About Porthtowan

This sandy beach is a heavy, hollow proposition at low, but works through the tides. Low tide reveals the consistent Lushingtons to the south - popular with bodyboards and barrel-hound groms. At high tide the waves are usually smaller, and the cliffs offer some protection from light southerly or southwesterly winds. Sandbars are shifty but often there's a nice right peeling from the north side of the bay. Easy access and beachfront parking means its always crowded and there's a long established local crew here. Regular board breaking sessions and strong rips means its not recommended for the inexperienced. The bay has a tendency to close out when the swell is over 6-foot.

Source: Porthtowan Surf Guide

Ability Level


Beg Int Adv

Not a spot for beginners when over 2 ft as strong rips and heavy waves are a hazard here.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Feisty, long established and competitive, but tolerant when surfed with humility and respect.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Large, year round local crew, but gets crazy busy in the summer.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Classic Cornish beachie working through the tides. 'Lushies' has fast, hollow, lefts popular with bodyboarders. The main beach can have good long walls, fast tubes, or can be a giant close-out.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Long paddles when swell picks up.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Has had sewage discharge problems in heavy rain.

Additional Information


Rips when big and sewage after heavy rains.


Free winter parking close to beach, which becomes pay parking after Easter.

Bring Your

Shortboard, funboard, longboard, fish, bodyboard


Sand, pebbles and stones at high.

Best Season

September - November.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos