional contests.

Woolacombe Bay
Woolacombe: quality beach breakers

The beach is more exposed to south westerly winds than Puttsborough but as the tide line bends around to Mortehoe, it can offer punchy peaks in most winds except from the northerly quandrant.

Further up the Bristol Channel are wavefields aplenty, and when the big storm swells sweep across the north coast Lynmouth comes into play. One of Devon's premiere pointbreaks, the pebble and rock bottom ensures perfect breaking waves and some of the longest rides in the county.

Saunton Sands
Saunton Sands: ideal for beginners

Just south of Croyde, Saunton Sands offers much slower breaking waves courtesy of its gently sloping beach. It is an ideal location for beginners.

In recent years Saunton has also been a popular destination for longboarders, who skillfully ride the waves from the two to 10ft range.

Across the Torridge Estuary, lies Westward Ho! and spots beyond. Popular with surfers from Bideford, the waves break almost identically to Saunton, although a series of rock outcrops offers a more challenging wave when conditions allow. Again winds from an easterly direction are offshore.

Devon's south coast, which stretches from Lyme Bay in the east to Plymouth Sound in the west also boasts plenty of surfing locations, but swell direction plays a major part in the quality of waves which break on the shore.

The surf is more consistent during the winter, when powerful North Atlantic swells manage to push past the Lands End/Brittanny gap causing waves to break along the whole coastline.

Bantham lifeguards
Bantham: lifeguards at the ready

Bantham, in the South Hams, has attracted surfers from Plymouth and further afield for over thirty years.

With Burgh Island as a backdrop, it is a scenic surfing location. Waves break through all stages of the tide, although rip currents can be strong at times. Other popular surfing beaches nearby include Challaborough and Wembury.

In Torbay, surfing has grown steadily over the years, with Paignton Pier and Torquay providing quality surf when conditions are right. Waves are also ridden at Dawlish Warren, Sidmouth and along the East Devon coast to Lyme Regis.

With such a diversity of surfing locations around Devon, it really is a case of where there's a will, there's a wave!

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