Portreath is home to The Vortex a right hand reef break which peels of the harbour wall. This is not a wave for the light-hearted and definitely not suitable for beginners. The wave comes in from deeper water and hits the reef going from a lump to past vertical making air drops the norm. Combined with its propensity to barrel and form a wedgey inside this goes some way to explaining where it gets the name.
For obvious reasons (i.e. heavy and hollow) the Vortex is popular with bodyboarders, however there are usually a couple of stand up surfers giving it a go. If all this hasn't put you off then maybe the 'Locals Only' scrawled on the wall might!
The beach itself can produce a half decent wave and packs a fair punch itself on a good day
Being north facing and with high cliffs to the west the beach is fairly sheltered and needs a medium sized west/northwest swell to get it going. In terms of wind this is an advantage as a south-westerly is cross offshore. The Vortex can handle waves of up to 8ft.