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Surfing @ Saltburn by the Sea.

Great beach breaks.

Saltburn by the Sea is perhaps not the first place you'd expect to find an excellent surfing beach, yet the north-facing sands consistently come up with the goods and recent years have seen the development of a large community of surfers. The North Sea may often look grey and uninviting, but you'll find great beach breaks on either side of the old pier, which work best at high tide and are well suited to beginners and intermediates - it has a North facing break that picks up most swell on this stretch of coast. To the south are more powerful breaks appreciated by experienced surfers, who also come here for the reef and point breaks scattered along this section of the North Sea coast. There is a Surf Shop on the beach front which offers the opportunity for the adventurous to experience the thrills of surfing, boogie boarding, surf skiing or paddle boarding - everything from an hours tuition to a day's full surfing for the keen enthusiast.

Tide times - Tide times for the Tees Estuary..

Click on the link above to get an up to date prediction of today's tide times.

Times will vary at points away from the River Tees entrance - it is not possible to give accurate variations but Whitby high water is 14 minutes later, Sunderland 17 minutes sooner. Be sure to check each time you venture onto rocks or around cliffs and bays where incoming tides may cut off your return to safety. Always tell others where you intend to go and an approximate time for return.

Please be clear of the cliffs between Saltburn and Skinngrove 3 hours after LOW tide. The rocks at Redcar are dangerous just one hour after LOW tide. Please use the beach between the red and yellow flags when the lifeguards are on duty, and if someone is seen in difficulties then dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Every care has been taken to ensure accuracy but does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions or their consequences.

A Guide to Surfing.

Sport has always been a large part of British culture and for anyone who thinks that today`s popular outdoor adventure activities have a reputation of being dangerous, well then they should consider themselves lucky to have not been around when there were no shin pads, lightweight helmets and swimwear was made of wool. But the inevitable evolution of sport means that today, people can try their hand at just about anything; from motocross racing and skateboarding, to skiing and windsurfing, all of which have their own dedicated community, but it is perhaps the world of surfing that has the most exciting international appeal.

Surfing can be a great spectator sport, there are plenty of surfing competitions held around the world that attract large and enthusiastic crowds, but it is probably fair to say that this is one sport that even the most experienced rider can't make look easy. The concept seems simple – stand on a board in the sea and hold your balance as the waves carry you back to shore. But we can all imagine that there is a great deal of skill involved and the fun is in the practice.

Beginners should consider how good a swimmer they are before taking to the sea; as with all sports, there is a degree of risk involved and the sea can be an unpredictable force of nature, and often a very cold one. It would be wise to never venture too far out to sea, certainly never farther than you feel comfortable swimming if you didn't have a surf board – leg ropes can and do occasionally break.

Choosing the right surf board can be tricky for a newcomer, more experienced riders tend to have longer, narrow boards which move faster in the water but sticking to wider boards that will give floatation and allow for easy paddling will be an advantage. A good sized board for a beginner would be around seven feet long and 19-21 inches wide, as well as being 2-3 inches thick, at the very least; the board should stand a good foot taller than you when held upright. WestBay Surfboards are amongst some of the more popular brands found in Ireland, and Firewire, SPLIT and Becker are also well respected manufacturers internationally

Once your board is waxed and ready and you have finished warming up those muscles in preparation for your first venture out, it is a good idea to practice on dry land before going into the water and ideally get an instructor to help show you the required manoeuvres and basic principles of how to ride the waves.

Surfers should never go out into the water alone, and beginners should consider the necessary safety gear such as wet suit, body guard, helmet, leg rope and safety nose guard on the board to prevent dangerous impacts. If your board does come loose, then try to get back to it as soon as possible as loose boards can be very dangerous objects for swimmers. Some of the leading brands that specialise in surf clothing and safety gear include Ripcurl, Roxy, Volcom, Quicksilver and Billabong. To find out more about what's hot and what's not in all things surf wear, visit Billabong Clothes.

Local sites for surfers.

Drift Surf Shop Glenn and Richie have recently opened a surf shop in Saltburn. Drift Surf Shop can be found on Station Square. Contact numbers are Richie Mitchell: 07854767693 and Glenn Nary: 07903183333.
Saltburn Surf School - the home of surfing in the North East
FlowSurf School - Beginner and Intermediate Surf Lessons and Video Surf Coaching for all levels of surfers.
Ian Forsyth Photography - portfolio of a local surfing and documentary photographer
Visionary Surfboards - Glenn Nary lives in Saltburn and has recently started producing custom surfboards for local surfers

If you have a photo of surfing in Saltburn that you'd like to share please e-mail a copy to us at and we will try to include it on our photo banner.