Bantham Surf Check

If there’s a low in the Bay of Biscay and it moves up the channel, spots on the south coast of Devon start to pump.


Works on an E or NE wind,with a swell from the south. A rivermouth break, it is frustratingly fickle as it suffers from a constantly changing bottom. There can be a perfect bank one day and the next, it’s gone. Its hard to catch it right but when you do you’re in for a treat of a cranking right hander. The best stage of the tide depends on the swell; if it’s a small swell then low tide is best when it’s hollow and sucky; on a big swell high tide is best. Its very crowded all the time and the pollution from the river is bad.


Just west of Bigbury, is a high tide shore dump which is popular with bodyboarders. Whereas Bantham will be messy on a S-SE, Challaborough at high tide will be nearly clean as it’s protected from the wind by a very high cliff. The water is dirty and it gets very crowded.

There are other breaks along the south Devon and west Dorset coasts, but they are largely undocumented and closely guarded secrets by the locals. Seek and ye shall find.

Swell Chart//

wave height and direction chart