Surfing in Devon, Croyde Bay: The Complete Guide

Are you ready to catch some waves? Look no further than beautiful Croyde Bay in Devon, England. This stunning location boasts world-class surf spots, picturesque scenery, and a vibrant coastal community that welcomes surfers from around the globe.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to catch your first wave or a seasoned pro seeking a new challenge, Croyde Bay has something for everyone. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your surfing adventure in this iconic location.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the world-class surf spots in Croyde Bay, Devon.
  • Learn about the optimal time to hit the waves and plan your surf sessions accordingly.
  • Find out what essential surfing gear you need to conquer the waves and stay safe.
  • Explore the surfing lessons and schools available in Croyde Bay.
  • Prioritize your safety in the water with essential surfing tips for Croyde Bay.

Introduction to Croyde Bay

Welcome to Croyde Bay, a small but mighty village located on the North Devon coast of England. Croyde Bay is known for its stunning scenery, warm hospitality, and of course, world-renowned surfing. The village boasts some of the best waves in the UK, attracting surfers from all over the world. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner to the sport, Croyde Bay offers a surfing experience like no other.

The small village is nestled within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, surrounded by rolling hills, lush forests, and picturesque farmland. The coastline is rugged and dramatic, providing the perfect backdrop for those Instagram-worthy photos. Not only does Croyde Bay offer amazing surfing opportunities, but it’s also a great destination for those looking to relax, unwind, and immerse themselves in nature.

The Best Time to Surf in Croyde Bay

If you’re planning a surfing adventure in Croyde Bay, it’s crucial to pick the best time to hit the waves to ensure optimal conditions and maximize your experience. The best time to surf in Croyde Bay varies depending on several factors, such as the tide, swell, and wind direction.


The tide plays a significant role in the surf conditions at Croyde Bay. The best time to surf is during low to mid-tide when the waves are at their most powerful, and the water is deep enough to avoid submerged rocks and sandbanks. High tide can be ideal for beginners, as the waves typically break closer to shore and are less powerful.


The swell is another crucial factor when it comes to surfing conditions. Croyde Bay is known for its consistent waves, with the best swell direction being west to northwest. Swells from the north can also produce great waves, but they tend to be less frequent. The best time to surf is when the swell reaches at least waist-high, providing a fun and challenging ride.

Wind Direction

The wind direction can significantly impact the surf conditions, with onshore winds typically creating choppy waves and offshore winds producing clean and smooth waves. The best wind direction for surfing in Croyde Bay is either south or southeast, as it provides offshore winds and creates ideal surfing conditions.

Overall, the best time to surf in Croyde Bay is during the autumn and winter months when the swells are most consistent and powerful. However, summer can also be a great time to surf, especially for beginners, with smaller waves and warmer water temperatures.

Top Surf Spots in Croyde Bay

Home to some of the most magnificent waves in the United Kingdom, Croyde Bay is a surfer’s paradise. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are plenty of surf spots to choose from that cater to your skills.

Croyde Point

Undoubtedly, the most popular surf spot in Croyde Bay is Croyde Point. It’s the perfect spot for experienced surfers looking for challenging waves, especially during the winter months. But be warned, the waves here can get big and powerful, making it suitable only for advanced surfers.

Down End

Located towards the southern end of Croyde Bay, Down End is relatively hidden, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a bit of privacy. This surf spot is suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced surfers. The waves here are smaller and slower, making it an ideal spot for learning the basics and practicing new techniques.

Combesgate Beach

If you’re looking for a surf spot that caters to all levels, then Combesgate Beach is the perfect choice. The waves here are consistent and relatively gentle, making it a great spot for beginner and intermediate surfers. The beach is also sheltered, making it perfect for families with children.

Saunton Sands

Located just a short drive away from Croyde Bay, Saunton Sands is one of the longest beaches in the UK and is known for its consistent surf. The waves here are ideal for all levels, but beginners should note that the currents can be strong, so it’s always best to surf here with an experienced surfer.

With so many incredible surf spots to choose from, it’s easy to see why Croyde Bay is such a popular surfing destination. Whatever your level of expertise, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time catching waves in this stunning coastal location.

Essential Surfing Gear for Croyde Bay

If you’re planning a surfing adventure in Croyde Bay, it’s important to have the right gear to make the most of your experience. Here are the essential items you’ll need:


The right surfboard for you will depend on your skill level and the type of waves you’ll be surfing. If you’re a beginner, opt for a board with more volume and width for stability. If you’re more experienced, a shorter board with less volume may be more suitable for carving the waves.


The water in Croyde Bay can be chilly even in the summer, so a wetsuit is essential. Choose a wetsuit with a thickness suitable for the season, as well as one with a good fit for maximum warmth and comfort in the water.


Wax is used to provide traction on the surfboard and prevent slipping off. Choose a wax suitable for the water temperature and apply it regularly to keep your board grippy.


A leash is a safety device that attaches your ankle to the surfboard, preventing it from being carried away by waves and keeping you connected to your board.

Sun Protection:

The sun can be strong even on cloudy days, so don’t forget to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes while surfing.

