This months Explore The UK takes us up to the North of England to the speed and freestyle heavon West Kirby, we got the low down on this legendary venue from the speed legend himself Farrel O’Shea.
What wind and swell direction should we be looking for?
The best general wind direction is anything with Westerly in it…
True west is about 120 degrees off the wind (starboard tack) and pretty flat making very easy HIGH SPEED sailing. West North West is a quicker direction, but beware there can be death chop as you go further down the infamous west Kirby wall. Conversely South West (port tack ) is super flat, but can be gusty as its coming over the hills in the distance .
Freestyle is brilliant on pretty much all these directions and you can always fins dead flat water, and as its so flat its heaven freeriding.
Any Wind directions we should avoid?
Anything with any East, its coming over the town _bin job !
What works on what tide?
The higher tides can breach the wall, making the water state very confusing , unsailable for speed for typically a couple of hours .
Where exactly is West Kirby?
Up in the North West of England near Liverpool.
Where do you park and how much change do you need?
The beauty of West Kirby is that you can literally park within 10 meters of the water’s edge, the easiest place ever to get back to the van for a cup o’tea J
I think it’s about £13 or £14 quid for a day, but seasonal membership is very affordable.
Where is the best spot to launch from?
Launching is best from the North End carpark , its super convieniant !
What is launching like and any top tips for it?
Super easy launch, for speed best to the right of the top jetty, for freestyle and freeride straight in front of the carpark.
Anywhere we should avoid on the water?
Hitting the wall and be aware of the other sailors particularly when close to the wall …
What does my sailing ability need to be before I venture out?
Absolute beginner to world class speed sailor or freestyler and everything in between.
Mast snaps… how much trouble am I in?
Slightly more danger than it snapping on the land – but not much more.
What are the local vibes like? (other windsurfers and beach users)
Very friendly .
Any inside secrets?
Nope – must go if you havn’t been there before ..
Toilets: yes – but not great
Van camping: not really, but blind eye turned most of the time
Showers: yes. again not great
Food: seaweed only
Kit Hire: not really
Instruction: possible at the school
Post windsurf pint: few good pubs in the town
Windsurfing shop: an old one.. but not much relevant stuff at all, you might just get a spare harness line – if you’re lucky
Make sure you keep tuned for next week where Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers tells us all about Avon.