West Shore , Llandudno, North Wales
Intro: West Shore is a little known beach on the opposite side from the North Shore beach in the tourist town of Llandudno. At high tide it provides bump and jump with mirror flat water on the inside behind the breakwater. However, best to go at low tide and play in the flat, waist deep, freestyle and speed run channel. Then wait for the water to cover the sand bars so you can play in the breaking waves then finish off with some high tide bump and jump.
Fees: Officially you have to pay £5 to the local harbour master to sail here. This is a new charge and has not gone down well. Consequently, the kitesurfers are refusing to pay it so join their campaign! I think this fee could be dropped soon so please refuse to pay. However, regulars can join the Kitesurfing Club and pay £10 per year or you can pay £35 for a seasonal permit if you can’t bring yourself to join a kitesurfing club. Phone the Conwy Harbour Office for an application form on 01492 596253.
Beach faces: South-west
Best wind direction: West to North-west
Best direction for waves: North / North-west for riding on the sand bar, North-west to South-west for jumping
Not good: North-east to East as wind blocked by the Great Orme, South is too gusty.
Tide: Very tidal but it can be sailed at almost any state except for very low water springs. You just need to pick your spot.
What’s on the bottom: Sand
Any hazards?: Running aground on the sandbanks if sailing at mid to low tide.
Other water users: Instructional beach for Extreme Kiting Shop in Llandudno Junction so plenty of kitesurfers. Also land kites at low tide.
Suitability/levels: Beginners to advanced but mainly an intermediate beach. Very flat inside the breakwater and in the channel at low tide, which is ideal for beginners. However, at mid to high tide in a Force 4 and above it can get very choppy with breaking waves. At this state your waterstart needs to be bomb proof. The low water channel is ideal for learning freestyle, whether a 360 or a vulcan as well as being perfect for beginners.
Wipeout factor: On a very windy day the bump and jump can really get to your knees, but other than that, if you do lose your kit, you will get blown into a sandy beach. The sand bar is quite far out; break something here in an out going tide and next stop is the Isle of Man!
Kit Hire: No
Friendly factor: If you get on with kitesurfers, you’ll be OK! Not a busy place, maybe 5 or 6 windsurfers out on a good day.
No wind alternatives: The seaside holiday town of Llandudno with pier, dry ski slope, cable cars, arcades, pubs, one cheesy nightclub and plenty of candy floss. Golf at Llandudno (Maesdu) Golf Club (01492 876450) and North Wales Golf Club (01492 875325). Cineworld multiplex in Llandudno Junction (01492 574910).
||Cost Cutter 2 mins walk away
||Free and plenty of space
Lots in town, Weatherspoons in the nearest and cheapest.
Accommodation: www.llandudno-tourism.co.uk , Llandudno Tourist Office 01492 876413 or email Llandudno@nwtic.com
Local hotshots: Louise Emery, Gavin Rodgers
Local knowledge/secrets: A SE wind funnels down the Conwy Valley giving more wind than forecast. It will be quite flat though.
During and after a northerly gale, the swell wraps around the Great Orme. If it’s still blowing N/NW then sail upwind infront on the big, posh houses on the side of the Orme. You can get proper down the line riding at mid tide even if it’s only a couple of turns. Happens once a year if you’re lucky!
Extra: The Extreme kiting surfing shop in Llandudno Junction is becoming really active at this beach with kitesurfing festivals and competitions.
How to get there: Get on the A55 and come off at Llandudno Junction/Deganwy exit (The one AFTER the main Llandudno turn off). Pass Tesco and Cineworld and follow signs for Deganwy. Drive through Deganwy village, pass 2 golf courses, over a railway bridge until you reach a mini roundabout. Turn LEFT. At immediate T-junction turn RIGHT. Carry on this road and park on the left just before Pen Morfa Hotel.
Reporter: Louise Emery