Having the right surfing gear is crucial to a successful and enjoyable surfing experience in Croyde Bay. With these essential items, you’ll be well on your way to catching unforgettable waves in this stunning surf destination!

Surfing Lessons and Schools in Croyde Bay

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, Croyde Bay offers a range of surfing lessons and schools to help take your surfing to the next level.

Surfing Lessons in Croyde Bay

If you’re new to surfing, taking lessons is essential to learn the fundamentals and develop proper technique. Several surf schools in Croyde Bay offer private and group lessons for all skill levels.

Surf SchoolLesson TypesPrice Range (per person)
Croyde Surf AcademyPrivate, Group, Kids, Family, Corporate$35 – $100
North Devon Surf SchoolPrivate, Group, Kids, Family, Corporate$35 – $100
Surf South WestPrivate, Group, Kids, Family, Corporate$35 – $100

These surf schools provide equipment and wetsuits, making it easy for you to get started. With experienced and qualified instructors, you’ll receive personalized attention and guidance as you learn to catch your first waves.

Surf Schools in Croyde Bay

For more experienced surfers, surf schools in Croyde Bay offer advanced coaching to improve technique and enhance performance. These schools provide tailored training sessions to focus on specific skills and help you master the art of surfing.

Surf SchoolLesson TypesPrice Range (per person)
Walking on WavesAdvanced Coaching, Video Analysis$50 – $150
Surfing Croyde BayAdvanced Coaching, Video Analysis, Surf Camps$50 – $200
Secret Spot Surf SchoolAdvanced Coaching, Video Analysis$50 – $150

With expert coaching and cutting-edge technology, these surf schools help you take your skills to the next level and reach your full potential as a surfer.

Regardless of your skill level, taking lessons or attending a surf school in Croyde Bay is an excellent way to enhance your surfing experience and make the most of your time in the water.

Safety Tips for Surfing in Croyde Bay

Surfing in Croyde Bay is an exhilarating experience, but it’s essential to prioritize safety in the water. Before you hit the waves, make sure you’re aware of these important surfing safety tips:

  • Pay attention to the lifeguards and obey their instructions at all times. If you’re unsure about the conditions, ask for their advice.
  • Always wear a leash to keep your board close and prevent it from drifting away.
  • Check the surf forecast and tide times before entering the water. Surging waves and strong currents can be dangerous, so it’s important to choose your surfing spot wisely.
  • Never surf alone. Always bring a friend or join a group to ensure there’s someone to help you in case of an emergency.
  • Stay hydrated and fueled up with snacks or drinks, especially during long surfing sessions.
  • Practice good wave etiquette by avoiding collisions with other surfers and respecting the order of the lineup.
  • If you get caught in a rip current, don’t panic. Swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current, then head back towards the beach.
  • Be mindful of marine life and avoid disturbing any animals you encounter in the water.

By keeping these safety tips in mind, you can fully enjoy the thrill of surfing in Croyde Bay while minimizing the risk of accidents or injury. So, grab your board, gear up, and get ready for a fantastic surfing adventure in one of the UK’s most beautiful coastal destinations.

Local Amenities and Accommodation in Croyde Bay

When it comes to amenities, Croyde Bay has everything you need to make your surfing adventure as comfortable as possible. The village boasts a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes for you to enjoy when you’re not catching waves. From grabbing a quick bite to eat at Blue Groove to stocking up on surf gear at Saltrock, you’ll find everything you need to make the most of your stay in Croyde Bay.

If you’re looking for a place to rest your head after a long day in the water, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the range of accommodation options available in the area. Choose from charming cottages and B&Bs to luxury hotels and camping sites.

Accommodation TypeDetails
Cottages and B&BsExperience the local charm of Croyde Bay with a stay in one of the many cozy cottages or B&Bs. Choose from traditional thatched roof homes or stunning coastal properties for a truly authentic experience.
HotelsIf you’re looking for a bit of luxury during your stay in Croyde Bay, you’ll find several high-end hotels to choose from. Many of these properties offer stunning views of the coast and access to top-notch amenities like spas and fitness centers.
Camping SitesFor those who want to experience the great outdoors, camping is a popular option in Croyde Bay. There are several campgrounds in the area, many of which offer access to the beach and other outdoor activities.

No matter what your accommodation preference may be, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to rest and recharge during your stay in Croyde Bay.

Other Activities in Croyde Bay

When you’re not catching waves in Croyde Bay, there are plenty of other activities to keep you entertained. Here are some top suggestions for how to make the most of your time on dry land:

  • Take a coastal walk along the South West Coast Path and soak up the stunning scenery that surrounds Croyde Bay.
  • Rent a bike and explore the area on two wheels, from the rugged moors to the charming coastal towns.
  • Visit the nearby village of Braunton and explore the range of independent shops, cafes, and galleries that it has to offer.
  • Head to the beach with a picnic and soak up some sun while watching the surfers or building sandcastles with the kids.

In addition to these laid-back options, there are also plenty of adrenaline-fueled activities to try, such as:

CoasteeringAn adventure sport that involves scrambling, climbing, and diving around the rocky coastline.
KayakingPaddle your way along the picturesque coastline, taking in the stunning views from a unique vantage point.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)Test your balance and core strength on a paddleboard, cruising along the calm waters of nearby estuaries or canals.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an action-packed adventure, Croyde Bay has something to offer everyone. So pack your bags, grab your surfboard, and get ready for the ultimate coastal getaway!

