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Windsurfing in the South Hams

Spartan windsurfing guide
As holiday season comes along and many Windsurfers may be trying new places to windsurf we thought we would try and give a bit of a guide to various locations and areas.

South Hams in Devon

This is wonderful Windsurfing Country with something for all levels of sailors. We were sailing at South Milton yesterday and the back drop with all the cliffs and greenery is spectacular.

Advanced sailors should head to Bigbury or Bantham. Burg Island does shield the wind which seems to be worst in a Westerly but in a North westerly can result in down the line riding. Normally in a South westerly you sail out into pretty big surf and back side on the outside and then manage to get a front side once on the inside which is also more gusty. If you charge out from the river mouth there are some pretty good back looping and table top ramps. Bigbury and Bantham are both very quick to pick up any swells and that is why they are also very good for surfing, always bring a surf board as this is good for a laugh and normally there is some water movement. On very big days you may want to launch from behind the rock at low tide but it would have to be really off its face.

South Milton

This is a great place to go in pretty much anything from a South easterly to a North Westerly. The waves break outside the reef and you tend to get great bump and jump. Venture outside and you have the joy of some great waves and sailing the whole amazing bay. We normally pop out to have a look around, keep your eyes open for the seals that sometimes are swimming around.  If you sail outside watch out by the the rock as there is a very large bunch of rocks that head out to sea - perhaps a good 40 yards long. Watch where the wave is breaking and spot the rocks before riding just as you would do at Kimmeridge in Dorset. This wave however, may be large, may look like fun, but generally it is back side and disappointing. The strength of South Milton is its bump and Jump and there is also a bit more to play with if you want.  We tend to park in the National Trust car park which is a reasonable price for all day parking and is the best launch spot. At South Milton make sure you stay off the rocks and the big rock with a hole in it that stand vertically in all sates of tide is a great clue. The locals on South Milton are extremely friendly and will always give you advice.

Kingsbridge estuary

BIgbury takes experience when it's big, South Milton can have a shore break at high tide, if this concerns you then at high tide and 2 hours either side you can windsurf in the Estuary at Kingsbridge. This is flat water - Graham from the Mayne Gallery says it can be fantastic and if any one is passing just pop in and ask. He says that it is best to find the water pump and may well add some more notes later. When the wind is against the tide you can get a very good local effect and drag a few more knots out of the apparent wind.  Here are Graham's details telephone: 01548 85384 web site  www.maynegallery.co.uk This can be perfect if the sea water gets a bit too wobbly and you are use to windsurfing on a lake.

Slapton

John tells us that Slapton can be very good in both a Southerly and North Easterly, the wind will blow cross shore and he says that he has some great times blasting about but not many people know about it and frankly some company would be great. Next Southerly wind or North Easterly with quite a bit of North in it then we will go and try it out. We are also going to get some shots and add them later so that you can get some visuals, we are not sure where to park yet.

So, when you are coming to South Hams for your holiday there is a very good chance that you can get some great conditions and there should be something for everyone. Our next review will be of Essex around our home of West Mersea.

Happy Windsurfing this summer from Spartan wetsuits


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