Black Rock Surf Kayak Festival

Every April since 2002 we've run the Shoreline Handicapped Surf Kayak Classic. A one day surf kayak contest where competitors fill out a questionnaire before the event to create a handicap making the following contest fair for all abilities. It's a unique system that has proved very popular and allows first time surf kayakers to compete against top internationals without any pressure.

This one day event has grown with the introduction of a separate contest on the Sunday run by Bude Canoe Club. This follows more traditional surf kayak contest formats with long and short boat classes as well as categories for juniors, ladies, over 40's and surf skis. These two events together with a Saturday meal and night out in Bude make up the Black Rock Surf Kayak Festival which we are proud to administer.

Entries for either event must be received in advance. We are once again working with Tournr for this years race applications please visit their website to enter our event.

Event at a glance

Next Event
20 - 21 April 2024
Start Time
Registrations start at 8 am, first heat starts at 9.30 am
Black Rock, Widemouth Bay, Bude
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Useful information

The Festival is run from Black Rock Beach on the south side of Widemouth Bay. To get to us drive down the A39 past Bude and take the Widemouth Bay turn off just before Poundstock. Follow the road to the coast and down a steep hill arriving at Black Rock Car Park and Cafe - pay on entry to the car park and drive down and right to our competition area. If you have driven from Bude along the coast road then this car park is half a mile the other side of widemouth main car park.

Both days start with an early check in at 8.30 am. These sort of events require everyone to be ready at the start and to be involved throughout the day both competing and judging. If you've never judged before don't worry as we'll support you and guide you through this process.

Any kayaker is welcome to take part in these events. Both days are run in a friendly "come and have a go" atmosphere. All boats should have full buoyancy and be in good condition, all paddlers should wear a helmet and buoyancy aid.

  • 8.30 am to 9.00 am - Check-in
  • 9.30 am - Competition starts prompt

Paddlers will compete in a series of heats lasting between 13 and 20 minutes. At the end of each round of heats competitors will be re-shuffled according to their prior result and will compete again. Paddlers will compete throughout the day scoring in each heat as they do so. At the end of the day overall placings will be established by the paddlers total point score added to their handicap, the lowest score will win (note: for ranking points the handicap system will not apply). A paddlers handicap will be set according to the following details :

Handicapping Questionnaire; 2 points added for each question answered ‘yes’.

  • Are you Male?
  • Are you 18 or over?
  • Are you between 19 and 39?
  • Are you competing in a specialist surf craft?
  • Have you competed in a surf kayak or surf ski competition in the last 12 months?
  • Have you ever represented your country for surf kayaking or surf skiing?
  • Have you ever been placed in the top three of a World Championship?
  • 8.30 am to 8.45 am - Check-in
  • 9.30 am - Competition starts prompt

During the day separate contests for Long Boat, Short Boat and Waveski will take place for different age groups and separated into Open and Women’s only classes.

  • Long Boat Open
  • Long Boat Junior (up to and including 18 yrs old)
  • Long Boat Women
  • Long Boat Over 40
  • Short Boat Junior (up to and including 18 yrs old)
  • Short Boat Women
  • Short Boat Over 40
  • Surf Ski Open
  • Surf Ski Women
  • Surf Ski Over 40
  • Surf Ski Junior (up to and including 18 yrs old)
Outdoor Pursuits Bude, Extreme Sports Bude and Multi-Sport Events Bude is what we're all about. Since 1979 we've been providing high quality outdoor pursuits from our base at the heart of the amazing North Cornish Coast.
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