Today we head up to a location widely known as one of the best wave sailing spots in the U.K. where so many of our top international riders proved themsleves before heading to the PWA tour. I am of course talking about Rhosneigr, local Ben Todd gives us the low down on this incredible spot.
What wind and swell direction should we be looking for?
Wind: There are ridable conditions in pretty much every wind direction. Only a dead Easterly can be a bit tricky as the wind is coming right over the village and can resemble a swiss cheese in this direction. For Wave riding with Port Tack jumping you should be looking at SE to SW, it gets a bit onshore on a straight W. Then for Starboard tack jumping anything from NW through to N works. You will need a good ground swell or left over wind swell to have waves in the N-NW wind direction though.
Swell: For a true Ground Swell session with a Wave period over 10 seconds the direction must be dead South. Ireland unfortunately gets in the way a bit so it has to fit up the St Georges Channel to get to us. However, because of that same channel, we get cracking Wind Swell conditions with the wave and wind getting funneled up the Irish Sea, we can have good waves with anything from a SE to WSW Wind Swell Direction.
Any Wind directions we should avoid?
Only a dead Easterly can be a bit tricky as the wind is coming right over the village and can be holier than Bucky’s socks. Also you must be comfortable with an offshore wind anywhere from N round to ESE
What works on what tide?
There are waves to be had right through the tidal range and depending on wind direction the ‘sweet spot’ can be at various states of tide. Only thing to really avoid is High Tide on a big spring as there is not much beach, it can be a bit choppy over the river and the waves are usually a bit more dumpy.
Where exactly is Rhosneigr and how do you get there?
Rhosneigr is situated at the Centre of the known windsurfing universe, so should be easy to find. However, if you’re struggling take the M56 off the M6 to North Wales. Then stay on the A55 till you see a sign for Rhosneigr.Should take about 1hr:45 from the M6. Postcode for Sad Nav: LL64 5QB will bring you right to the beach front.
Where do you park and how much change do you need?
You can park near the beach to unload and rig up, but the bays are limited time (hr)and no return (30 mins) There is a free car park in the village at the library. Turn left at the ‘Clock’ in the centre of town and drive down the high street. You should see the parking sign on the first left. The Car Park is just up the hill.
Where is the best spot to launch from?
In a SW ish wind, its best to go to the left of the rocks at the bottom of beach road and get up wind a bit. Then you wont be straight in to the bigger waves and can ease yourself in gently. There is another spot to the right between the rocks but this can vary with sand coverage ver the rocks, so can be a fin killer.
In a NW ish wind, its sometime best to get in at the top NW corner so you don have to fight upwind through the mush.
Anywhere we should avoid on the water?
There are some submerged rocks at High Tide. The best thing to do here really is to take look at low tide to scope them out. Luckily the biggest ones will show a good bit of disturbance on the surface when the waves are running, so you can see the whitewater pretty easy and avoid!
What does my sailing ability need to be before I venture out?
This all depends on tide height and the wind. If its over 25Knts you need to be competent in very choppy-large white water conditions, as there will be either or both of those out there. There is a little area upwind of the waves high tide where some choppy-flat water can be found. But if you struggle to rip upwind and have a sketchy water start, then you could end up in the washing machine. Below 25knts it can be present bump and jump to good beginner- intermediate sailing. If in doubt, ask at FUNSPORT the local Wind Surf shop. There is always the Maelog Lake if you have made the journey and don’t fancy the waves. Just watch out for Algae in the height of summer. Can be a bit weedy.
Mast snaps… how much trouble am I in?
Not much really. There is a nice sandy ‘safety net’ down wind of the best sailing area, so very safe to wash back in.
What are the local vibes like? (other windsurfers and beach users)
Locals are a friendly bunch. There is a core group of self employed builders, roofers, tree surgeons, property portfolio managers, and general bums that will be there no matter the weather, as long as it is on. Someone will be there year round. If you’re looking for someone to Guinea Pig for you, Mark Lloyd is your man. He drives a small blue van, he’s missing tooth and probably a few brain cells and will be mostly found saying…….
Any inside secrets?
NW Sessions are rarely busy and usually in post cold front weather conditions, so cold but sunny. If you like starboard tack jumping and Port tack wave riding they can be pure glamour!
Toilets: In the Library Car Park, or come to the SURF CAFE for a coffee. Toilet available.
Van camping: There are a few spots around the village where you can find a good nights sleep. For facilities though you may want to check out a local camp site.
Showers: Again thats a campsite deal unfortunately.
Food: The SURF CAFE is right on the beach front, with a view of the waves. Good cafe food with reasonable prices. I recommend the Big Surfer Breakfast or one of Jo’s home made soups.
Kit Hire: kit is available at FUNSPORT. Also right on the beach front. They have a full range of kit available, from wind SUPS with a kiddy rig for a mess around with the family, to current trend Wave Sailing Kit and Blasting kit for those offshore flat water days.
Instruction: Instruction is also available from FUNSPORT. The cater from zero to hero, with basic lessons nd personal tailored tuition to work those technical manoeuvres whether its a carve gybe or your first wave ride.
Post windsurf pint: Y Morfa: You walk straight up the hill from FUNSPORT and it is opposite the clock flats. You can even crawl if the session has been that good.
Windsurfing shop: FUNSPORT Caters for all your windsurf needs. Primarily SIMMER, FANATIC, NORTHSAILS, but always got bits and bobs in stock, and usually a great wetsuit and accessories selection from ONEILL, OSHEA and ION. Also, if your in the market for a nice hoody and a down jacket they are stocking PATAGONIA outerwear for those chilling evenings on the beach.