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SW Devon Kitesurf Guide

Across the bay from Burgh Island and Bigbury, and the opposite side to the mouth of the river avon, Bantham is probably the best location, for all levels of kitesurfer. It is frequented by kite buggys at low tide with expansive flat sand – this makes it a great place to surf and gives lovely shallow water to skim across when kitesurfing. The only rules for kiters on land and water is to stay to the right of the RNLI beach flags for the swimmers and no launching or sailing from the left hand side of the flags (if you ask the lifguards may allow it when its quiet). It is very important to be EXTRA CONSIDERATE on this beach. Set up far away from crowds in the big open spaces. At high tide when its busy, you may have to avoid kiting altogether if the beach is busy. The lifeguards want to see at least a 50meter distance around swimmers and surfers – this may mean that there just isn’t the room to surf. Also be sure to have 3rd party insurance up to date or you cant surf here (www.kitesurfing.org for BKSA insurance cover £25.00 a year). In addition, The Sloop is a great village pub – really friendly and the car park isn’t too expensive compared with Burgh which is extortionate.


Burgh Island is recognised as being one of the best kitesurfing spots in South Devon, but it’s not ideal. First of all it is a very popular windsurfing and surfing spot, so you aren’t very welcome if you are going to cause a nuisance. This works best in any westerly or southerly winds. Opposite this spot is Bantham beach which is the better place to learn (and kitesurf generally) but Bantham is not as good as Burgh in certain conditions and wind directions. Bantham surfers will head for Bigbury in a NW. It gets a little gusty from this direction as Bantham is in the lee, whereas the “right side” of the spit facing the island is ideal for this wind direction. At low tide (above) the spit between the island and Bigbury allows you to launch either side, depending on wind direction, but it does get very busy in the summer and unless you know how to handle a kite, avoid kiting here when it is busy. There are some great pubs (we love the Pilchard Inn on Burgh Island) and cafes although the parking charges are absolutely scandalous. If you’re lucky, grab a free spot just before the charging car park. But the locals are well onto it already!

Many thanks to the Devon Kite Club. Visit their site at www.sdkc.co.uk for more detailed info & photos on the area as well as how to get involved in the sport. For £25 you can join their club for real and this gives you full 3rd party insurance cover into the bargain. You just join up at the BKSA (www.kitesurfing.org/join) and declare them as your club. Easy!

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