The last time that we managed to get a decent wave at Camber on christmas eve was in 2011. The forecast was good and Rich and myself were starting to think that we could possibly get another christmas present from the weather gods. As we all know though what the weather forecast says will happen and what actually happens on the day can be very different things. Luckily the Christmas weather gods were spot on this time.
Hopefully the pictures i have added of one of the waves i caught on the Starboard pod will give you a glimpse of the great session we had on Christmas eve. Richard is really getting to grips with his waveski now and is now turning it a lot tighter and getting right in the critical section of the shoulder. He had the best wave he has ever had at Camber sands during this session and left the water feeling very happy with himself.
I know the chances of getting a barrel at Camber Sands are pretty remote. For a second though when riding the wave in the pictures. I just thought i might be able to get tucked up in one. As you can see by the last picture in the sequence i got a face full of waterfor my troubles. I have wanted to get in a barrel since i started supping and the time will come sooner or later, Just not yet.
We stayed on the water for about 3 hours on Christmas eve and the session seemed to go in half hour bursts. We got on the water just after high water. As the water dropped one sand bar would work well for about half an hour> then it would go off and be hard work for the next half hour. Then as the water dropped a bit further the next sand bar out would start working.
So over allRichard caught the best wave at Camber on his Waveski. I managed to get plenty of speed out of the Starboard POD and got as close as i have at Camber in getting tucked up in a wave.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.