Surfing in the United Kingdom

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Surfing in the United Kingdom
CountryUnited Kingdom
Governing bodyBritish Surfing
National team(s)Great Britain Olympics team
International competitions

Surfing was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1929 when four Australian teenagers brought the sport to Cribbar, Britain.[1][2] Earlier recorded instance of surfing in the UK may have happened in Bridlington in the 19th Century.[3]

The sport has a small but significant following, and Cornwall is considered a hotbed of surfing in the United Kingdom.[4][5][6][7][8]

The Museum of British Surfing opened in 2012 in Braunton, Devon.[9] English Surfing Federation is the official board in the United Kingdom for surfing.[10][11] For Wales it is the Welsh Surfing Federation. Surfing in Scotland is a minor sport.[12] There are also a number of popular surfing locations in Northern Ireland.

Russell Winter was the first British surfer to make the World Surfing Championship tour in surfing.[13] Women make up 20% of surfers in the country.[14] 250,000 participate each year.[13] Surfers in the UK tends to a sport participated by the more affluent classes in the society and generates £2billion per year.[15]

In 2019, following on from a collaboration agreement between the Home Nations' surfing federations, British Surfing was established. The organisation describes itself as being "responsible for managing a British Team at selected ISA events which are seen as qualification opportunities for the Olympic games and responsible for managing matters related to elite athlete development at British level by liasing with UK Sport and the British Olympic Association".[16]

See also[edit]


  • The Surfing Tribe: A History of Surfing in Britain ISBN 0952364603


  1. ^ "Wave hello: the birth of British surfing". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  2. ^ "UK surfing history started in 1929". Surfer. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  3. ^ "Surf's oop: Bridlington is the birthplace of UK surfing, new evidence shows". 9 April 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  4. ^ "The good surf guide to Cornwall". BBC. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  5. ^ Chris Moran. "Surfing UK: Autumn is the best season to surf these shores". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  6. ^ "Norfolk - Sport - East Coast surfing". BBC. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  7. ^ Coad, Jenny (2010-09-27). "The UK's best surfing holidays: Devon, Cornwall and the best British waves | Daily Mail Online". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  8. ^ "The surfers of Tynemouth". BBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Museum of British Surfing". Culture 24. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  10. ^ Steve England (2016-08-02). "Surfing GB and English Surfing Federation to merge". Carve Surfing Magazine. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  11. ^ "Surfing GB & English Surfing Federation Announce Merger Plans". Surfing Great Britain. 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  12. ^ "North Scotland's Surfers Are Harder Than You". Vice. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  13. ^ a b "Surfing: Get on board to get fit". Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Surfing: Making waves in the magazine market". Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  15. ^ "The economic impact of domestic surfing on the United Kingdom" (PDF). Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  16. ^ "The History of British Surfing". British Surfing.