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Exmouth Kitesurf Guide

Exmouth has some of the most varied kitesurf conditions in the world. Waves, flat water, strong tide (moving at over 7 knots) providing awesome wind against tide conditions. In addition, Exmouth offers an unrivalled teaching/ learning location on nearly any wind direction. For beginners/intermediates seeking the safe haven of an estuary like the Exe has (with advice!), the Duck Pond offers this. An area located in the estuary provides shallow flat water ideal for grasping basic skills. So, what are the drawbacks of Exmouth? Local knowledge is a must. Exmouth works best within a relatively narrow window, where wind direction, tidal state and local weather conditions all play their part. To get the best of Exmouth requires some good planning.

Edge Kite School

There are two main kitesurf locations in Exmouth: The Duck Pond and the Seafront where the Estuary meets the sea.

The Duck Pond.

The ‘Duck Pond’ works best on a North Westerly (the wind funnels from the direction of Exeter and cleans up as it comes down the Estuary). Plan your kiteboarding to avoid disappointment: arrive 2-3 hours before high tide (except neap tides). The Duck Pond has good parking and a green where you can prepare your kit, then you can walk up the Estuary and launch from one of the sand banks, giving yourself an upwind advantage and space. It is possible to launch from the green and many people do this: but it is best to plan your trip and arrive early and get the best of the tide – conditions are much better when the tide is on the push and still fairly shallow. If you don’t plan your trip you are forced to launch on the grass, navigate through parked cars, hop over a fence – down a slip way, then start power stroking with your kite over land with a wall facing you – a recipe for a kitemare and worse.

The Seafront

The EstuaryThe Seafront is where the Exe meets the sea. The main sailing area is sheltered by a massive sandbank which keeps the swell at bay and provides excellent flat water conditions. For those who seek a wave it is possible to get on the back of the sandbar and get some wave action. A deep channel (which runs very fast) runs alongside the narrow beach backed by a road. This area is for experienced kiters only. It is possible to kite on the seafront on any state of tide, but it definitely works best on a dropping tide about 2/3 hours before low water, This is when the sandbank comes up and the channel starts running very flat – helping stay upwind in lighter conditions and allows constant practicing of tricks without slipping down wind. But, drop your kite and be ready for a struggle. Works best on a Southerly/South Easterly and East/South East. This is when clean wind comes in off the sea and is on shore. South West works but is gusty.

Many thanks to Edge Kite School for this guide. Edge is the South West’s Premier Kite Sports Training Centre, offering lessons in kitesurfing, landboarding and powerkiting. Visit www.edgewatersports.com for more info on courses and kitesurfing in Exmouth.

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