Surfing in Cornwall // Part 2

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hello guys! A few days ago I published the first part of the series of Surfing in Cornwall, written by the amazing Emma from the blog Salty Skin Sandy Toes.
Emma is not just a blogger, but a super stoked cold water surfer. Today she is sharing with us all the second part of her Cornish surf tale.

Be ready to book your next flight ticket to England!



Text by Emma Fraser-Bell


This winter in Cornwall, I've had my fair share of freezing cold surfs. In fact, just a few weeks ago I was surfing on the south coast at an old favourite spot called Praa Sands (An incredible punchy beach break near Penzance, definitely worth a visit!), where it actually started snowing when I was out in the water with some mates.


I was so cold I lost the feeling in the lower part of my face and struggled to string a few words together as I lost all sensation in my bottom lip. It wasn't until a while later that my face regained feeling but needless to say, it caused some hilarious attempts in conversation! 

This just shows how cold it can get in Blighty's water's! Despite this, I felt so content to have been in the water to catch some fun little peelers with great friends. We decided to drive along the coast in search of a warmer, cosier corner to huddle together and regain some heat to our extremities. 

We drove to a small fishing harbour called Porthleven, which incidentally has one of the best reef breaks in Cornwall. Porthleven (the break) is a heavy, shallow, barreling wave when it's on, which attracts the best surfers around. This was the reef breaking the day we were there, it was only small but you can get an idea of what it would be like on a bigger day...


Here, we successfully commandeered the best spot next to a roaring fire in the cosiest pub in town. It was just passed 12pm as the fire crackled away much to our delight, the locals were propping up the bar as we considered the fact that we were in the pub quite early on in the day. We discussed the fact that we had just been surfing in freezing waters as snow fell around us and so decided it was only right to treat ourselves to some fine Cornish ale whilst waiting for our frozen bodies to thaw out by the open fire. This unsurprisingly, turned out to be a truly great decision!


This is what is so great about surfing in Cornwall in the winter; you surf, you get cold, you get blasted by the elements, you feel more alive than you've ever felt before, you explore Cornwall's stunning landscapes, find a cosy pub, snuggle up by the fire, bask in that heavenly warm glow and revel in the high of your post-surf feelings.


Cornwall's south coast has many a special surf spot, but I don't want to name any spots in particular in fear of ruining it for the locals. Cornwall's spots are becoming increasingly busy but the south coast seems worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Newquay's tourist-ridden beaches.

I hope you won't be too saddened by my reluctance to give any names away, as this just means you're going to have to set sail to these fine Cornish lands and investigate this stunning coastline all for yourself. On the plus side, I will show you a few pictures of these stunning spots on the south coast taken just this winter; so you can only imagine what they would be like on a glorious sunshine filled summer's day. May these shots fill you with an insatiable desire to visit, explore and set upon the ultimate wild Cornish adventure...


Another incredible day this winter was spent surfing on one of my favourite beach breaks called Godrevy. Godrevy is on the North coast and it's where I spent the majority of my time learning to surf back when I was at university so it has a special place in my heart. It's another beach break lined with peaks, all varying in heaviness. It's a beautiful 3 mile stretch of golden sands; at the North end you have Godrevy, then the further down the beach you venture you'll come to Gwithian, then Mexicos and then Hayle. Hayle is a good shout when the swell is too big everywhere else on the beach, but Godrevy was the place to be on this day!

This was a notable session on one wintery January weekend, as we were graced with long peeling waves in a calm, glassy ocean with just the slightest of offshore winds. The clouds were out but it really didn't matter on this day as the waves were perfection. 3ft sets were rolling in (which for me, is perfect!) with just a few friends out, and of course the odd seal head popping up every now and again to see what all the fuss was about.


There is a seal colony just a short walk around the cliff, meaning you will always find a blubbery, wide eyed companion in the water with you at Godrevy. It's definitely worth a walk over to check them all out relaxing on their own private beach after your first successful session surfing Godrevy!

We spent a good few hours out here relishing our time amongst the glassy waves until the cold started to seep into my bones and my arms turned to useless, floppy noodles. I caught my last and best wave in, grinning from ear to ear, revelling in the sensation of that icy blue glass shifting beneath my feet. No matter what the season, whether you're covered head to toe in neoprene or not, you'll always get the exact same feeling when you catch your best wave of the day... Needless to say, I was jumping for joy for the remainder of the day...


We refuelled with toasty hot chocolates, layered high with marshmallows and cream to regain some energy. Once suitably full and warmed by the hot liquid goodness we walked out to contentedly watch the sets roll in...

Another blissful winter's day spent surfing with my best friend and collecting memories that will last forever, on yet another glorious day in Cornwall! What more could you want?!


Don't forget to check Emma's blog here

Photography: pics 2,3,4,5,6 by Hayley Green Photography, pics 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 by Clare James Photography
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