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The Pembrokeshirecoastline from Poppit in the North to Saundersfoot in the south has a variety of beach and reef breaks facing all directions from NW to SE so that it is usually possible to find a rideable wave somewhere.
Freshwater West is the best-known surf spot as it is regularly used for competitions, but there are many other quality waves around the coast. Ideal conditions for beginners can be found at Newgale and Whitesands although there are occasionally problems of overcrowding when there are large numbers of surfers, swimmers, body boarders and kayak surfers all at the same time. Beaches that have lifeguard cover are zoned with swimming areas and surfing areas during the summer months. Visiting surfers and groups should ask lifeguards for advice about areas to use when it is busy. In winter there are plenty of surf shops in Haverfordwest, Pembroke, Tenby, St. Davids and Broad Haven who will give advice and information about local surf conditions. Check out www.masimessurfhut.co.uk or www.newsurf.co.uk for up to date conditions and www.beachwizard.com for location information.
Some of the surfing locations are backed by fragile sand dune areas and you may be coming into close contact with many marine species including seals, sunfish and, if you are unlucky, the rather painful weever fish. The code of conduct below gives advice on how to enjoy your surf session and protect the coastal habitats at the same time.
Things to Consider when surfing in Pembrokeshire:
- PLAN your location with consideration for conditions and ability level of surfers. Find out about rip currents, rocky areas and other hazards.
- CONSIDER other water users, particularly if you are leading a group of beginners. Observe zoning at beaches patrolled by lifeguards in summer (don’t surf between red/yellow flags).
- FOLLOW the rights of way rules (don’t drop in, first surfer up has right of way and the surfer nearest the shoulder has right of way over surfers further down the line).
- AVOID damage to sand dunes and do not create new paths to the beach. Particularly at Freshwater West where the dunes are protected as an SSSI.
- DON’T DISTRUB SEALS particularly in the autumn when they may have pups on some beaches and surfers have the potential to interrupt feeding of young seals.
- LEAVE the area as you found it or better.
If you see:
Any wildlife which you believe to be injured or in distress contact the RSPCA on 08705 555 999
To view mebers og POCG who offer surfing click here and then on the ‘surfing’ icon…