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Surfing Towan Beach, Newquay - Top 10 Tips

towan beach newquay

Tip 1: Know your tide times! When you are looking at your tide chart the best time to surf is mid tide, which means mid way between high tide and low tide. An average mid tide, is approximately when the water’s edge is in line with the harbour master building on the harbour wall, but this can vary depending upon the size of the tides, so check your tide chart.

Tip 2: On full low tides the sandbank on the left hand corner called the "fly cellars" usually creates a really good left hand wave. Best in the months from October – April, when the winter swells manage to reach the corner.

Tip 3: On a big full low tide (6.5m + tide), you should line yourself up with the buoys out at sea. This is the perfect indicator to tell you how many sets will be coming through and how big they are. Watch the buoy move up and down and when it will disappear for more than 4 seconds you can then start counting the amount of waves heading in and how big they are. From the buoys to where you sit out the back it usually takes under 1 minute for the sets to reach your position. This will give you loads of time to prepare yourself and get moving.

Tip 4: The big rock at the end of the headland is a perfect indicator to tell when the sets a first arriving. If you see waves breaking around here and lots of white water, it indicates a set is on its way

Tip 5: For the best waves on Towan the winds have to be from the south, south west or south east. Wind speed does not matter as much because the town provides protection from strong winds. Spots like Fistral and Watergate which would be messy and out of control on strong south westerly winds. North westerly’s are not the best for Towan beach, as this will create messy cross shore and onshore winds, not good for people who a new to surfing, as the paddle out will be tough

Tip 6: Because Towan beach is protected from strong winds and large currents, the sand banks are really flat which creates very organised, straight and even waves, compared to Fistral beach where the sand banks have holes and ditches. This creates the waves to be very disjointed and unpredictable.

Tip 7: It is advised to not surf on the high tide, and there is a local “byelaw” preventing surfers from doing so, especially in the summer season. That said, Town on a high tide often is too ”full” so there are very few waves, unless a big storm swell is pushing in

Tip 8: Rips: there are not many rips on Towan which is why it is a lot safer to surf and swim than other beaches in Newquay, The main rip which only works with a big swell pulls out on the left hand side around the rocks, this follows its natural path next to something stationary (usually the harbour wall). This would be the best way to paddle out in big swell as it is like a conveyor belt, pulling you out the back, with little effort at all!.

Tip 9: Towan on the high tide is pretty fun for Hand Planing, Body Boarding and Body Surfing. On a high tide there are often big wedges forming from the right hands side where the house on the rocks is.

Tip 10: If you are into SUP the best time to go for a paddle would be high tide as you can paddle straight out the harbour to deep flat water. Or launch from the sand at Towan. If winds exceed 10mph, paddle boarding is not recommended especially when winds are strong offshore.

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