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Experience | Surfing

Far from a modern sport, Hawaiian surfers were recorded as far back as the late 1770s. However it was during the early 1900s that the sport really began to take off by being introduced into California. From there it spread across America and on to the rest of the world.

During the 20th century it has continued its growth in its main three locations of Hawaii, California and Australia. However, surfing is becoming more and more popular in Britain with over 3 million people actively participating.

It’s difficult to put into words what the sport means to the true surfer. To get out there, into the water, at one with the board and the ocean – it’s all-encompassing and addictive. Many don’t even consider it a sport anymore; it’s a discipline – a way of life.

In its most basic form, surfing may seem quite simple - to be carried across the surface of the ocean by using a breaking wave. However, it has many variations on this form and these include traditional surfing, body boarding, wave skiing and the use of long board and short board designs.

As well as the surfboard itself you’ll also need a leash, to keep you attached to the board when you ‘wipeout’ (this should prevent the board from impacting with other surfers or washing to shore), traction pads or surf wax to help you grip the surface of the board and a good quality wetsuit. Some surfers will also choose to wear gloves and a hood, although usually only in winter.

Devon is fantastic for surfing, with the beaches of Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton among the favoured on the North coast and Exmouth and Bantham Bay to the South.

Devon Outdoors
Devon Outdoors
Devon Outdoors

These areas also offer good support for both beginners and experts, with a wide range of shops, surf schools and board hire available.

Click to do it in North Devon > East Devon > South Devon > West Devon

Official supporters of Devon Outdoors

Dartmoor National Park - click to visit
Ramblers - click to visit
British Kitesurfing Association - click to visit
South West Coast Path Association  - click to visit
Surfers Against Sewage - click to visit
RNLI - click to visit
Destination South West - click to visit

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