Let us begin with how the rule of surf goes wherever you may be, Wales or otherwise. First and foremost, it's immense fun.
Secondly, well, you know how it goes. You turn up expecting corduroy and it's blown-out mush or flat. "Should have been here yesterday!" comes the oft-repeated quote from the knowledged few.
Well, from fast waves to friendly beach breaks, Wales' impressive coast does indeed throw up some incredible opportunities for surfing, so whether you're a novice looking for a fun, reliable wave or an experienced surfer seeking out a new break, this guide gives you a heads-up on ten great surf spots around the coastline.
We can at least help with the where to go and why, if not the weather and the swell, giving you more of a chance of actually catching a wave or two.
Tywyn, Cardigan Bay
This swell usually works best 1-2 hours either side of high tide. Tywyn offers a great wave that is ideal for both beginners and more experienced surfers. It's generally a quiet spot, so it is a good place to go if you are not confident of your prowess and are looking for a less crowded wave. Do watch out for the wooden groynes along sections of the beach though.
Llantwit Major, Glamorgan
Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan is an exposed beach offering fairly consistent waves in the winter months. When the conditions are right, Llantwit Major offers an outstanding wave. The point works best with large swells and can hold waves of up to six feet, definitely not suitable for beginners. With dramatic cliffs surrounding the rocky beach, it's also an incredibly picturesque place to spend the day.
Manorbier is a small, south-westerly facing 'secret spot' with a famous reef break known as the "dak". Sheltered at high tide by the cliffs, Manorbier is worth checking out if the wind picks up elsewhere. It's best to go between mid and high tide during bigger swells. This wave is advised for only more experienced surfers.
Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
Known as the most consistent surf spot in Wales, Freshwater West is straight from the pages of a book about surfing and is the site of the Welsh nationals. The beach holds a fast, hollow sand bar wave at low tide. When the swell is at its biggest, people tend to opt for the reef in the middle of the bay. The bay can get tricky due to its under currents and rips, so stay safe and have a good one.
Hells Mouth, Llyn Peninsula
Don't be fooled by the name! Hells Mouth is actually a fairly agreeable wave. This four-mile stretch of south-westerly facing beach is mainly sand with a few rocky areas. Picking up any swell going, Hell's Mouth attracts surfers from all over the country. While there are party-waves all along the beach, the reef at the north end is most popular, but remember the rules and don't drop in.
Whitesands is a very popular surfing spot and is sheltered from the wind due to Ramsey Island. The beach holds reasonably large waves, occasionally up to ten feet! It's best to aim for mid to high tide in the bay. With a solid beach break, beautiful views and potential for bigger, punching waves, it's little wonder why Whitesands has become so infamous.
Facing west, if Llangennith isn't working, you'll struggle to find anywhere else that is. The beach has breathtaking views, especially from the cliffs above Rhossilli looking down. Llangennith can hold waves of up to six feet before becoming unmanageable and is popular with all types of surfers, from novice to professionals. Enjoy this fun, varied wave and everything that surrounds it.
Anglesey, North Wales
The Isle of Anglesey is Wales' most northerly surf spot. Though it needs a huge south westerly swell to get it working, when it does, surfing here is incredible. Winter is the best time to visit and scope out some of the more secret surf spots. For most surfers, the most popular areas are Aberffraw, an exposed beach, Cable Bay, a small bay which can hold fairly large waves, and Broad Beach and Rhosneigr, facing west and ideal for beginners.
Porth Ceiriad, Llyn Peninsula
Porth Ceiriad can be found at the tip of the Llyn Peninsula, between Abersoch and Hell's Mouth. Working best with a south westerly swell, the beach feels incredibly remote and is a 15-20 minute walk away from the car park. Porth Ceiriad works best with large winter storms, allowing it to kick up steep, hollow barrels around mid to high tide. Dig out your winter wetsuit!
Set in the rural Conwy Valley near Snowdonia , there is a fresh-water lagoon, roughly the size of six football pitches. This is Surf Snowdonia! With a powerful head-high wave, peeling perfectly for more than 150 metres, this is now one of the best and definitely the most consistent wave in Wales. This incredible creation makes it possible to surf all-year round with areas set aside for beginners, intermediate and experienced surfers. For non-surfers there is lots to do too.
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