Saunton sands on the north Devon coast is Richard s and my favourite place in Devon to go for a surf for several reasons. I know many young hot shot short board surfers consider Saunton sands a beach break for old men and cannot see past Croyde bay. Which is literally a mile away around the headland. There is one big problem with Croyde and that is for every set wave coming through you will have about 10 guys trying to get on it. Enough about Croyde lets get back to Saunton.
Saunton Sands is a beach that stretches for miles. So however many people turn up for a surf and even if you turn up on a bank holiday weekend. You only have to walk down the beach for about 10 minutes and you can catch waves virtually on your own. As you can see from the picture above Saunton holds a decent size wave without closing out. A big plus is Sauntons proximaty to the m5. We live in Kent near the channel tunnel and on a good run we can get there in under 5 hours just by cruising along at 70mph. We have had 5 trips to Saunton this year and it has performed every time.
Saunton Sands faces nearly due west out in to swell coming off the Atlantic. Unfortunately in the UK the prevailing wind is from the sw. So a lot of the time potentially excellent swell conditions are messed up by the wind direction. It is not rocket science though to look for the right weather conditions. You just need a swell pattern coming off the Atlantic and some light easterly winds. We have found that you can get 3 days of surfing out of each swell coming off the Atlantic. We try to get down for a surf of a couple of hours of the first day. Then get up early the next morning to get on the water before 8am and spend about 6 hours on the water that day. Spread over 3 sessions. with a great little chest high session to finish with the next day. Just as the swell is dropping out and your energy levels are deserting you. Then it is time to chill out get some grub back inside the stomach and make the 5 hour drive back home. Saunton is popular with stand up paddle boarders. we see more here than any where else. We also see the odd waveski at Saunton as well. Making Richard realise that he is not the only one using one. His waveski was made only a few miles from Saunton so is in its own back yard.
Wild camping is also very easy in the area surrounding Saunton and Croyde. We have met a lot of people who have been wild camping in their vans and they all have their own favourite spots. I would tell you where ours is it is getting more popular. So i am keeping that one to myself lol.There is also a great fish and chip shop in Braunton only a couple of miles from the beach. They cook a great bit of fish and it goes down so well after a hard days surfing. It is a hard life but someone has to catch those waves coming off the Atlantic. The other great thing about Saunton is that you dont feel unwanted there. It is just a lot of people having fun what ever their experience or skill level. So go and have a few days surfing at Saunton i bet you dont go just the once.