Cornish Surf Culture

Cornish Surf Culture: an insight into Cornish Surfing History with Evolve Surf School


Cornwall, a rugged and picturesque county in southwest England, has long been synonymous with surfing and has become a hotspot for surf enthusiasts from around the world. Its stunning coastline, consistent waves, and vibrant surf culture make it a premier destination for surfers of all levels. This blog delves into the essence of Cornish surf culture, highlighting its history, values, and the unique bond between surfers and the sea.


History and Evolution

Surfing in Cornwall dates back to the early 1960s. Adventurous locals and travellers first rode waves on improvised boards made of wood and fiberglass. Treve Boat Yards, next to our main office in Connor Downs, was home to some of the first Hand Shaped Boards when surfing arrived in the Celtic County. As the sport gained popularity the Cornwall surfing community grew. Eventually this established the foundations of the region’s unique surf culture. By the 1970s, the surf scene in Cornwall was flourishing, and the county had firmly secured its place on the global surf map.

Cornish surf culture evolved over the decades, shaped by a deep connection to the ocean and a rich history . As surfboards and equipment improved, more people were drawn to the area to experience the joy of riding the waves. Today, Cornwall boasts numerous surf schools, surf shops, and events that celebrate the sport’s rich heritage.

Values and Environmental Stewardship

At the heart of Cornish surf culture lies a profound respect for nature and a commitment to preserving the environment. Surfers in Cornwall are intimately connected to the sea and its ecosystems. This in turn makes them acutely aware of the importance of environmental stewardship. Local surf communities, our Surf Club being one, actively engage in beach cleanups, conservation initiatives, and sustainable practices. This to protects the coastline and marine life, Surfers Against Sewage are a charity that we actively support.

More and more surfers are taking part in advocacy efforts to combat environmental issues. Plastic pollution, climate change and coastal erosion, are firsthand effects these challenges have on their beloved surfing spots. Our concerted devotion to preserving Cornwall’s natural beauty extends beyond our collective enjoyment. This also includes the responsibility they feel towards safeguarding the ocean for future generations of surfers.

Cornish sunsets hit differently

Sense of Community

Cornwall’s surf culture is built on a strong sense of community and camaraderie. Surfers from all walks of life come together to share their passion for the sport, creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Local surfers are often willing to lend a helping hand to newcomers. Offering tips, advice, and insider knowledge about the best surf spots and conditions; another layer to the Cornish Surf community.  


The sense of community extends beyond the waves. Surf-related events, festivals, and gatherings are fostering a tight-knit social family. Surf competitions are prevalent in Cornwall, providing a platform for local talent to showcase their skills while bringing people together to support their favourite athletes. Surf Clubs are a great way to get involved, check out our  

To conclude Cornish surf culture is a vibrant tapestry of culture woven with a deep connection to the ocean, a commitment to environmental stewardship, and a strong sense of community. Surfers in Cornwall embrace the beauty and power of the sea, channeling their passion for surfing into preserving their coastal home and fostering an inclusive and welcoming community. As Cornwall continues to draw surf enthusiasts from around the world, its unique surf culture will undoubtedly remain an integral part of the region’s identity and heritage for generations to come. Come and join us at our base, from Gwithian Towans, experience the unique Cornish Surf culture yourself.

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