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West Wales Surf & Kitesurf Guide

Starting from the south, if everywhere else is to big or blown out Aberaeron is the place to be! With various left hand points wrapping off the northern edge of the town. It gives a lot of protection from SW winds, and on its day can be an awesome spot, usually a lot bigger than it looks from the road!! Just north of Aberaeron is Aberarth. A beach and boulder point with various waves each side of the water outlet. As with Aberaeron, this spot needs a solid swell to get it warmed up. When its good however its worth going there.

LlanrhystydLlanrhystyd is fairly standard beach break, not used much by surfers, unless they’re after a quiet spot. Can be a great spot to kitesurf at, especially on a northerly wind, when it produces a cleaner wind than most other spots on the coast. However, when its on, Llanrhystyd has a perfect left hand point break! Best in light south to south east winds, and generally from mid to low tide, although it will work at other stages on certain swells. With a very shallow reef and some huge boulders its certainly not a wave for the unexperienced or faint-hearted, especially not on bigger days! If its good, expect crowds, and remember the locals love this spot so behave and show respect. Drive slowly on the lane down.

The TrapAberystwyth has a whole load of surf breaks ranging from gnarly lefts to beach break, the most popular wave is known as the Trap. The Trap is situated next to the harbour & is a A-frame point breaking over a sharp mussle bed. (Boots are essential all year round). It works best in an easterly and at most tidal stages, although high tide is generally bigger. It picks up more swell than anywhere else in the area and is also the most popular and therefore busiest break around. After heavy rain, there is a monster rip, heading north, so get ready to paddle. On bigger days, the Trap can be really heavy, and watch out for a even heavier shore break on the way back in!

Also in the area, Bath rocks is a sucky right & it works for an hour or two at high tide on big enough tides. Breaking over a sharp granite reef, this wave is strictly for experienced surfers only. Get the vertical drop wrong and its good bye board, and possibly a trip to the local casualty! Just north of Bath rocks is a beach break known as Queens. This can be a fun wave, and works best at low tide with a SW or west wind behind it.

Shem @ Ynys Las Borth has 2 miles of beach break & sand banks that work in most conditions. If your planning a trip to mid Wales, this is your best chance of getting some surf. For maximum swell head to the north end (Ynys Las). This spot picks up about as much swell as the Trap, but has plenty of room. If there’s a bigger swell or SW winds, head back into Borth corner where the cliff provides protection from the wind and reduces the size of the swell. Ynys Las is also a popular spot for kite surfers from throughout the UK. With the beach front being rideable from southerly round to a northerly wind, and the estuary being usable in any easterly wind, it makes it one of the most consistent spots in the country. At busy periods stay well away from the masses of other beach users (horses, quads, cars and others included). In the water, watch out for massive currents in the estuary!

Aberdyfi (Aberdovey) estuary, directly opposite Ynys Las, is a great spot for kitesurfing but very experienced riders only! The currents here get up to 8 knots on big tides, its also an absolute NO NO during summer months due to the moorings, boats and yacht races. At winter time, however, its a great spot for the experienced kiter. At the northern end of the estuary (north swash), there is a series of lagoons. These work from mid to low tide and back up to mid tide. These provide perfectly flat water usually around 1-2 foot deep. An ideal safe spot to learn to kite surf, or to practice those new tricks.

The GraveyardIn between Aberdyfi and Tywyn, you’ll find the Grave Yard, so called because of the cemetary on the hill side next to it. This 3 mile beach has some great peaks, especially at high tide. As good for kitesurfing as it for surfing, this westerly facing beach provides heaps of room for kitesurfing and has its own designated land kiting area. Summer holidays get very busy at this spot, so stay away at high tide.

Tywyn works on most swells, and can handle most winds, although it faces SW. It has a few really good peaks, generally either side of high tide. A popular spot with traveling surfers as you can park right next to the beach. Kite surfing is possible off Tywyn, but beware of groynes, large rock piles and updrafts next to the sea wall. Do so only with caution and at low tide.

Llwyngwril is a quiet village, surrounded by a series of reefs. In the right conditions, the surf here can be as good as anywhere! Generally a large swell and a southerly or south west wind is needed to get this spot cranking. Catch it right and a 300 yard barrelling left will blow you away. Not to mention a perfect A-frame at a different spot in the village. Kiting is possible, for experienced riders only, but with shallow reefs, large boulders and even larger cliffs. Choose your launch and land areas very carefully. If you’re alone, please seek local advice first!

Shem AirwaysMid Wales is a awesome spot for both surfing and kitesurfing. I’ve mentioned most of the spots, however there are plenty more out there to find! Kiting is very consistent with wind being virtually daily over winter periods. Surf however is hugely inconsistent, so dont go thinking your gonna turn up and get a perfect reef break. Even the locals have a hard time scoring good surf, so the chances of turning up for a day and getting it is slim! Turn up at the right time however, explore and you might just get lucky!

Many thanks to Shem from Kitesurf Wales for this guide. Based in Aberdovey/Aberystwyth, Shem is an experienced surfer and runs Kitesurf Wales offering tuition and equipment advice 7 days a week, all year round from level 2 IKO instructors. Power kiting, land boarding & buggying lessons also available. Specialist improver courses can be arranged with full water support from qualified jet ski water safety specialists. Please visit www.kitesurfwales for more information on the courses they offer.

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