Malibu, Hawaii's North Shore, Bondi Beach... Scarborough?


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The Independent Online

Scarborough, the Yorkshire seaside town known for its bracing airs and donkey rides, plans to reinvent itself as the surf capital of the North.

With its rolling North Sea swells and wide open beaches, the spa town has been appointed for the first time as a stopping-off point on the prestigious UK Pro Surf Tour.

In October leading exponents of the sport will be seen carving through the spume off North Bay – described by organisers as a "natural amphitheatre" for the sport. More than 5,000 are expected to turn out to watch the stars as they compete for the UK Professional Surfing title.

Despite respectable wave heights of between two and three feet many – until now – have been put off taking to more northerly waters because of the colder sea temperatures compared to Devon and Cornwall, where the sport has helped to transform local economies.

But developments in wetsuit technology mean that surfers can now brave chillier waters for longer than ever before. New surf hot spots are opening up in the places such as Greenland, Iceland and Canada. Thurso, off Scotland's north-westerly tip, lays claim to some of the biggest and best waves in Britain.