If you’re looking for the perfect place to catch a wave, you might want to take a trip to Wales – or at least arm yourself with the knowledge of what it takes to surf there. From the picturesque shorelines to the hidden gems that make up some of Wales’ best surf beaches, you’re sure to find something special here.
So if you’re ready to tackle some waves, let’s break down everything you need to know about surfing in Wales. We’ll explore the best surf spots and what kind of swells they provide, safety tips, and beach etiquette. But first, let’s start with a bit of history – this could be the most crucial part when it comes to understanding how surfing in Wales became so popular.
Choose Your Waves Wisely: Best Beaches for Surfing in Wales
Ready to catch some waves? Surfing in Wales is a great way to get outside, explore the rugged coastline, and channel your inner surfer in this fantastic country. Scotland’s west coast has some of the best European surfing spots, but it pays to pick your waves with care. Here are some of the best beaches for surfing in Wales:
Located in Port Talbot, Aberavon beach is one of the longest beaches in Wales. It offers plenty of room for people looking for open, unbroken waves and can be an excellent spot for all levels of surfers, from beginners to experienced riders.
Many surfers love Barry Island because of its consistent conditions and wide variety of wave types. The sea can be rough sometimes, so it’s essential to check the tide report before hitting the waters.
This iconic beach on Gower Peninsula offers up great waves for all levels. Whether you’re an experienced surfer or just starting, Rhossili Bay has something to offer everyone who visits it—including stunning sunsets!
If you’re new to surfing or just getting back into it after a long break, these beaches will be perfect for your next adventure. Pick your spot wisely and enjoy firing up those waves!
Familiarise Yourself With Beach Conditions in Wales
You may be familiar with surfing in some parts of the world, but Wales has its unique surf conditions that can be dangerous if you don’t know what to expect. Before you go out for a ride, make sure you do some research on the specific beach you plan to visit.
- Water temperature: The water around Wales can be quite cold—below 60°F (15°C) in spring and fall—so even experienced surfers should make sure they’re wearing appropriate wetsuits.
- Surf size: Shallow bay beaches in Wales are typically best for beginners while more exposed areas have bigger waves that may require more experience to tackle.
- Tides: Tide changes can create hazardous currents, so check tide tables and weather reports before paddling out.
- Waves: Depending on the season, there may be big swells or small rollers. If you’re more comfortable on easy-riding waves, head to the protected bays.
By knowing what to expect before you hit the beach, you’ll be better prepared to avoid potential hazards and enjoy a successful surfing session!
Wear the Right Gear: What to Wear While Surfing in Wales
Our first tip? A rashguard. This formfitting shirt protects from the sun’s rays and reduces friction when paddling out on your board. Plus, they come in all colors to look good while safe.
Wet or Dry Suit?
For cold waters, either a wet or dry suit is essential. A wet suit allows water to enter the material and stick to your skin, keeping body warmth close and insulating you. If you plan on surfing in the winter months, we strongly suggest investing in a dry suit—it’s more expensive, but it has a waterproof layer that will keep that chill away!
Footwear: Booties or Reef Shoes?
Booties are the way to go if you’re looking for extra traction and warmth. However, if extra grip isn’t necessary but all-day comfort is essential for long days in the sun (or waves), reef shoes are ideal since they’re lightweight and provide plenty of padding and protection from cuts or scrapes around rocks.
So whether posting up at Tenby or taking on Coney Beach, make sure to outfit yourself with these must-haves before hitting the waves!
Surfers Rash – Anti-Chafe Cream
Board rub, surfers rash – No problem with our “On the Water” Anti-Chafe Cream. Formulated using only natural oils, butters, and waxes that hold in moisture – they soothe, heal, and protect the skin from the salt water and board and wetsuit rub.
Consider Your Safety at All Times: Tips for Rip Currents and Other Hazards
When the waves are sound, it’s tempting to ride them, but it’s essential to prioritize your safety.
Whether you’re tackling small swells or taking on a huge wave, here are some tips to help keep you safe in Wales:
Keep an eye out for rip currents
Rip currents can be deceptive—they’re often small and not always visible. If you spot one, don’t fight it—swim parallel to the shore instead. Don’t panic if you get caught in a rip current; a little discipline can go a long way in helping you make it back to shore.
Wear a wetsuit when needed.
Wearing a wetsuit helps protect you from cold shock and skin laceration from coral and stonefish. It also provides warmth and buoyancy. After all, nothing ruins your surf experience like being too cold!
Look for problems before paddling out.
Check for debris—storm debris, rocks under the water, or any other obstacles that could pose risks before paddling out. Also, ensure you have enough energy and experience level for the conditions before venturing into the surf.
Have an emergency plan
Make sure you know where safety regulations signs are located and what they mean, as well as what kind of assistance is available during an emergency, such as if someone is injured or lost at sea. Knowing these details can help save lives if something unexpected happens while surfing in Wales!
Learn the Life-Saving Lingo: Terms Used for Surfing in Wales
Learning the lingo used for surfing in Wales is essential as you get ready to hit the waves. Not only will this help you understand what others are saying in the water, but it will also save your life. Here are some key terms you should know:
Set – A set is a group of waves that come at regular intervals and can last up to 10 minutes. It is essential to know when a set is coming so that you can prepare yourself for riding the waves.
Closeout – Occurs when all the waves in a set break at once and become too close together, making it impossible to ride them.
Backwash – Backwash is created when waves hit a fixed object, such as a reef or rock, and then push back, creating an area of choppy water that is difficult to navigate.
Rip Currents – Rip currents are powerful channels of water that flow away from shore and can pull even experienced surfers outwards. Knowing how to spot and avoid rip currents can save your life if you find yourself stuck in one.
Learning the lingo used by surfers in Wales will not only make it easier for you to communicate with other surfers but will also help ensure your safety while enjoying your time on the water.
Protect Yourself From the Sun: Sun Safety Tips for Surfing in Wales
If you’re catching waves in Wales, protecting yourself from the sun is essential. Wales is known for its coastal beauty, but this comes with a price—bright sunshine and plenty of UV rays.
Here are some tips to keep you safe and surf-ready when tackling the waves in Wales:
- Wear sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun’s rays with a pair of UV-blocking shades.
- Wear a water-resistant, marine-safe sunscreen: Make sure to slather on sunscreen 20 minutes before surfing and apply again after swimming or sweating heavily for optimum protection.
- Wear a rash guard: A breathable rash guard helps protect your skin from the sun and any potential irritation from sand and saltwater contact.
- Bring a water bottle: Stay hydrated by bringing a reusable water bottle to stay cool between sessions. Feeling refreshed and energized after surfing will help keep your energy up during longer beach days!
Following these four tips, you can ensure you stay safe while soaking up all that Welsh sun and surfing the waves!
Balmy Fox SPF Sunscreen – If you’re looking for a sunscreen that is water resistant and marine safe, consider the Balmy Fox SPF Sunscreen.
This sunscreen offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection and is designed to stay put while in or out of the water. It is also reef-safe and biodegradable, so you can wear it without worrying about polluting the ocean.
Go Balmy - "On the Water!"
So, if you’re looking for a safe and unforgettable surfing experience in Wales, you’re in luck! With strong rip tides, powerful waves, and lots of marine life, Wales is the perfect place to practice your skills and surf the waves. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the right equipment and the right precautions are what you need to stay safe and enjoy the experience.
By following the tips outlined here, you can make sure you’re well-protected against the elements and all other dangers. Don’t forget to use a marine-safe SPF, respect the waves as well as the wildlife, and, above all, have fun! With a bit of preparation and caution, you’ll be able to beat the burn and catch the wave.