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England lies northwest of mainland Europe. Swells are received almost everywhere on its coastline, from relatively consistent winter swells in the southwest to the more fickle wind swells from the east. The English are extremely enthusiastic about their surfing and they’re not afraid to get in the water anytime, making the most of everything on offer, from weak and windy summer slop to the rare winter giants that sometimes hit the shores.


There’s usually the option to have custom made, locally shaped boards, and the prominent surf culture around many coastline towns makes purchasing branded surf equipment very easy, although it’s not the cheapest country in the world to buy from.
The population is quite high, 50 million plus, and seemingly ever increasing inside the water, meaning that empty waves are getting more and more difficult to find. Locals are always determined to keep low key spots as secret as possible and respect is often demanded. Researching the coastlines and conditions, and getting adventurous with your exploration can really pay off.


From aerial wizards pulling off big punts and seasoned long boarders carving up peelers, to beginners determined to get their first wave, there’s often a vast range of abilities in the English waters. The vibe always resembles a happy bunch having a lot of fun, despite the weather, the cold and other less appealing factors that English surf comes with. Cold weather and rainy, grey sky surfs are commonplace, so when the sun comes out and there’s something to ride, the English cram the water as if it could be the last sunny day for years. This all contributes to the bubbly but busy and yet often polite atmosphere of English surfing.


From the renowned, consistent, pealing beach breaks of Fistral Beach in Newquay, to the heavy reef breaks at Porthleven, and all of the points, reefs, big waves and bodyboard wedges in between, England has truly got something for everyone, and the surfers willing to get to know the coastline and travel a bit are rarely disappointed. When the swells are in and other conditions are right, England boasts waves as good as any other in the world. It’s unfortunate, though, that these world class days are rarer than one would like them to be.


Most swells come through from autumn to spring, with larger days receiving up to fifteen feet plus, and though swells that big are rare, there’s usually always something to surf during those months. Often the best days are surfed near the end of autumn when the water is still warm enough to shun the gloves, boots and hood, and the good swells are now starting to arrive. Summer sees less swell, but with water temperatures far more tolerable than winter and a Shorty or full 3/2 being comfortable enough to surf in.


The condition and cleanliness of English waters, beaches and surf spots is generally very good, with many beaches awarded blue flag status. There are also many lifeguarded beaches making England a safe and pleasant place to surf.
When coming from abroad, or if you’re just getting into surfing, check the charts and do some research before getting in the water. You won’t be disappointed. England is then likely to be on your surf radar for many trips to come.

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