Category Archives: Stand up paddle surfing

Ride the Storm (12th Dec)

The forecast had been showing a lot of swell for friday the 12th all week. Also the forecast was showing the wind going NW. Which would bring some over head high clean waves at Camber Sands. High water up by the harbour arm looked the best bet.

Barry bailing off the wave while sup wave riding
The waves were well over head high. So there was a bit of this

On the day there was plenty of swell. The Greenwich light ship buoy was showing 14f at one time. The wind had dropped out and was light from the west. Richard gave me a ring and said he probably would not make it due to a bad back. A few ibuprofen managed to get him to the beach with his waveski though. He was so glad he did as he caught the best wave he had ever caught at Camber.

if you got it right everytime wave riding would be boring.
And this

Tom from the kitesurf centre came out on his Starboard Pocket Rocket  Unfortunately he bought a squally shower out with him. Just as the waves were cleaning up nicely.

wave riding the Starboard pod at camber sands
There was however plenty of this

Over all it was not the epic day the forecast had hinted it might be. It was however a great day to be on the water with the Sup.


1st Harbour Arm Sup at Camber for quite a while. 10th Dec 2014

The autumn was basically a waste of time for any kind of stand up paddleboarding at Camber. The low pressures that came through tracked in a way that the wind stayed onshore for Camber sands meaning no chance of a Sup wave.

going frontside on the starboard pod at camber
First wave caught up by the harbour at rye for a fair time.

So the chance to catch a few waves was well over due. I will be honest when i left home i thought i would get to Camber take a look over the top of the sand dunes. See that the wind was still blowing and to onshore abandon it and go for a swim in the pool instead. It was a great surprise to look over the dunes and realise the wind had dropped and swung westerly which is cross shore. Also there were some chest to shoulder high sets rolling in.

a barrelling wave at camber sands in december
You can see the part of the wave that is barrelling in the back ground

It was high water so the best place to go was up by the harbour arm of the river Rother. The thing that i was most chuffed about this sup session though was that there was a shoulder to ride at the green light and also off the post. Just a bit further down towards Camber. Hopefully this means that the sand bars have sorted themselves out. With the forecast looking really good for friday. Hopefully an epic day is going to be on the cards and also hopefully i will not be billy no friends on friday as well.

Back side wave at camber
The waves were not huge . It was such a joy to get any kind of a wave as they had been few and far apart so far this winter at Camber Sands

15th /16th November Sup/Waveski/Surf at Saunton Sands

It had been a while since Rich and myself had had a trip down to Saunton sands. We had been keeping an eye on the weather for a few weeks. All they had down the west country during this time were westerly onshore winds. We had been looking for a weather forecast with light offshore easterly winds and some waves. So that we could drop down to saunton in Devon and have a surf. Well a Sup surf for me on the starboard POD and to catch some waves on the waveski for Rich.

a picture of saunton sands with a big swell running
Saunton Sands going off big time

Then the weather did us a good turn and the weekend of the 15th and 16th of November promised some 4-6 foot waves and a light easterly wind. The Monday was supposed to be light winds and 2-3 feet that however turned in to onshore mush.

a picture of a surfer on an overhead high wave at Saunton Sands
These pictures of Saunton were taken by Dave Gayda. Check out his website for some great seascape paintings.

We got to Saunton about lunchtime on the saturday. To our pleasent surprise we saw Dave Gayda,s van in the car park and Rich joked about whether he would have his windsurf sails in his van that he had given him a couple of weeks beforehand to get fixed. Dave was already out surfing so we had to wait on that one. What a surprise when we saw Dave later and he did actually have the sails in his van. So Rich was a well happy bunney.

The saturday proved to be nearly double over head high surf and both myself on the sup and Rich on the Waveski took a battering getting out through the white water. It was well worth the effort though as the waves that were caught were some of the biggest i had caught on the sup for a long time.

a sup wave rider on the top of a big wave at saunton sands.
Some waves were closing out some though gave you a shoulder and you could get 3 or 4 bottom turns

The sunday did not disappoint either. The waves were a bit smaller and more manageable. Still maxing out at head high and a half though. It was however a bit easier to get out through the white water. With Rich on the waveski almost cruising out the back. I got a bit of a hammering in the white water again. It took me about 10 minutes to get the starboard pod out the back. Again there were some cracking waves to be had. With Rich having the fastest drop down a face of a wave that he has ever had and myself being goofy footed so i love going left. I did however have one of the sweetest rights i have had. With a lovely peeling over head high right and i managed for me 4 bottom and top turns all without any loss of speed. Dave had been using the rip by the rocks to help him get out the back. So that looks like the best bet for next time. He also said he had caught one of the best waves in a long time. So all in all a great weekend had at Saunton Sands in November.

