Scarborough surfers claim it’s better than Newquay, with the town’s bays boasting some of the best waves in the UK.
And next month it will continue to cement itself as the country’s new surf capital when the UK Pro Surf Tour returns to North Bay.
For the second year running, Scarborough will host more than 100 of the best long boarders in the country as they aim to win the UK Professional Surfing title on October 6 and 7.
Local surfers will be joining the professionals to compete in the event, which is expected to inject an extra £300,000 to the town’s economy as the tourism season draws to a close.
UK Pro Surf’s Steve Parrott said: “The fact that we are now back for a second year is a reflection of the quality of surf in Scarborough.
“We listen to our surfers and we don’t take them where they don’t want to go. They recognise the North Bay is a natural ampitheatre which showcases the surfing. There are very few places that have that.”
Last year more than 10,000 people attended the event despite the surf competition being called off due to a lack of waves as a result of the unseasonably hot weather. It was only the third time in 17 years of the UK Pro Surf tour that no surfing at all could take place.
Mr Parrott said: “It was 85 degrees and the sea was like a pond. The reality is we are going to get the surf this year.”
To complement the festival, local bands will perform live on the promenade in North Bay and in nearby bars and venues, with some staying open later than normal. The event will also host some the UK’s Top professional mountain bikers in a series of freestyle shows.
A VW Camper Van Club show will be held in Marine Drive on the Sunday and a drive-in movie will also be shown at the Scarborough Indoor Pool car park.
Mike Andrew, chairman of Scarborough Surf Club, said: “The event puts us on the map. People follow the tour nationally so it’s good for us from that point of view.
“The surf up here is a lot better than Newquay and people don’t realise this.
“Everyone is looking forward to the festival. The local surf shops have been promoting it. There’s quite a good buzz about it.”
Mr Andrew, who has surfed for 40 years, launched a kite surfing school in May and also runs Harbourside Surf Lodge.
“Surfing is great fun. I have been doing it since I was a kid. You are close to nature and you can de-stress after working all day. It’s very theraputic and it keeps you fit too.”
Welcome to Yorkshire and Scarborough Borough Council are supporting the event.
Janet Deacon, area director for Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted that Scarborough is hosting the UK Professional Surfing Festival for the second year. Scarborough is now becoming one of the UK’s top destinations for surfing and with over 100 of the UK’s best surfers set to descend on the town as well as BMX riders for the festival it should be a superb weekend.”
This year Yorkshire Water is also lending its support to promote Scarborough’s clean bays.
Claire Glavina, from the company’s community engagement team, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting the UK Pro Surf event since we know that the sea off Yorkshire’s coast is some of the cleanest in the country. We’re working with other local organisations to make Scarborough’s surfing waters even better and something we can all continue to boast about.”