My favourite spring surf kit, the best British beaches to learn to catch waves on and where to escape to on an exotic surfari this summer. Salty hair, don’t care!
Lightweight wetsuits, beachy beads and the nicest kicks around.
1. Glass beads, from £12.95 from Nalu
Each of Nalu’s intricate glass beads represents a different surf spot in Britain and beyond. Share your love for Chapel Porth and Camber Sands or collect all the beaches you visit around the world.
2. Dreamer onepiece swimsuit, £54.95 from Afends
Easier to wear under your wetsuit than a bikini and also rather retro, this gorgeous 90s-style daisy costume from cool Aussie brand Afends is a no-brainer for long days on the beach.
3. Low Rover shoe, £47 from Reef
Reef are my go-to brand for surfy shoes and sandals, and these relaxed Rover kicks are my new favourites. Reef use Swellular tech, designed to add bouncy support and traction, and their sneakers are lightweight, comfortable and perfect for hopping from city streets to sand dunes (check out Tia Blanco wearing hers, above).
4. Modern Gypsy wetsuit jacket, £48 from Reef
Sling on this unisex wetsuit jacket as a rash vest or an extra layer, or wear alone over a bikini for extra protection on hot days.
5. Popsurf summer wetsuit, £63 from Roxy
A swimsuit with legs! This shell-print beauty is the perfect in-between layer for hot summer days Britain (yeah right) or spring surf sessions in warmer climes.
6. Paisley rucksack, £44.95 from Afends
Stick all your snacks in this retro paisley wonder, designed by Afends in Byron Bay and made of rugged canvas that’ll withstand the elements nicely.
7. Wayfarer Sunglasses, £9.99 from Urban Beach
Fun two-tone wayfarers (they suit everyone) with UV400 protection. They’re a steal at under a tenner, too – perfect if you’re like me and tend to break/sit on/lose sunglasses like nobody’s business.
8. Leather sandals, from £26, Reef
Reef make lush leather sandals inspired by surf culture which are insanely comfortable as well as looking very nice. They durable rubber soles and soft Brazilian leather uppers mean they’ll last you forever
Head to one of these glorious spots for a lesson and you’ll be hooked on catching waves.
1. Caswell Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wales
A pretty, sheltered beach near Mumbles, Caswell is beginner-friendly, with surf that tends to be big enough to give you a challenge but small enough to stop you wiping out mid wave. There’s year-round reliable swell and a cosy little cafe serving amazing hot chocolate to help you get rid of the water’s chill post session.
SURF LESSONS: Surf GSD teach at Caswell all year round.
2. Sennen Cove, Cornwall
Surf off the edge of this sceptred isle, quite literally. Just north of Land’s End, Sennen Cove boasts the goldens sand and crystal clear water that Cornwall is so famous for. One of the most consistent breaks in Britain, autumn is the perfect time to cart your board to Sennen, as the summer holidaymakers are gone but the sea is still warm.
SURF LESSONS: The friendly bunch at the Sennen Surf school will have you popping up in no time. They offer surf and stay packages too.
3. Woolacombe Bay, Woolacombe, North Devon
The three mile long space stretching from Morte Point cliffs to Putsborough boasts clean water, acres of sand dunes to explore and a rainbow of beach huts. Tons of surfing competitions and events call Woolacombe home.
SURF LESSONS: Nick Thorne‘s surf school and Woolacombe surf school are both based on the beach.
4. Fistral Beach, Newquay, North Cornwall
Fistral Beach in Newquay is the social hub for British surfing, home to Boardmasters festival, professional riders, surf mags and a plethora of rental shops and surf schools – try Fistral Surf Hire, which is right on the beach. The golden sands, Atlantic breakers and close proximity to eight other beaches make it a no brainer for beginner to intermediate surfers.
SURF LESSONS: Fistral Beach surf school offer longboard lessons as well as surf coaching.
Combine a rad holiday far from the madding crowds with learning to surf in warmer waters
1. Mint Surf, Morocco
I’ve got big love for this little surf camp after spending a week there last summer. We caught waves in little fishing villages, stayed in Mint Surf’s gorgeous riad and hung out on sandy beaches with herds of camels. Read all about our trip
2. Chicks on Waves, Portugal
Meet like-minded surf-loving ladies on these girls-only surf and yoga weekends, based in the gorgeous Portuguese Algarve. Perfect if you’re on a budget but still want to escape to somewhere beautiful.
3. Talalla Surf Camp, Sri Lanka
Go surf luxe in paradisical Sri Lanka – learn to catch waves in the warm turquoise water of Talalla Beach and sleep under the stars (and a mosquito net). Definitely next on my wanderlust list.
4. Surf Sistas, Global
The happy gang of Surf Sistas organise surfari and surf cycle trips to Bali and Costa Rica as well as beginner courses and weekenders in Cornwall and Wales. I especially like their stripy rash vests.