Wales surf season and weather reports
Despite being shadowed by Ireland and having a small swell window, surf from strong Atlantic storms do make their way to Wales.
The perfect surf forecast will call for a southwest swell of good size, like in the 2-3-meter range. In these conditions large sets will slip in between the southwest of England and the south end of Ireland and into the craggy coastline of Wales. Top spots in Wales are Porthcawl and Pembrokeshire with north Wales favoring, yes, human-made waves.
Porthcawl Point is one of the more exposed surf spots in Wales. It’s a beach and point break comb that goes flat in summer and shows its best face during the transition seasons of spring and autumn. Best to time your session with a higher tide and northeast winds to score the optimal conditions.
Wales surfing spots and beaches
Pembrokeshire’s Freshwater West is a beach and reef combo exposed to all manner of swell. Fares best on east winds and a west swell and works through most tides.
You can surf the most consistent wave in Wales every day. But it will cost you. Snowdonia Adventure Parc built a wave pool on the site of an abandoned aluminium mine. The surf forecast is always the same here: A shoulder-high reeling left and right that peel for 100 meters.
Learn to surf in Wales: best schools and lessons
The prices here are listed for Peak and Off-Peak times. Peak prices apply from Friday morning until Sunday 4pm, bank holidays and school holidays. Off-Peak prices apply at all other times (including Sunday from 4pm on excl bank holiday weekends). The advanced wave is 52€ off-peak and 58€ peak for an hour session.
Their learn-to-surf program is 90 minutes with the first half hour on dry land focusing on the basics. After that, groups are taken into the freshwater “bay” of the Wavegarden Lagoon wave pool. Here students get to paddle into waves that come every two minutes. Off Peak lesson rates are 60€ for adults and 47€ for kids. Peak hours increase the rate by about 8€.
If you want to get back to the salt water in Wales, Pembrokeshire’s Outer Reef Surf School offers two-hour lessons for 42€ to groups of two or more.
If you want to go to a surf school any day of the year then Porthcawl Surf School is the place. Open year round (except on Christmas) they offer group lessons starting at 35€.
Hotels for surfers in Wales
For a different stay try Snowdonia’s famous glamping cabins. The tube-shaped wood structures sleep up to four surfers and cost 80€ per night for one-to-two people during peak times. The glamping pod stay allows you access to the hot tub and sauna. Access to the wave pool is extra.
A cute, funky stay near castle ruins is the High Noon Guest House in South Pembrokeshire. Starting at 80€ per night you can stay at this quaint Welsh bed and breakfast that serves vegetarian dishes and prides itself on personal service. It’s a great change of pace from the chain hotel experience.
The Mary House Porthcawl is centrally located near the harbour and lighthouse. All shops and restaurants of downtown are nearby as are the peeling rights and lefts of Coney Beach. Rates start at 75€ per night and they offer a “Best Rate Guarantee. If you time your stay in late September, you’ll be able to catch the Porthcawl Elvis Festival, one of the largest Elvis fests in the world.
Wales is a great vacation place for water sports activities.
Wales surfing guide and tips prepared by Bryan Dickerson (wavepoolmag.com) for Dailystoke.com’s surf guides.
Photo by Lukas Juhas