The word is out. Some of the best surfing in the UK can be found off Scarborough’s North Bay. It’s rapidly becoming the new centre for surfing professionals, and the town has risen to meet the influx of visitors with the provision of new facilities. The Victorians who used to walk sedately along the Promenades, and sip the Spa waters here, would not understand the modern day obsession with surfing. But as the sport embraces a widening group of participants, it is clear that surfing is one of the most enjoyable ways of enjoying the sea, for young and old.
North Bay is confirming its place as the new surf capital by hosting the UK Pro Surf Tours. This event sees locals competing against professionals, with big prize money on offer. Competition is fierce, and it is great to watch from the cliffs or the sand as agile surfers try to out-do each other in the waves. Last year the event saw 14,000 visitors, all keen to see who would win the UK Professional title. Surfers from all over the country tried their luck.
Have A Go!
You can have a go at surfing all year round, by booking a lesson at the new surf schools, which have become established in the North and South Bay areas. These highly professional outfits are run by real pros. Dexter’s Surf Shop in North Bay runs a surf school and equipment hire centre. They have been audited by the ASI (Association of Surfing Instructors) – the only accredited surf school on the Yorkshire Coast. Their head instructor is SLSGB qualified surf lifeguard too. Why not book lessons for your children, or have a go yourself? There’s nothing like getting close to nature in the sea, a challenge which stretches you, followed by a nice hot shower when you’ve finished.
If you don’t feel up to surfing, you can always hire paddleboards or kayaks. These are a common sight in the North Bay area and a less high-adrenalin option for non-thrill seekers.
Safety and Facilities
North Bay has been judged one of the two cleanest beaches in Yorkshire. You have no need to worry about pollution here. Some of the surf schools even run volunteer beach clean ups sessions from time to time, just to keep the beach pristine.
From May, right through until September, RNLI lifeguards man the beach. North Bay has improved all its facilities in response to the new influx of surfers. You can bring your own boards and find storage for your equipment if you wish. There is plenty of parking available, refreshments, public toilets and an information point. It is no wonder that North Bay is one of the country’s most popular beaches, even drawing surfers away from the Newquay, the traditional heart of the UK surfing world. Surfing has put Scarborough on the map, and its popularity is set to increase in coming years.
The Park Manor Hotel makes an ideal base if you want to stay right near to North Bay. It is ideally located, with plenty of other attractions close by should you need a break from the surf.