Top Surf Spot Locations: Devon

Group of surfers carrying boards on Saunton beach

Here at Wetsuit Centre, we know that a good surf is the difference between having an upbeat or a miserable day! To keep the spirits up, we have created a series which shares the best surf spots across the UK so you can (conditions permitted) always have a decent session.

To kickstart our series, we head over to the beautiful county of Devon, and explore the north coast, providing you with the best locations ready for your next visit! Take a look at our blog on the 9 best surf spots in the South West for a general overview of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset!

Surfer riding a wave in Croyde

Croyde

Let’s kick off with one of the most anticipated surf beaches in the area, Croyde.

Conditions and ability

The spot is famous for its strong and heavier waves and is known to fire on low tide which those who are advanced are eager to experience. It has been known to barrel, although this is uncommon!

However, if you are a humble beginner, don’t worry! The beach is set in a bay, meaning that the heaviness of its swell tends to decrease as the tide comes in. The village is a hub for surfing, and there are many thriving surf schools ready to get you riding the waves, making it an ideal place to learn.

Things to be aware of

Croyde is a lifeguarded beach, but this doesn’t mean you can take your awareness off the rips which are renowned in the area. Furthermore, check up on the swell size if you aren’t confident in the water yet and try not to get caught out on sizable sets that can come through on bigger days at low tide.

Surfer carrying surfboard on head in sunset at Saunton beach

Saunton

Just next door to Croyde is the long boarder’s dream spot, Saunton. A gentler experience compared to Croyde at low tide, Saunton is favoured for its calmer experience.

Conditions and ability

Its long, sandy beach is the perfect setting for dreamy surfs, Saunton is the perfect all-rounder and can offer a fantastic surf experience for all abilities. It’s especially praised by longboarders and appeals to advanced riders who are after reliable waves!

As the waves tend to roll in at a slow pace, it is a great spot for those who are just starting. It is also home to reputable surf schools if you are in search of a lesson.

Things to be aware of

It sounds too good to be true, and as you can imagine, people tend to flock to this magnificent beach, especially during school holidays and weekends, so attention in the water is vital.

Rips tend to persist around the cliffs; awareness is essential.

Putsborough beach with Baggy Point in background

Putsborough

The opposite side of Croyde to Saunton is the home of another firm favourite, Putsborough.

Conditions and ability

Baggy Point is a half-mile stretch of headland that separates Croyde from Putsborough. Putsborough beach nestles right next to the point, meaning that when conditions in Woolacombe are messy, it is a good bet that Putsborough is slightly more sheltered. It can be a nice place to learn and also boasts surf schools which will introduce you to the water.

That being said, don’t be fooled into thinking Putsborough is always a chill spot; Putsborough can fire in the right conditions, and is often recognised for its steep sets, long paddle out and epic wipe-outs. It is an all-rounder when it comes to ability, and some surfers have their favourite rides here!

Things to be aware of

Putsborough isn’t a lifeguarded beach, so it is best to keep this in mind if unfamiliar to the area. It is also easy to get swept towards the rocks at the bottom of Baggy, so keeping an eye on your position is crucial. High tide can bring the water quite far up to the rocks, so just watch your feet when getting out the water!

Woolacombe beach from Baggy Point

Woolacombe

Further down from Putsborough, the opposite side from Croyde, you can cast your eyes on the three-mile-long beach of golden sand that is Woolacombe.

Conditions and ability

A family favourite, Woolacombe offers a fun surf experience for all abilities. One of its most attractive aspects is its vast amount of space for plenty of surfers. With many peaks up and down the seafront, you are sure to find a spot where you can catch lots of waves. It ranges in wave types, from gentle longboarding waves and small beginner’s waves to big and punchy swell. It is a favourite of more advanced surfers, and Combesgate just further down towards Mortepoint, tends to crowd up with more experienced surfers.

Inundated with reputable surf schools, it is the ideal location to learn to surf, and the sandy beach break is also suitable for those who are getting used to enter the water independently.

Things to be aware of

Of course, as one of the UK’s favourite tourist destinations, you should expect to see crowds of tourists flooding the beach in the summer. Similar to Croyde, it is a lifeguarded beach but also has many rips which can carry you over to the rocks on the left-hand side (if in the water facing the beach).

Devon is a stunning location which is loved by surfers. Have we missed any of your favourite spots? Why not let us know on our social media channels; we would love to hear about them!

Excited to hit one of our featured surf beaches with the family? We can take care of the whole team with our online store, providing suits by all your favourite brands, starting from toddler wetsuits all the way up to adult sizes.