With its stunning beaches and hidden coves, Cornwall offers an abundance of great waves and surf spots for tourists and locals to enjoy. But where are the best spots for bodyboarding in this beautiful county?
In this post, I've compiled a list of the 19 best bodyboarding beaches in Cornwall. So, whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, grab your bodyboard and get ready to experience the thrill of the waves at these amazing bodyboarding spots.
Join me on a journey along the stunning Cornish coastline as we explore the best bodyboarding beaches in the region. From the rugged cliffs and hidden coves of the north coast to the golden sands and calmer waters of the south west coast, Cornwall offers an abundance of amazing spots for bodyboarders of all levels.
You might also like to read 19 best surfing beaches in Cornwall for beginners!
Safety Tips for Bodyboarding in Cornwall
Cornish waters are incredibly unpredictable and one of the biggest dangers with bodyboarding is surfing outside of the red and yellow flag lifeguarded area, outside of lifeguard hours.
Six simple checks for safe bodyboarding;
- Always bodyboard between the red and yellow flags. It’s easy to be caught out in a rip current.
- Wear your leash and hold onto your board if you get into trouble - it will help you float.
- Bodyboard with a mate, especially in big swell. Look out for one another.
- Remember to check your equipment for damage before use.
- Check the local forecast for wind, tide, and swell. Don’t go on the water in conditions above your capability.
- Consider other water users.
Best Bodyboarding Beaches in Cornwall
Sandymouth Beach, near Bude
Managed by the National Trust, this picturesque beach is well-maintained and equipped with a dedicated car park nearby, ensuring visitors can park with ease. With its consistent and powerful waves, it offers an exciting and challenging experience for experienced bodyboarders.
When the waves are particularly big, younger children can paddle with their bodyboards in the large deep rock pools that form when the tide retreats.
📍Sandymouth Beach EX23 9HW
Summerleaze Beach, Bude
Nestled in the charming seaside town of Bude (my hometown!), Summerleaze Beach offers a safe and sheltered bodyboarding environment for the whole family to enjoy. With its soft golden sand and fascinating rock pools, this beach is a haven for beachgoers seeking a seaside escape.
Visitors can also take advantage of the beach's sea pool, which provides a refreshing dip in the heat of summer. For added peace of mind, RNLI lifeguards are on duty during the peak season (including the Easter holidays).
📍Summerleaze Beach, Bude, EX23 8HJ
Widemouth Bay, near Bude
A much-loved family favourite of ours is Widemouth Beach, located 2 miles south of Bude. This beach is our top choice when we're seeking a perfect blend of bodyboarding and rock pooling adventures (and it's just a 5-minute drive from our house!).
Families will appreciate the ample space available for picnics, sandcastle building, and beach games, while the waves offer an ideal environment for swimmers, bodyboarders, and novice surfers. During the summer months (and Easter holidays), visitors can feel secure knowing that RNLI lifeguards are on duty, ensuring a safe swimming experience for everyone.
📍 Widemouth Beach, Widemouth Bay, Bude, EX23 0AW
Trebarwith Strand, near Tintagel
Trebarwith Strand, with its big waves and strong swell, offers exciting opportunities for experienced bodyboarders. However, it's important to check the tide times before heading out, as the beach can disappear completely at high tide. The beach is a short walk from the car park, and the best time to visit is during low tide when the rock pools are exposed.
If you fancy a bite to eat, the Port William pub offers great burgers, baguettes, wraps, and sandwiches at lunchtime!
📍Trebarwith Strand, Nr Tintagel, PL34 0HB
Polzeath Beach, Polzeath
Polzeath Beach is a popular and well-known spot for bodyboarding in Cornwall. With its consistent and powerful waves, it offers a great experience for both beginner and experienced bodyboarders.
The beach is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards during the peak season, and it has several surf schools that offer bodyboarding lessons and equipment rentals for those who are new to the sport.
📍Polzeath Beach, Polzeath, Wadebridge PL27 6TB
Harlyn Bay, near Padstow
Harlyn Bay, is a great place for bodyboarding, offering a large beach, plenty of room, and good swell. The best waves can be found during high tide, and the beach is lifeguarded during the summer months.
📍Harlyn Bay, PL28 8SB
Constantine Bay is also known for its excellent surf conditions, with consistent and powerful waves that attract surfers and bodyboarders from all over the world. The beach is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards during the peak season.
Pop into Constantine Beach Cafe for a hot chocolate to warm you up after your surf.
📍Constantine Bay, Padstow PL28 8JJ
Mawgan Porth is a popular family beach nestled between Bedruthan Steps and Watergate Bay in Newquay, and offers the perfect mix of rock pools, and shallow waters, great for bodyboarding beginners. The beach is easily accessible and has a large car park, making it convenient for families with young children. The nearby village offers a range of facilities, including cafes, surf shops, and public toilets.
📍Mawgan Porth, Newquay TR8 4BL
Watergate Bay, near Newquay
Watergate Bay is another family favourite, boasting two miles of golden sand, high cliffs, and a range of water sports. The beach has a Blue Flag award and is known for its natural beauty, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
During high tide, the beach transforms into a fantastic location for bodyboarding with the best waves found at the northern end of the beach.
