Surfing and stand up paddle boarding
For those in the know, the Yorkshire Coast is becoming something of a surfing mecca, with surf dudes travelling all over the UK to ride its waves.
It's particularly good for beach breaks, the best type of wave to start surfing on, but there's plenty of rock spots with reef and point breaks too for the more experienced.
Surfing is the winter time isn't as daft as it might sound, when the north swells are at their most consistent... and a mug of hot chocolate isn't far away. When the surf's not up, have a go at stand up paddleboarding (SUP) - standing on a large surfboard using a long-handled paddle.
West Cliff beach in Whitby is an ideal place to learn or progress your skills in surfing or SUP. It's a large, shallow gradient sandy beach which provides great beginner and intermediate waves with plenty of space for everyone. It also benefits from RNLI lifeguards throughout the summer season and a Beach Management Centre with chalet rentals, showers, toilets and a café.
- Hire stand up paddleboards by the hour or day from Barefoot Kayak in Runswick Bay or rent stand up paddleboards, surf and bodyboards from Tides at Sandsend.
- Simon at SUP Adventures is a stand up paddle boarding specialist and provides a whole manner of activities from introduction mornings, to yoga-related breaks to multiple day safaris exploring whole areas via river and paddle board. SUP Adventures Paddle and a Pint sessions at Scaling Dam on a Friday evening are worth checking out.
- The North Yorkshire Water Park offers stand up paddleboarding in a woodland setting at Wykeham Lakes.
More experienced surfers will appreciate the more powerful breaks south of Saltburn and at Cayton Bay, especially in winter and springtime; it's one of the few places that can be surfed at low and high tide.
Daily surf reports and forecasts are available for Saltburn, Whitby, Scarborough and Cayton Bay.
Surf schools and stand up paddle boarding sessions
For lessons or surf board and wetsuit hire, check these out.
Year round lessons and hire; stand up paddleboarding and kayaking hire; school audited by ASI (Association of Surfing Instructors), world leaders in surf school excellence.
Unit 5 Kepwick House, Peasholm Gap, Scarborough YO12 7TN
Lessons for beginners and intermediate surfers; tailor-made tuition and mobile service. year round tuition with qualified instructors; all equipment provided.
1a Windsor Road, Saltburn TS12 1AT
Surfing and paddleboard lessons for all abilities; equipment hire
The Spa Complex, Scarborough YO11 2HD
Lessons (surf school approved by Surfing GB); surfing and stand up paddling classes for all levels of expertise; surf hire
Lower Promenade, Saltburn TS12 1HQ
Lessons and hire; ASI qualified surf instructor & SLSGB qualified (Surf Life Saving GB). Lessons are subject to tide and surf conditions.
The Parade, Sandsend YO21 3SZ
Surf lessons and hire, paddleboarding, kid's club and coasteering courses
Killerby Cliff, Cayton Bay YO11 3NR
Accredited SUP school and dedicated stand up paddle boarding wing of Valley Adventures. Operates at Sandsend, Saltburn, Scaling Dam, river Tees (Yarm) and river Esk (Whitby). Activities range from beginners to SUP, SUP Paddle Fitness and SUP yoga.
Year round surf and stand up paddleboard lessons, and hire aimed at beginner and intermediate levels from 8 years upwards. Coaches are qualified Beach Life Guards, Surfing GB/ASI Surf/SUP Instructors and are DBS checked.
Lower Cliff Lift, West Cliff Beach, Whitby YO21 3EN
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