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Porthcawl - Rest Bay

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Porthcawl - Rest Bay: Surf Spot Guide

Porthcawl’s main surf spot is Rest Bay, which produces an excellent wave at times, although not often. It usually works best on the mid tide push. It is suitable for all abilities and a great range in the water is common, from beginners to ripping locals. As well as this, it appeals to a range of wave riders including short boarders, long boarders, body boarders and kayakers. There is a commonly occurring, strong southerly rip across the bay as the tide comes in. It can get very busy when it’s good and the locals demand respect. Show good surf etiquette and you should get the same back. It’s a relatively large bay with several peaks to choose from.
Coney Beach is around the corner to the south, which offers swell and wind shelter when Rest Bay is too big or blown out.

Porthcawl - Rest Bay - What Waves, When

Low tide tends to pick up a lot less swell due to loss of power from swell hitting the outer banks, but the wave is faster when there’s enough to make it work. At low, the bay is a lot wider so there are more peaks to choose from.
As the tide moves up to mid, things start to pick up and a nicer wave is formed.
As it comes on to high tide the bay gets narrower and there are many rocks to contend with when the tide gets too high. Surf with care!
When there’s too much wind or swell for Rest Bay, check Coney Beach to the south. It will be far more sheltered and manageable, but Coney waves do tend to close out more often than not.

Porthcawl - Rest Bay – Out of the Water

Porthcawl offers surf shops, board hire and lessons, and an essence of that essential surf-town vibe. It is not a particularly surf orientated town though, compared to beach towns in Cornwall, for example.
There is a Cafe at Rest Bay for post-surf refreshment, and plenty of options for food and drinks in Porthcawl town.
Both Rest Bay and Coney Beach have ample car parking.



Picks up a decent amount of swell.
Excellent waves when the conditions are right.
Coney as a backup when Rest Bay is blown out or too big. 


Rocky at high tide
Strong rip as the tide comes in
Rocks at high tide
Rip currents can catch swimmers and surfers unaware.


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