9th November Just Rideable Sup Wave at the Dunes Camber

The wind had blown from the south for most of the night and then dropped right out about 4.30 am. So in theory there should of been a nice bit of ground swell left to have a surf on.

There were 4 surfers out when i arrived at just after high water. They had gone in from the centre of camber at the sandy car park. They were catching a few short rides on thigh to waist high waves. The weather was good and i hoped the waves would get a bit better as the tide dropped and the ebb came through. So i decided to keep optomistic and get wet.

I had about an hour and a half on the water and there was no problem catching waves on the starboard POD. They were only small however and had very little speed to them. There again i caught a few waves, The weather was warm and sunny for november and it was good exercise.

So all in all another non epic days sup surfing at Camber Sands but fun none the less

4th November Guy Falkes SUP

It may of been the 4th of November and they were giving a high of only 11 degrees. So Rich and myself thought we were in for a chilly surf at Camber. How wrong we were.

kneeling on one knee while sup surfing a small wave at Camber Sands
A glassy small wave at Camber.

The sun was out, The wind had totally gone, The sea was like glass and a small surfable wave on the dropping tide at the stoney car park at Camber. (Broomhill sands).

going frontside at camber
The biggest sets were only about chest high great fun though.

Rich had his new fins in his waveski and was more than how they performed in the small surf. Even with the small surf he was pulling off some tight bottom turns on the waveski.

Off the top of the wave almost a top turn.

So all in all a really great fun surf. Then to add to it it was warm enough to sit by the van and chill out in the sunshine with Rich,Ed and sue.

22nd October A Small Sup Wave Left over from the day Before

The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo passed across the uk the day before. Producing some 3 to 4m waves as it did so. The wind had kept blowing for most of the night. So Richard and myself were quietly optimistic that there would be a chance of a surf over the high water at camber.

the grassy car park at camber sands
My van parked by the locked gates of the grassy car park at Camber

We got to Camber about half an hour before high water and got on the water at about high. The swell though had nearly all but died. There was just the odd waist to chest high sets left. They were however few and far between, We were about to call it a day when Rupert from the kitesurf centre came afloat for a sup. o we thought we had better keep him company for a while. To be honest as the water dropped from high water a bit the waves did get a bit better. Not good enough if you were on a surfboard but good enough for our  stand up paddleboards  and Richard,s waveski.

picture of the entrance to the river rother taken from broomhill sands camber
You can just about see the harbour arm of the river Rother in the distance

So all in all no epic wave riding to be had. However the weather was good the wind light and offshore and some fun little sets coming through. So again well worth getting the sup out and having a paddle with friends.

20th October Waist High Sup/Waveski Wave at Camber Sands

Monday the 20th of October. No work to mid afternoon, Checked the weather on xcweather and windguru and once checked the grenwich wave buoy which was showing 4.5 feet. It was time to give richard a shout, Load up the van with the starboard POD wave sup and head down to Camber sands. High water was 9.30 am so it meant a paddle at the grassy car park. Being well in to October this means that you can park by the gates as the car park is closed.

a picture of a wavesup and a waveski
My wave SUP a starboard pod and richard,s waveski

Well it was not an epic full on day. What we did have though for about 1 and a half hours was some small but great fun waist to maximum chest high waves. You could not get a great deal of speed on the waves there was though enough to get a half decent bottom turn. With the help of the paddle you could just about get a top turn in without stalling.

So for a sunny warm morning in the middle of October Richard and myself were more than happy to take full advantage of the conditions that we had at hand.  The good thing though about stand up paddle surfing and the use of a waveski is that you dont have to have perfect waves to have fun. Even mushy waist high waves can still be great fun.

(Unexpected Surprise) Stand Up Paddle session at Camber.

Tue 7th October, With the weather forecast today looked like it would be a great day windsurfing at camber. The wind direction was supposed to be wsw about the best direction for camber. Cross shore enough to give a good direction for wave riding. Not to far westerly though to get gusty and fluky due to the headfland to the west. Wind speed was supposed to be 20 to 25 Knots. So it looked like a perfect 4.7m session was coming up. Also with windguru giving 2.5m of swell what more could you ask for.

The day turned out quite differently though. Light westerly winds with thundery showers. That had squally winds around them. So we went to plan B a wave riding session up by the harbour arm of the river Rother. Richard with his waveski and myself got there about high water or so. There were some shoulder to head high waves to be had. I will be honest though i thought it was me on my paddleboard but there seemed no speed available when dropping down the face to get anu sort of speed out of the bottom turn. When i spoke to Richard though he was having exactly the same problem. it did improve quite a bit as the ebb tide pushed through and the rides got longer and the waves got steeper. So we shouldnt really complain.

