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England lies northwest of mainland Europe. Swells are received almost everywhere on its coastline, from relatively consistent winter swells in the southwest to the more fickle wind swells from the east. The English are extremely enthusiastic about their surfing and they’re not afraid to get in the water anytime, making the most of everything on offer, from weak and windy summer slop to the rare winter giants that sometimes hit the shores.


There’s usually the option to have custom made, locally shaped boards, and the prominent surf culture around many coastline towns makes purchasing branded surf equipment very easy, although it’s not the cheapest country in the world to buy from.
The population is quite high, 50 million plus, and seemingly ever increasing inside the water, meaning that empty waves are getting more and more difficult to find. Locals are always determined to keep low key spots as secret as possible and respect is often demanded. Researching the coastlines and conditions, and getting adventurous with your exploration can really pay off.


From aerial wizards pulling off big punts and seasoned long boarders carving up peelers, to beginners determined to get their first wave, there’s often a vast range of abilities in the English waters. The vibe always resembles a happy bunch having a lot of fun, despite the weather, the cold and other less appealing factors that English surf comes with. Cold weather and rainy, grey sky surfs are commonplace, so when the sun comes out and there’s something to ride, the English cram the water as if it could be the last sunny day for years. This all contributes to the bubbly but busy and yet often polite atmosphere of English surfing.


From the renowned, consistent, pealing beach breaks of Fistral Beach in Newquay, to the heavy reef breaks at Porthleven, and all of the points, reefs, big waves and bodyboard wedges in between, England has truly got something for everyone, and the surfers willing to get to know the coastline and travel a bit are rarely disappointed. When the swells are in and other conditions are right, England boasts waves as good as any other in the world. It’s unfortunate, though, that these world class days are rarer than one would like them to be.


Most swells come through from autumn to spring, with larger days receiving up to fifteen feet plus, and though swells that big are rare, there’s usually always something to surf during those months. Often the best days are surfed near the end of autumn when the water is still warm enough to shun the gloves, boots and hood, and the good swells are now starting to arrive. Summer sees less swell, but with water temperatures far more tolerable than winter and a Shorty or full 3/2 being comfortable enough to surf in.


The condition and cleanliness of English waters, beaches and surf spots is generally very good, with many beaches awarded blue flag status. There are also many lifeguarded beaches making England a safe and pleasant place to surf.
When coming from abroad, or if you’re just getting into surfing, check the charts and do some research before getting in the water. You won’t be disappointed. England is then likely to be on your surf radar for many trips to come.

Category: Surf Forecasts & Reports

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Category: Surf Forecasts & Reports

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Category: Surf Forecasts & Reports

Ireland is an island west of England and Wales. It is divided into two, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK. Though, as surfing is boundless and free, we speak of Ireland in its entirety, as one unified land of prime surfing in cold water. The population is less than 15% of England’s, and yet the coastline measures only about 200 miles less, so the opportunity for emptier waves is significant. The warmth of the water is raised slightly by the Gulf Stream, though you’ll still want full winter gear in midwinter. Other seasons you can get away with a lot less and in the summer a 3/2 is fine and some may want to bust out a Shorty.


The north, south and west coasts pick up generous helpings of Atlantic swell, adding to the relatively high consistency of surf here. Winds and swells can be heavy and variable. Thankfully, the coastline is also varied, meaning there are always spots to find that favour whatever conditions the ocean gods have to throw at this incredible surf destination. The east coast is sheltered from the Atlantic swells, but remnants of groundswells and Irish Sea wind swells are still surfed when possible.


Ireland’s surfing profile has increased massively in past decades, with epic spots being illuminated as some of the best in the world. From hardcore big wave giant Aileens to the incredibly long rides when Inch Reef fires, to the various beach breaks scattered along the vast coastline, Ireland has plenty to offer.
The south coast can be quite fickle, but it can also produce some real gems. It offers a range of bays, reefs and other wave types. The prevailing wind direction is cross to onshore, and it’s generally the south to southwest swells that hit the spot. Larger, more westerly swells can also wrap into spots with wind shelter and this can open up more opportunities. Offshore winds don’t come as often as would be ideal, though when they do grace the Irish south coast, some incredible waves start cranking.


