Sandbanks, Dorset - Boards Windsurfing

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Sandbanks, Dorset

The Sandbanks stretches out from the affluent area of Poole in Dorset, and is basically “over the road” from the infamous Poole Harbour making it a simple transition from flat water blasting to coastal sailing. Although many might venture to other spots around the area that might offer better waves or bump and jump, Sandbanks is a sociable place and on it’s day can have good, ridable waves on the sandbar. It is also a good place to finish off a day that started at Kimmeridge Bay in good easterly winds. John Skye gives us the detail…

Beach Faces:


Best Wind Direction:

Easterly is cross-shore port tack. South-west is cross-on starboard tack and brings good, fun chop and swell. It also gets good South-west sea breezes. East/North-east can be classic!

Best Wind Direction For Waves:

Easterly with the wind against a flooding tide gives good jumping amongst the standing waves. In a south-west, look out to the right where there will be a few waves on the sand bar at low tide.

Not Good:

South is too onshore, North-west is too offshore.


It is possible to sail at all states of the tide and there is not much difference in conditions. Watch out for the groynes at low tide.

What’s On The Bottom:


Any Hazards:

The groynes are brutal if you get caught on them and there are boats and yachts in the channel close to the shore.

Other Water Users:

Kitesurfers upwind and a few jet skiers & boats using the channel.

Suitability / Levels:

Beginners are better off in Poole Harbour. The Sandbanks is a good place to progress from flat water onto the sea so ideal for intermediates. Once you have sussed your waterstart, it’s time for the sea.

Wipeout Factor:

There is a fairly strong rip which can take you onto a groyne if you break anything.


YES. From all the shops in the area. (See details below)

Kit Hire:

YES. The local shops have excellent wave kit to go on the sea. (See details below)

Friendly Factor:

There is a good atmosphere around the Sandbanks and although the ‘sea’ side doesn’t get so busy, as most windsurf in the harbour, there is still plenty of people around for a chat and a mingle.

No Wind Alternatives:

There is a good atmosphere around the Sandbanks and although the ‘sea’ side doesn’t get so busy, as most windsurf in the harbour, there is still plenty of people around for a chat and a mingle.





Yes, on site.


Yes, on site.

Windsurfing Shop

FC Watersports Tel.01202 707757

Poole Harbour Boardsailing Tel.01202 700503

The Waterboard Tel.            01202 738448

H20 water sports Tel.01202 733744


Posh Cafés all over the place, expensive but goes with the scene.


Expensive but plenty of space apart from in the summer when you have to get there early.


The SandPiper is the most reasonable and the food is fulfilling! Find it on the road into the Sandbanks.


Try these:
Welcome to Poole website
A1 Tourism Website 
The Haven Hotel, Sandbanks, Poole. Tel: 01202 707333

Local Hotshots:

Timo Mullen, all the guys from H20, the Waterboard, FC and Poole Harbour Boardsailing too. Best not forget Fraz – Boardseeker Magazine’s desperate windsurfer.

Local Knowledge / Secrets:

East/North-east is as good at the Sandbanks as anywhere else along that coast.


Every September the Poole Windfest hosts demo days, UKWA competition and a couple of big parties making it one of the busiest events on the calendar. This year (2005) will see the Freestyle Nationals, the first ever UK Super X event and National Slalom Racing.

How To Get There:

From London or the east, take the M3 then M27 towards Bournemouth. The M27 turns into the A31.
After Ringwood take the A338 for Bournemouth. Go over two roundabouts and at the third, at the end of the dual carriageway called County Gates Gyratory, take the second exit down ‘The Avenue’ to Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks. Follow the signs to Sandbanks taking you past Poole Harbour. Parking is on the left.

Report By:

John Skye


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