Surfing Events and Competitions in Croyde Bay

Croyde Bay is not only a stunning surf spot for an unforgettable surfing adventure but also plays host to some of the most exciting surfing events and competitions in the UK. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer, a beginner, or just a spectator, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Goldcoast Oceanfest

The Goldcoast Oceanfest is an annual festival that celebrates everything related to the beach, including surfing, music, and art. Held in June, it’s one of the most popular events in the area, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world.

The festival is held at Croyde Bay Beach, with live music performances from local and international artists, surfing competitions, and plenty of food and drink options to keep you fueled for a full day of fun. The festival also hosts a range of surfing competitions, including longboard and shortboard events, giving surfers the chance to show off their skills in front of a lively crowd.

British Longboard Union National Championships

For longboarding enthusiasts, the British Longboard Union (BLU) National Championships held annually in Croyde Bay is an exciting event not to be missed. Attracting some of the best longboarders from around the UK, it’s an opportunity to witness some exceptional longboard surfing and perhaps even give it a go yourself.

The championships usually take place in September and feature a range of age categories, so everyone can participate and showcase their skills on a longboard. Spectators can enjoy live music, food and drink options, and soak up the festival atmosphere while cheering on their favorite surfers.

Surfing England National Surfing Championships

The Surfing England National Surfing Championships are a prestigious competition that sees the country’s top surfers battle it out for the coveted title. Croyde Bay has been the host of this event several times in the past, bringing in crowds of spectators to witness some high-quality surfing action.

The competition usually takes place in October, with categories for both men and women in shortboard, longboard, and stand-up paddleboard events. With some of the UK’s best surfers in attendance, it’s a must-see event for anyone passionate about surfing.

Croyde Bay’s coastline is a hub for surfing events and competitions, providing ample opportunity for surfers and visitors alike to partake in and enjoy the exciting world of surf culture.


Surfing in Devon is an incredible experience, and Croyde Bay is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque and exciting surf spots in the region. With its world-class waves, stunning landscape, and vibrant coastal community, Croyde Bay offers surfers a unique and unforgettable surfing adventure.

Throughout this complete guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know to make the most of your surfing trip to Croyde Bay. From the best time to surf and top surf spots to essential surfing gear and safety tips, we’ve got you covered.

You’ll also discover the surfing lessons and schools available in the area, as well as the local amenities and accommodation options that will enhance your overall stay. And when you’re not surfing, there’s a range of other activities available to keep you entertained, from coastal walks to exploring local attractions.

Make sure to stay up to date with the exciting surfing events and competitions held in Croyde Bay throughout the year, and support local surfers as they compete in various contests.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your surfboard, and get ready for an epic surfing journey in the breathtaking surf destination of Croyde Bay.


Can beginners surf in Croyde Bay?

Yes, Croyde Bay is suitable for beginners. There are surf schools in the area that offer lessons for surfers of all skill levels. They can teach you the basics and help you catch your first wave!

What is the water temperature like in Croyde Bay?

The water temperature in Croyde Bay varies throughout the year. It is typically coolest in the winter and warmest in the summer. In the winter months, a wetsuit is recommended to stay comfortable while surfing.

Are there lifeguards on the beach in Croyde Bay?

Yes, Croyde Bay has lifeguards on duty during the peak surfing season. They are there to ensure the safety of swimmers and surfers. Follow their instructions and pay attention to any warning flags or signs.

Can I rent surfing equipment in Croyde Bay?

Yes, there are several surf shops in Croyde Bay where you can rent surfing equipment, including surfboards and wetsuits. It’s a convenient option if you don’t have your own gear or if you want to try out different equipment.

What is the best time of day to surf in Croyde Bay?

The best time to surf in Croyde Bay can vary depending on the tides and conditions. Generally, early morning and late afternoon tend to have better waves and fewer crowds. Check the surf forecast and plan your sessions accordingly.

Can I surf in Croyde Bay during high tide?

Yes, you can surf in Croyde Bay during high tide, but it may be more challenging due to the increased water depth and stronger currents. It’s important to be aware of the conditions and your own skill level before venturing out.

Are there public restrooms and showers near Croyde Bay?

Yes, there are public restrooms and showers conveniently located near Croyde Bay. You can freshen up after your surf session and be ready for a well-deserved meal or a stroll along the beach.

Are there any shark sightings in Croyde Bay?

Shark sightings in Croyde Bay are extremely rare. The waters around Devon have very low shark activity. You can enjoy your surf sessions in Croyde Bay with peace of mind.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to the beach in Croyde Bay?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food and drinks to the beach in Croyde Bay. There are also nearby cafes and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat if you prefer not to pack your own lunch.

Is parking available near Croyde Bay?

Yes, there are parking facilities available near Croyde Bay. However, during the peak surfing season or on busy weekends, parking can be limited. It’s best to arrive early to secure a spot or consider alternative transportation options.

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