Exciting Places to Surf in Brighton for First Timers – in 2023




Surfing in Brighton

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If you are looking for all the best information on where to surf in Brighton, East Sussex, UK then look no further! You can find out everything you need to know about the top places to surf in Brighton and the immediate area. We will also share with you useful surf and water sport-related information for first-timers visiting the city.

So where are the top places to surf for first-timers visiting Brighton? Where are the main places to surf for first-timers to Brighton and the local area:

  • The West Pier, Brighton
  • Brighton Marina, Brighton
  • Hot Pipe, Shoreham
  • Westbeach, Littlehampton

Knowing exactly where to go surfing in a new town or city can be difficult. You’ll probably find there is either a complete lack of information out there or so much available to you that it may be overwhelming. In this guide, I will discuss the best surfing spots in Brighton and the surrounding areas in more detail so you can visit Brighton fully informed and ready to surf.

Where can first-timers Surf in Brighton?

The two main surfing areas in Brighton are to the right of the West Pier and to the left of Brighton Marina. First-timers need to monitoring the winds, tides and short surfing windows of these areas in order to choose suitable conditions to surf in.

Where to Surf in Brighton and Nearby Area

1.West Pier, Brighton

It has been several decades since the West Pier burnt down, but the still iconic West Pier has seen surfers riding its waves for around five decades. It still maintains a good, gentle wave on clean groundswells which breaks at low to mid-tide. Surfers usually approach it from the right-hand side of the pier around low tide. It is a popular place for beginners due to its gentle waves and sandy bottom. It is a spot that is best after the choppiness of a south-westerly storm has subsided.

2. Brighton Marina, Brighton

Just over two miles east of Brighton Palace Pier lies Brighton Marina. It is a man-made marina open since 1979, popular with locals and tourists due to its many shopping and dining choices. Just to the left of Brighton marina is also a much-loved surfing destination, but this time for the more experienced surfer. Magicseeweed’s spot guide states that Brighton Marina has shallow chalk and flint reef shielded from southwestern gales. However, the break is sheltered from the south-westerly winds by the marina wall equaling some fast waves. First-timers visiting the marina should note that surfing can get busy as they compete with locals. Head just to the left of the Marina for the best waves and be aware that it can be localized and rippy when you surf. 

3. Hot Pipe, Shoreham

Located nearly seven-miles west of Brighton, Shoreham-By-Sea is home to a break situated in the harbour’s east side and directly in front of the power station’s chimney according to Sharkbait Surf Reports. The report also states that it works on the mid-time lower side and the wave breaks from a concrete pier near Shoreham Powerstation.

4. Westbeach, Littlehampton

Not exactly Brighton, but still in the county of East Sussex, the seaside resort of Littlehampton offers an alternative surfing spot to Brighton, 20 miles west of the city. It is a beautiful spot for high-tide, though it can be inconsistent. Surf Forecast explains that surfing in Littlehampton works best in offshore winds from the north northeast and the southwest offers the best wave direction.

Top Tips for Surfers Visiting Brighton for the First Time

  • Escape stormy and windy weather by using the groynes, harbours and piers as places to seek shelter when you are out on the waves. 
  • The weather and surf in Brighton is extremely changeable. First-timers surfing there should be prepared to change locations every few hours and keep up to date with surf and weather reports.
  • Many surfers mention the danger of the Brighton shore break at high tide which is powerful and can lead to broken surfboards if not known about or respected. 

Why is Surfing in Brighton Great for Beginners?

Surfing in Brighton and the surrounding area is all about being in the right place at the right time, so to catch the waves. The eastern coastline isn’t blessed with the consistency of waves the west country enjoys, but it is blessed with shelter.

With so much shelter in the form of harbours, piers and walls, Brighton is somewhere where you can still surf despite stormy weather. Such forms of shelter give the necessary shelter when the south-westerly cross-shore winds hit. This is great news for beginners who may be looking for safer places to take out their boards when visiting Brighton.

Which time of Year is Best for Surfing in Brighton?

Many surfers believe one of the best times to surf in Brighton and the surrounding areas is the mid-time between summer and Autumn. September to October are generally favourable months due to the beaches being less busy as the school children head back to school as the summer holidays draw to a close. The average sea temperatures for these months are some of the warmest temperatures year-round. September sees an average of 17.4°C / 63.3°F and October sees an average of 16.3°C / 61.3°F.

Autumn also sees some groundswells start to show and some offshore winds.

September sees average temperature highs of 18°C.

October sees highs of 15°C. *stats courtesy of holiday-weather.com.

Enter the water with a good quality wetsuit and the water and air temperature shouldn’t be a factor.

Another time of year that surfers hit the waves in Brighton is in the winter months because this is when surfers will get the best waves. This is Brighton claims that from November to January surfers can enjoy the largest swell, though with this swell comes onshore winds which can be dangerous. 

The average sea temperature in Brighton decreases gradually from November’s 13°C to January’s 7°C.

November sees average temperature highs of 18°C.

December sees average temperature highs of 8°C.

January sees average temperature highs of 7°C.*stats courtesy of holiday-weather.com.

What Surf Kit should I wear when Surfing in Brighton?

Best Surfing gear for Brighton

The time of year a surfer enters the water in Brighton has implications on what the surfer should wear. Surf forecast advises in August surfers should wear a 4/3mm wetsuit or a 3/2mm suit and 3mm neoprene boots when the sea temperature is the warmest and a flexible 6/5/4mm wetsuit or a well-fitting 5/4mm wetsuit with gloves and 5mm neoprene booties plus hood in March when the sea temperature are at their coldest.

Where can I buy surfboards and wetsuits in Brighton?

Ocean Sports Boardriders Store is a popular store for purchasing surfboards and wetsuits in Brighton & Hove. Located on 368 Kingsway, Hove the store is the largest stockist of wetsuits on the south coast with more than 4000 in stock. The wetsuit brands on offer are Rip Curl, C Skins, O’Neill and Xcel. For those looking for surfboards, the brands they sell are Bull Dog, Escape, Cortez, Rusty, Al Merrick, FCS, Northcore and more. The staff are on hand to advise on the products and the sport of surfing itself. 

Brighton Watersports Store Right on the seafront, located between the West Pier and Brighton Pier, at 185 Kings road arches, this store sells all things watersports related such as surfboards, bodyboards, wetsuits, thermals, footwear and clothing. The store also sells accessories for surfboards such as wax, fins, tide and time clocks. The larger stocklist is online. Their live webcam helps surfers check the weather conditions before they set off for the day.

Where can I get Surf Lessons in Brighton?

Pure Spirit Surf School is a small, non-corporate school run by Ex 2 times English Masters Champ Cliff Cox based in Brighton. Specialising in one on one and small group tuition, the surf school takes on learners of all ages and experience. Learners can bring their own boards, wetsuits and other equipment, or they can rent it from the school for the lesson. Intermediate lessons are also available. 

One On One surf lessons Adults £65 / Kids £45.

Contact Cliff on 01273 605384 or 07855137866.

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