Bodyboarding in Whitby Bay

 whitby bodyboarders

Between Whitby and Sandsend is a mile or two of curved sandy beach. One of the free holiday activities that kids and grown ups love is body boarding/surfing.  You can do it on full sized surf boards if you're serious, but cheap and serviceable body boards and wet suits can be purchased in Whitby shops/supermarket for £15-£40 each.

Surfing is best   done when the tide's coming in, so check the tide tables before setting off (or buy a tide table from the RNLI shop near to Whitby harbour's sea walls). High tide is also advised on a board at the RNLI lifeboat station, and at Whitby swing bridge. 

At the Whitby end of the bay, near the beach huts (shown in the photo above), the waves seem better for beginners, and there were RNLI lifeguards with jet skis on watch and patrolling the area.  Safe areas are marked by flags and the lifeguards shepherd kids between them.

At the Sandsend end of the bay there's a surf school and hire shop, and it seems more popular with serious surfers. The waves around the sea cliffs certainly can be serious! There may not be any RNLI lifeguards visible at Sandsend, but you will find lots of kids in the shallows and it seems safe enough.


  • Get wetsuits - the North Sea is chilly even in July (cheap £15-25 are fine for novices to have fun) 
  • Go on the rising tide 
  • Get water footwear, especially at Sandsend where the beach is shingle in places and painful to walk on in bare feet
  • If you're a novice then do it in the RNLI patrolled area (look for the yellow/red flags)