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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.