In the absence of snowy hills and freshly groomed pistes, we know you skiers and snowboarders like to dip your toes in some other activities during the summer. Ski clubs and societies often go hand in hand with surf clubs, and let’s be honest, surf trips don’t include a 24 hours bus journey. Plus water is easier to find in the UK than snow. So, my surfy friends, here are a few of the best surf events to watch out for this summer.
Boardmasters: 8-12 August
Perched on the cliffs of Cornwall, Boardmasters has been mecca for the surf crowd since the 80s. Sitting next to certified surf town Newquay, the festival looks over Fistral beach but attendees are invited to enjoy 300 miles of outstanding coastline. As part of the World Surf League (WSL) and qualifying series (QS), each year the festival invites international surfers and the best of British talent to compete and qualify for the World Championships.
This year Boardmasters will host the Quiksilver Open, Roxy Open and Men’s LQS1000 (longboard) and Women’s LQS (longboard) contests. Boardmasters will be the final stop for the WSL longboard series so the European Longboard Champion will be crowned at Fistral beach, making the festival the most high-profile surfing event in the UK. Along with all the surfing action there’s a pretty spicy lineup with massive headline acts including the Chemical Brothers, Annie Mac, Fat Freddy’s Drop and lots more to dish out the bangers. Along with 12 stages there’s a wellbeing area where you can get your fix of beach yoga! More here
Oceanfest: 15-17 June
North Devon hosts Oceanfest which is centred around surfing with added options of beach volleyball, soccer, paddle racing and of course, swimming. Camping isn’t included in the ticket price but there are plenty of locations nearby to accommodate festival-goers. The festival prides itself on being big enough to create a great party atmosphere, yet small enough to not be overwhelming. So if you’re looking for a more chilled surf festival experience, Oceanfest might be for you. Don’t write it off as too quiet though, there’s a whole lot to discover like cider gardens, vintage stalls, street food, morning yoga, circus shows and even body marbling! More here.
Wheels and Fins: 7-9- September
Joss Bay in Kent plays host to this 3-day action sports and music festival. Now in its 6th year, the festival events include surfing, skateboarding (UK mini ramp champs) and some dancing by the sea at two stages. This year drum and bass legends Chase and Status will bring plenty of energy to the headline slot. With only two stages, you can guarantee this festival won’t be too hectic and camping spots overlooking the ocean make it a truly relaxing escape. Over the weekend, there’s an amazing selection of activities to get involved in like surf competitions and demos, paddleboard racing, life-saving competitions, beach yoga, slacklining and beach volleyball. More here.
Night Surf 2018: 6-7 July
From Scotland to the sunny South coast, the UK Pro Tour hosts events across the country in the best surf spots. If you're looking for something a bit different, Night Surf takes place on Fistral Beach in July and is attended by a crowd of 500+ with 190 surfers including men’s, women’s and under 18 categories competing for glory. Competitions take place during the day but when the sun sets the floodlights illuminate the waves for the finals. More here.
What’s that sound? It’s the sound of a wave approaching from 14 miles away. The shape of the Severn estuary means that water is funnelled into a narrow channel which creates a wave that is just asking to be surfed on. Starting at 5 miles wide at Avonmouth, the wave surge narrows gradually over around 40 miles where it ends up at only a few hundred yards across. As the river narrows, the depth also changes which forms a funnel shape. This is what helps the wave to continue on its journey. The tidal range of the Severn is the 2nd highest in the world, reaching 50 feet in places. The best waves occur in spring but each month keen surfers ride the wave as far as they can inland. Be careful though, it’s not always easy to get out wherever the wave drops you off! Find out the times when the wave rolls into town here.