Safe, shallow water. Great for all levels of windsurfer, from beginner to freestyle - Poole Harbour has it all.
25th May 2010
|It really does have something for all windsurfing ability levels from beginners through to advanced freestylers! Ok, let me explain. Poole harbour is an enclosed coastal location that works on many different wind directions: south, south west, west & north west are all a variation of cross to cross on shore winds. The beauty of this top UK windsurfing location is that the harbour gradually shelves from ankle deep to over head high water; you pick your desired depth & pretty much know that whenever you jump (or fall) off you will be at that same level of water & if you go anywhere it will be being blown into shallower water by the wind! This is great not just for beginners windsurfing lessons but also for those looking to master a specific module of windsurfing, such as beach starts, progressing to waterstarts or even mastering those carve gybes!
Progress is fast when you are somewhere that when you make a mistake and fall in you can just get straight back on your board without too much loss of energy! This also applies to those looking to get into or master the world of windsurfing freestyle. A few hours either side of low tide is actually the best time to get there and practice your freestyle moves. Either side of absolute low tide is when the water is at its flattest, prefect freestyle conditions with loads of space & smooth water!
There is a specially designated area of the harbour that is only for watersports users, giving us all loads of open space to blast around & not worry about hitting any boats! The effective season for windsurfing in Poole Harbour is from May through to October. You can go outside of these months but it will be damn cold & only for the truly dedicated (or mad).
If you are thinking of leaving the safety of the harbour, we have many great spots all along the coast from Sandbanks all the way past Branksome, Bournmeouth, Boscombe & on to Hengistbury Head. These all work on slightly different wind directions as you move around the famous 7 mile stretch of beach. Beyond that you have the wave spot of Kimmeridge Bay. In the other direction you have Avon Beach in Chrischurch.
The Poole Windsurfing website http://www.poolewindsurfing.co.uk/ has a great interactive map & a route finding feature that simply lets you punch in your start destination & it will give you pace notes door to door! See their How to Find Us page at: http://www.poolewindsurfing.co.uk/contact-us/poole-harbour-directions-map/
From Poole Direction...
Aim for Poole then follow signs for Sandbanks, go around the civic centre, under the narrow railway bridge. Continue on Sandbanks Road past a village called Lilliput and you will drop over Evening Hill and see Poole Harbour. The Poole Windsurfing school is based on the harbour side, opposite Brudenell Avenue.
From London/Bournemouth Direction...
Leaving the M27 for Bournemouth, take the dual carriage way following signs for Poole then Sandbanks. Go past Branksome beach then through a village called Canford Cliffs to exit left at a mini roundabout which will drop you down Haven Road to Poole Harbour. Turn right at the T junction & follow the harbour road around, the Poole Windsurfing school is based on the harbour side, opposite Brudenell Avenue.
Ideal Wind Directions:
S: Cross-Onshore: Great blasting, small chop
SW: Onshore/Cross-Onshore: Greaat blasting, small chop
W: Onshore/Cross-Onshore: Greaat blasting, small chop
NW: Cross-Onshore: Good for flatter water, freestyle
Possible to windsurf at all tide states but on very windy days high tide is best avoided due to large confused chop. A couple of hours either side of low tide are best for really practising those carve gybes.
Windsurfing freestyle is also best a few hours either side of low tide is actually the best time to get there and practice your freestyle moves. Either side of absolute low tide is when the water is at its flattest, prefect freestyle conditions with loads of space & smooth water!
Poole Harbour is a very safe, sheltered windsurfing location with predominately on shore winds. It is a designated watersports area, so there should be no problem with powered craft getting in the way.
The only thing to watch for is a small area of rocks located in one isolated patch in the very far West side (right by the yacht club, just before the old wooden jetty). This is only an issue during mid to low tide & when using a big fin.
There is free parking up some of the side roads around Poole Harbour & public toilets at the Sandbanks end of the harbour & at the Shore Road exit.
For more information about this great location & for windsurfing lessons or equipment hire, have a look on the Poole Windsurfing school website http://www.poolewindsurfing.co.uk, which has a lot of information & even a blog that posts regular articles about windsurfing technique, equipment, bargain buys, travel & more!
B&B’s / Campsites:
The Poole Tourism website link below will take you direct to an accommodation listing:
There is also a listing on the above website for camping & caravan sites.
Pub, Cafes, restaurants, fish & chips:
There is a pub right on the harbour side, called The Sandacres, where you can actually sit and watch the action from! There is also, Jazzy's Cafe right on the beach front at the Shore Road exit which serves food, cafe snacks, chips & ice cream.
The beaches of Sandbanks, just a hop over the other side of the harbour road has all the usual beach cafes & ice cream stalls.
A good Fish & Chips shop can be found just over the other side of evening hill, in Lilliput.
For windsurfing lessons & windsurf hire Poole Windsurfing teach in small groups with personalized windsurfing tuition which is always with the same experienced instructors & using the latest equipment to make learning easy. They also have competitive prices & for 2010 will have brand new kit.
Poole Windsurfing is the product of 15 years teaching experience, being drawn from managing two other local windsurf centres and teaching at different locations around the world. Much of their business is through word of mouth about the quality of instruction & is what keeps people going back for more throughout their windsurfing career.
Surf Conditions at Poole Harbour are Not Good
Buggying Conditions at Poole Harbour are Not Good
Windsurfing Conditions at Poole Harbour can be Excellent
Kitesurfing Conditions at Poole Harbour can be Good
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Last Visit: 31-03-2014
Permit to Kite Surf in Poole Harbour
Permits are now required because a few kites and kiters have still been
launching/landing too close to the road and crash landing on the pavement,
cars and road.
To prevent a ban, please walk the kite at least two line lengths away from
the road/pavement before launching.
"Kite Surfing, launching or landing is not permitted between the shore and
the 50m buoyed exclusion zone at Whitley Lake."
"No Kite Surfer shall be operated in the Harbour by any person who is not
in possession of a “Kite Surfing Permit”. Such a permit denotes a
declaration that the holder has at least 3rd party public liability
insurance , a competency statement to confirm ability to self-rescue and
deep water pack down , has paid the relevant dues and agrees to abide by
appropriate terms and conditions issued by the Harbour Master"
"These terms and conditions shall apply in all parts of the Harbour, as
defined by article 4 of the 2012 Order (“the Harbour”). This includes
seaward of the Harbour entrance and along the Sandbanks Peninsular."
"Offences may lead to prosecution under Poole Harbour General Directions
for which the maximum fine is £2,500 plus costs."
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