On Wild Weather Days, Surf Great Western
Cornwall is synonymous with UK surfing, and Newquay is the jewel in the Cornish crown. The majority of beaches on the north coast of Cornwall face west, this exposes them fully to the prevailing westerly winds and Atlantic swell, meaning consistent waves all year round. Fistral and Watergate are two prime examples of local beaches which face west, and have a mighty reputation because of it.
But what happens in the winter when the swell grows to an enormous size, or when even in the middle of summer the weather turns (like it has done in the last few weeks), into an endless blur of high wind and walls of churning white water?
The good news for surfers is that you’re spoiled for choice in Newquay, and there is a beach to suit almost every set of conditions. Great Western Beach faces North West, just a few degrees differentiate it from the exposed vantage point of Fistral, but wow what a difference that can make, especially when it’s blowing a hooley
Great Western sits in the centre of Newquay Bay and is sheltered by the outstretched limb of land which is Towan headland. The swell has to wrap around the headland in order to enter the bay, which dampens its power, and protects surfers in the bay from its full force.
The prevailing wind is also often blocked by the Towan headland. Great Western is tucked in the lee of the wind, which on wilder days is much appreciated by surfers, bodyboarders and swimmers alike.
Compared to other beaches in Newquay, surfers at Great Western can enjoy an increased number of surfing days due to the sheltered classroom-like conditions Towan headland provides.
It’s important to always stay safe in the water and surf within your capabilities, especially in the winter when the beaches aren’t lifeguarded. It’s good to push yourself to learn and improve, however you also want your surf experience to be fun. Great Western is your go-to beach when big swells and high winds make west facing beaches intimidating and unsuitable.
If you are a beginner surfer, or wanting lessons during a period of big swell then choose Great Western. Our conditions will be more enjoyable to learn in, and more suitable for gradually gaining experience.