The west coast receives a wealth of swell and it is home to world renowned big wave surfing at Aileens, Prowlers and others. With waves that can get to 30ft+ this gives you an idea of the power of swell reaching the west facing coastline of Ireland. It’s not all for the death defying and fearless though, there are plenty of spots for everyone and with almost any kind of setup you can think of, Ireland’s west coast is a haven for exploration, adventure and search for the perfect wave.


The north coast also picks up relatively consistent amounts of Atlantic swell. Northwest to north swell directions are often favourable, but some of the westerly giants also wrap into certain spots. Beach breaks catering for all levels of surfer are in abundance here, and there are also some reefs and other break types for more experienced surfers. Portrush is often referred to as north Ireland’s surf capital.
So there you have it. Ireland’s vast coastline offers countless opportunities for world class cold water surf, and conditions that are suitable for everyone from beginners to the most experienced the world has to offer. The swell it receives is relatively consistent, but this is often tethered with heavy winds. There is plenty of scope for surfing solo, though exploration and research will be key. The Irish are rightfully protective over their hidden gems, so don’t expect to go there and hear freely where these beauties lie.

Category: Surf Forecasts & Reports

Wales borders England to the west. Atlantic swells grace the shores from south through to west. However, much of this is denied by Wales’s position, as it’s tucked behind Ireland and just north of South West England. Some spots require large swells to pull through on their last legs to reach them. Nevertheless, the coastline is varied and with a plethora of spots facing different directions there’s plenty of choice to suit a range of wind directions. The more solid southwest swells can push up through St. Georges Channel to give the more north western spots some good surf, but they’re rarely epic. The Lleyn peninsular is more exposed to these southwest swells and as you travel south down the coastline, generally the more swell is picked up. Water temperatures are reasonable, certainly not the coldest in the UK. Summer permits a 3/2 and winter can demand full gear.

Freshwater West lies at south west Pembrokeshire. It is known as the most consistent spot in Wales as it picks up most swell on offer, making it a reliable bet for surf trips all year. National contests are often hosted here. When there’s enough swell, Pembrokeshire presents much choice for shelter to winds blasting the more exposed spots. Opportunity and charming natural beauty characterise the surf.

East of Pembrokeshire is the Gower. Near the city of Swansea and also not that far from Cardiff, these spots can get very busy. There’s diversity of beach, reef and point on offer. The area starts lighting up on a moderate to solid swell and that makes late autumn to early spring best, with the deep winter swells bringing classic surfs to the table.

As you travel east past the Gower Peninsula and Swansea Bay, the coastline in south Wales starts facing west, and a range of west to southwest bays, reefs and open beaches emerge. From Port Talbot down to Porthcawl there are a range of spots favouring west swells and east winds. The coastline then starts facing west again, and the further east you go the less swell makes it up the Severn Estuary so these spots aren’t as fortunate for waves.

West Wales is unfortunate in that Ireland blocks it from the well travelled westerly Atlantic swells. It needs southwest Atlantic swells to start working, and it can get good in the winter as larger swells are more frequent. With plenty of good breaks to suit everyone, west Wales, or mid Wales, is still a great surfing option. As it picks up only about half the swell of south west Pembrokeshire, more attention must be paid to the charts when planning surf trips here.

Wales is a country layered in natural beauty. Coastal national parks and high doses of rich scenery contribute to the surfing experience. With spots close to cities and spots on remote coastline, there is something to suit everyone. It may rain a lot and the Welsh sun might be shy, and the swell that reaches the shores may not be the strongest in the UK, but it’s certainly not the weakest, and that all contributes to the wonderful character of Welsh surfing. They’re a friendly nation, and extremely proud of their culture.

Category: Surf Forecasts & Reports

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