Today we are going to take a look at some of the best Surf spots in South England and hopefully give Surf Report followers some clues to some of the spots you can find a wave at along the South coast. There are waves to be had anywhere from Cornwall to Kent, and although every spot has it’s day many of the South Coast spots can be fickle and there can be a long wait for some of them to come to life. For the most part, the more consistent and better waves can be found the further West you go.
Starting in Cornwall, spots that need no introduction are Porthleven and Praa Sands, both classy spots but different animals. Porthleven is a reef break that can be pretty crowded and is always shallow and works on a variety of swells but a south west swell is always good. Although mainly known for its hollow churning rights every now and then a rare left can appear. Praa is a beachbreak wave and can throw out some really tasty barrels, both lefts and rights, although high tide can become quite dumpy. Aim for south westerly swells and avoid the low tide rips.
Into Devon and spots worth a look include Paignton and Teignmouth but a personal favourite and classy on it’s day is Bantham. Paignton and Teignmouth are both beaches that need big winter swells to work and they offer shelter from big Atlantic storms, but with a wind with a bit of North in, they can both offer a decent surf. Bantham however is a different kettle of fish. Bantham is a beachbreak that is fairly consistent and because of this is often busy. Multiple peaks when it’s working well and particular sweet on a south west swell with a north easterly offshore wind.
A few beaches worth considering in Dorset include Kimmeridge, Highcliffe and Bournemouth and if you are there at the right time you will score a quality wave. Kimmeridge has three spots to surf at, The Bay, Broad Bench and the most well known is The Ledges. The wave breaks over a chalk reef and will handle a groundswell but the rip increases the bigger the waves get. Highcliffe is a spot that is good for beginners and longboarders, but is exposed to the wind and in turn can be quite messy. Aim for a day with a solid groundswell and you will get a good wave here. Bournemouth is a heaving spot which is always busy but crowds can spread out and surf either side of the pier. The ill fated artificial reef has never really done what was hoped, but Bournemouth’s surfing scene hasn’t suffered and some decent talent has emerged from the area.
As we move into Sussex, the quality of waves deteriorate a little, but don’t let this put you off, as said before – every spot has it’s day. The Witterings is a popular area to visit and there are loads of places to get in and get wet at. For the most part it is generally crumbly and lacklustre but is a good training ground and popular with SUP’s and Longboarders. Waves can also be found in Hastings, the beach break is fairly messy and exposed and other spots can be found that offer shelter, but crowds and localism can be an issue.
Finally, Kent can also get a few waves. On a South Westerly, a beach break wave can be found at Folkestone, just south of the harbour. Avoid high tide and respect the locals and you may well score a fantastic little session here. There used to be a cracking little wedge that would bounce off the harbour boulders, but it is very rarely seen nowadays. If in Kent on a day when the wind/swell has north or east in it then you need to head to Joss Bay, the most well known Kent break. Chalk reef and sand banks throw up waves that are generally crumbly, but high tide can bring some heavy shore dumpers and rips can be a problem. Further waves can be found further round the coast at Stone Bay and Broadstairs.
You can see live surf reports for many of these spots as well as many more at our dedicated forecast section by following the link here. This list is by no means comprehensive and there are plenty of other great beaches to surf at along the South Coast. Feel free to let us know your own favourite South Coast spots and if you have been able to score any waves at any of these locations lately.