📍Watergate Bay, Newquay, TR8 4AD
Fistral Beach, Newquay
Fistral Beach is the home of British surfing and is a popular spot for keen surfers. With plenty of room, Fistral Beach Surf School, and board hire available, it's the perfect place for your first time or to improve your skills. The best time to visit is during the summer months when the main beach has lifeguard services.
📍Fistral Beach, Newquay, TR7 1HY
Crantock Beach, Newquay
Crantock Beach has several surf schools that offer bodyboarding lessons and equipment rentals for those who are new to the sport. The beach is also surrounded by stunning scenery, including sand dunes, rocky outcrops, and the Gannel Estuary, making it a great destination for a day out with family or friends.
📍 Crantock Beach, Newquay TR8 5RN
Perran Sands Beach, Perranporth
With its long stretch of golden sand and turquoise waters, Perran Sands is a popular destination for bodyboarders. The beach is backed by sand dunes and cliffs, providing a stunning backdrop.
The beach is also patrolled by RNLI lifeguards during the peak season, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
📍Perran Sands, Perranporth, TR6 0AQ
The Perranporth Surf School on Perranporth Beach offers lessons and board hire for all skill levels of bodyboarders. The beach is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards during peak season.
📍Beach Rd, Perranporth TR6 0JN
Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes
Trevaunance Cove, located in St Agnes, is a great beach for bodyboarding. The beach offers a combination of sand and pebble with rock pools at low tide, providing a variety of conditions for bodyboarders to enjoy. With good swell and consistent waves, Trevaunance Cove is suitable for bodyboarders of all skill levels. The beach is lifeguarded during the summer months, making it a safer option for families and inexperienced surfers.
📍Saint Agnes TR5 0RX
Gwithian Beach, near Hayle
Gwithian Beach is a stunning beach located near Hayle. The beach is part of the longest beach in Cornwall, with a total length of around 4 miles of golden sand. It's a popular destination for families and surfers, with its consistent swell providing good surfing conditions year-round.
📍Gwithian Beach, Hayle TR27 5BU
Porthmeor Beach, St Ives
Porthmeor Beach, in St Ives, is a great place for bodyboarding, offering a large beach, great western-facing break, and plenty of space. The beach is easily accessible from the car park, and the best time to visit is during low tide when the rock pools are exposed. The beach is lifeguarded during the summer months.
📍Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, TR26 1JU
Sennen Beach, near Land's End, is a great place for bodyboarding with its white sand, crystal clear water, and great waves. The beach is a short walk from the car park and offers a beautiful setting for a day of fun in the water. The best time to visit is during the summer months when the beach is lifeguarded.
📍 Sennen Cove, Sennen, TR19 7DG
Praa Sands is a beautiful beach located on the south-west coast of Cornwall, boasting a mile of golden sand and clear turquoise waters. This beach is perfect for families, offering easy access, a large car park, and lifeguards on duty during the peak season. Young children will love exploring the rock pools at low tide, while older children can try their hand at bodyboarding or surfing.
📍Praa Sands, Penzance TR20 9TB
Kynance Cove, on the Lizard, is a hidden gem for bodyboarding, with its stunning cliffs, white sand, and great waves. The cove is a great spot for experienced bodyboarders and surfers, who can enjoy the big waves during high tide. Access to the cove is via a short walk from the car park.
📍Kynance Cove, Helston TR12 7PJ
Frequently Asked Questions
The best time of year for bodyboarding in Cornwall is typically from late summer to early autumn, when the water is warm, the waves are at their best, and the beaches are lifeguarded.
Yes, it's important to always be aware of the ocean conditions and any potential hazards, such as rocks or strong currents. It's also recommended to wear a leash and appropriate safety gear.
Yes, it is recommended to bodyboard between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguarded beach. These flags indicate the safest area to swim, bodyboard, and use inflatables, and are patrolled by trained lifeguards to ensure the safety of beachgoers. It's important to always follow the advice of lifeguards and stay within the designated areas for your own safety.
It's highly recommended to wear a wetsuit while bodyboarding in Cornwall, as the water can be quite cold, even during the summer months. A wetsuit will help you stay warm and comfortable while in the water.
If you find yourself caught in a rip current, it's essential to stay calm and not attempt to swim directly back to shore against the current. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you're out of the rip current, then swim back to the beach. If you're unable to swim out of the current, raise your arm and call for help from the lifeguards or other beachgoers.
Many of the beaches in Cornwall are family-friendly, with facilities such as car parks, toilets, and nearby shops or cafes. Some popular family-friendly bodyboarding beaches include Watergate Bay, Perranporth Beach, and Widemouth Bay. Always ensure that children are supervised in the water and follow any posted beach safety guidelines.
Best Bodyboarding Beaches: A Recap
With plenty of surf schools, board hire options, and lifeguarded beaches during the summer months, Cornwall is an ideal place for both beginners and experienced bodyboarders to enjoy some of the best waves in the UK.
Just remember to check the local surf conditions, tides, and weather before heading out!
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