If there’re two things Scotland’s got loads of, it’s wind, and coastlines. And when you combine them with easily accessible, long beaches and a bunch of dedicated local surfers, windsurfers, kite surfers and other adventurers, you’ve got some pretty good places to play.
Renowned for having some of the top surfing conditions in the UK, and some of the best breaks in Europe, as long as you can stand the bracingly cold water, Scotland’s got plenty to offer a hardy surfer with a wetsuit.
The north, east and west coasts, as well as many of the islands, have top surf spots, so you’re never too far from the action. In particular, the far north-west coast, between Thurso and Bettyhill, and the outer Hebrides offer world famous breaks, and the Isle of Lewis is said to have the best most consistent surf in Britain.
Whether you’re into racing along at top speed, or doing impressive jumps and wave riding, windsurfing is perfectly suited to the high winds on the Scottish tides. If you want to hire equipment, take some lessons or find out more about the best spots, The Royal Yachting Association has information on windsurfing centres around the country.
Kite surfing combines surfing the waves below you whilst harnessing the wind power above. It’s fast, physical, and a lot of fun. You can try wave riding; using the kite to catch and ride the best waves, freestyle; getting as much air as you can to do jumps and spins, or go for hang time, trying to stay in the air for as long as possible. Contact the British Kite Surfing Association for more information.
The impact of the waves
The isle of Tiree is a world-class location for surfing and wind-surfing, with its Atlantic waves making ideal conditions. In this clip from Landward, Nick Nairn travels to the island to find out more about Tiree as a surfers' paradise.
Page first published on Tuesday 19th June 2007
Page last updated on Tuesday 17th June 2008