Shoreham, West Sussex
Brief intro: At mid
to low tides, Shoreham is the place to go on this stretch
of the south coast, it’s
a short walk and gravity alone helps you stumble down
the beach to the waters edge although you might not find
the reverse of this so helpful feature after a full days
sailing!. The beauty of Shoreham is its accessibility
and relative safety. The conditions are rarely huge and
it’s a perfect place to try some wavesailing out.
Beach faces: South
Best wind direction: S/SW/SE/E
Best direction for waves: SW winds are
best for waveriding even though it is slightly onshore.
The waves are generally well spaced and small at the lowest
tide where as mid tide brings the larger more powerful
waves Generally excellent for jumping.
Not good : Anything with north in it!
Tide: Low to mid is best for all levels.
Tide pushing in will give the best waves if there is any
What’s on the bottom: Sand (shingle
at high tide).
Any hazards?: The beach itself is shingle
and shelves very steeply. This can give massive, crunching
shorebreak at high tide. The new rock groynes are also
an issue at high tide and there is a strong longshore drift
feeding into Shoreham harbour when its wind with tide.
Much less hazardous at low tide.
Other water users: kitersurfers, a few
jet skiers & dinghy sailors in the summer. There is
a wrongly placed sign on the windsurfing beach, see picture,
suggesting that there is no windsurfing there. Ignore this!
Suitability/levels: Beginners to Advanced,
depending on the state of the tide and wind conditions.
Wipeout factor: As with most places
the windier it gets the harder the conditions become. As
the tide comes in towards the shingle, the shorebreak is
a real kit breaker, one foul swoop could trash everything
you have got. High tide is best avoided. Other states of
tide are fine.
Instruction: For Instruction go to
Hove Lagoon Watersports, down the road.
Kit Hire: As above.
Friendly factor: The windsurfing fraternity
are all a friendly bunch of people and range from beginner
to world class. It is not just a wave location, in fact
far from it, plenty for everyone to enjoy and due to the
length of beach it doesn’t get too crowded.
No wind alternatives: Plenty to do in
Brighton with all its attractions (15 mins drive). There
is a decent 9 hole golf course at Lancing to the West and
the South Downs provide great walking and mountain biking.
Surfable?: Not really, although the
Stormrider Guide to Europe does state that there are a
few spots along this stretch of the coastline, but I’ve
never found them!
||Shops next to Surfladle
||The police are pretty lenient to
roadside parking on double yellow lines. The car park
charges £1 in season.
||The Waterside Inn is next to the
river, and has quite a good local scene going on.
Accommodation: Try www.shorehambeachhouse.co.uk which sleeps 8 people & is right on the beach! Or for a full listing of local accomodation go to www.thisisbrighton.co.uk
Local hotshots: The local standard of
sailing can be really high (it would be with the likes
of the Bakers, Simon Dawkins, Tim Davies, the Swifts, Guy
Cribb and Matt Pearch regularly out). Don’t be surprised
to be impressed by the aerial antics of the unknown locals,
and don’t be intimidated, in fact have a go yourself
and enjoy the whoops you get for trying! It is a popular
place to sail and you are always in company whatever standard
Local knowledge/secrets: If at low tide
the wind swings cross offshore and there is some swell,
you get a punchy little wave that is good for wave aerials.
Extra: The UKWA visits every year as
part of the FREEWAVE TOUR. There are regular demo days
based around the Surfladle shop.
How to get there: From the M25 take the
M23 towards Brighton, take the A27 towards Worthing and
then take the second turning for Shoreham. You will wind
down a spiral bridge following the sign posts to Shoreham
and Lancing. As you come to the second mini roundabout,
take a right turn towards Worthing and cross the river
Adur. Take a left at the main roundabout to SHOREHAM BEACH.
As the road bends to the left, take this right. Follow
the road around to the beach and turn right to find the
Reporter: Clyde Waite