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A group of surfers in wetsuits running into the sea at sunset

Navigating the Waves: Tips for Surfing in North Devon

Ahoy there! If you're seeking the perfect blend of surf, sand, and sunshine, Devon is the ultimate UK destination to unleash your inner aqua adventurer.

Nestled on the rugged coastlines of Ilfracombe, Sandy Covel is your coastal haven to dive into all the surf-tastic action the region has to offer.

So grab your board, shorts and sun cream because we're about to ride the waves of wisdom with some top-notch tips for riding the swells like a pro in this captivating corner of England.

A man catching a wave on his surf board

Tips for Surfing in Devon

Ride the tides like a local

When it comes to catching those epic waves, understanding the tides is essential. Devon's coastline boasts an array of surf spots with different characteristics, so it's vital to know which ones work best at high tide or low tide. Ask the friendly locals for advice, or do some online research before you hit the shores. With waves that'll make your heart race, getting the tide right is like hitting the surfer's jackpot!

Embrace the wetsuit life

Let's be honest - Devon's waters aren't exactly a tropical paradise. That's why a good wetsuit is your ultimate ally. Embrace the wetsuit life and make sure it's the right thickness for the season. This will keep you warm and toasty while you wait for that perfect set to roll in.

Wetsuits are like a surfer's second skin; they're stylish, functional, and they make you feel like a superhero of the sea. However, if you're new to surfing and don't want to invest in a wetsuit just yet, there are numerous hire companies throughout North Devon.

Start small, build big

Beginner or seasoned pro, Devon's waves offer something for everyone. If you're new to surfing, avoid diving straight into the towering swells. Start small with gentle breaks and gradually work your way up. This approach not only enhances your skills but also keeps the fun alive without overwhelming yourself. Remember, even the most legendary surfers started as wave rookies!

Weather watch

Surfing and sunshine go together like fish and chips. Still, Devon's weather can be as unpredictable as your first ride on a gnarly wave. Check the weather forecast before you hit the beach to ensure you're dressed for success.

Respect the environment

As you ride the waves, remember that you're sharing the water with a diverse array of marine life. Be a responsible surfer and respect the environment. Dispose of your rubbish correctly, avoid disturbing wildlife, and support local conservation efforts. Remember, keeping the sea clean and vibrant ensures that generations of surfers to come can enjoy the magic of the waves.

Get help from the pros

If you fancy speeding up your surfing success, consider bookings lessons with one of the various surf schools in North Devon. Croyde Bay has some of the best waves in the world, and it's surf school is second to none.


There you have it, wave warriors! Devon is your playground of possibility, and with these tips in your back pocket, you're well-equipped to conquer its captivating surf scene. 

Whether you're a beginner seeking your first taste of wave glory or a seasoned surfer looking for the next big challenge, Devon's coastline has a wave with your name on it.

And when the day's adventures come to a close, Sandy Cove Hotel in Ilfracombe welcomes you with open arms and breath-taking sea views, providing the perfect sanctuary to rest and recharge for another day of wave riding.

Book your stay today and let the surf and sunshine await!

An aerial view showing Sandy Cove Hotel and The Venue with the sea in the foreground