So all in all a pleasent surprise as far as the stand up paddling goes. Not so pleasent though for the guys who had long drives down to camber on a decent forecast only to spend most of the day standing on the beach waiting for the wind to get up. The highs and lows of weather dependent sport i suppose.

Tomo is another day and the forecast is good again so lets wait and see how it pans out.

1st attempt to Stand Up Paddle surf at Dungeness Point.

stand up paddle surfing at dungeness is not for the faint hearted.
Ready to launch

On several occasions i have been at Dungeness point when it has been blowing hard from the south. After high water when the ebb tide starts to run along the beach. It pushes up against the swell and in theory makes a wave that you could ride from where the fishing boats are to all the way down past the lifeboat station.

Sometimes you have to just go for it.
Lets go for it.

Today monday the 6th of October has been the first time this autumn that such a wave has had the chance to happen. Unfortunately the wind had not been blowing for that long. So it was never going to be a classic day. My thought was though it would make a good day to give it a go and to try and work out the potential for Dungeness point as a winter wave break that is right on my door step. I forgot to add you also need spring tides for this wave to work. So that when the ebb comes through it runs harder and pushes the waves up higher.

Catching waves stand up paddling is always a thrill.
First wave at Dungeness

I got there about 2hrs after high water just as the water started to drop down the beach. Still a bit early as the waves were not huge just about chest to shoulder high. So prob got in the water around 2 and 3 quarters after high. i will be honest it was not a classic day. The spot certainly has potential though you add another foot or so on top and the waves should run for ages. Just like i have seen them do in the past but never been in a situation where i could try them out.

chest high waves at Dungeness point.
Not huge waves but waves none the less.

I got some shortish rides fairly close in to the beach. That extra foot would of made all the difference then hopefully they would of been working slightly further of the shore line. Wednesday the 8th is looking promising so i intend to have another try then.

surfing at dungeness means as much walking as surfing.
Time for a walk back up the beach again.

Sups Up (Camber Sands)

This is the first post on my site. I thought i would start with a brief post about our local break (Camber Sands). I know this is not the first place that springs to mind when you are thinking about a decent beach break for surfing and suping. Camber is very popular for kite and windsurfing as it is quite often windy at Camber when other spots are struggling to get any wind.  When you live though  on the south east corner of the UK good breaks of any sort are in short supply for both surfing and stand up paddlesurfing.

Long range swell that has crossed the atlantic has very little chance of getting through to camber. So we look out for a specific weather pattern that is most common in  the autumn and winter months. So the use of a summer wetsuit has very limited use at camber sands for surfing.  So the weather pattern that we look for is a low pressure that tracks across the southern part of the UK. Which will hopefully develop some ground swell that will push all the way up the channel. Why this is happening the wind is nearly always predominantly from a south westerly direction. Which unfortunately with camber beach facing near due south, south westerly wind is to onshore to produce any sort of a clean wave.

Who says you cant surf at Camber
Who says you cant surf at Camber

So this is the important bit to look out for and which we look out for everytime a low pressure tracks up the channel or southern england and that is what the wind does as the low goes off in to the north sea. Ideally you will get a cold front on the back edge of the low pressure. Which will swing the wind in to a north westerly direction. This usually leaves you in a colder but sunny day. More importantly though north west wind  is cross off shore and produces the cleanest waves. Camber can also be surfed if the wind only go around to due west which is cross shore. This really limits you to surfing up by the harbour arm at the entrance to the river rother.  This is not all bad though as this is often the the spot that you get the longest rides at camber. With rides often long enough to get 3 or 4 bottom turns going both left and right. Dymchurch rich loves this spot.

Waves always come when you are paddling out
Waves always come when you are paddling out

The best time to surf camber sands or stand up paddlesurf for that fact is from high water to about 4 hours after high. I know a lot of breaks around the country get their best waves on the pushing tide. At camber though the best waves and often an extra foot to boot is after high water as the ebb tide comes through and pushes up against the swell coming up the english channel from the west. Other good places to surf at camber apart from up by the harbour arm are opposite the houses and from Broomhill sands car park. Again the best state of tide for an extra foot is after high water these spots though can all be surfed from half tide up to half tide down. You can surf over the low water although the wave height drops off significantly. If you do have to surf over the low tide then the best spot is often by the wreck of an old trawler which is easily visable at low tide and has some good sand bars around it.

My wave at camber sands.
My wave, My wave,

See you down there.