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Beachguide » Ardersier (by Inverness)
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Ardersier (by Inverness)

Good spot for wind surfing & kitesurfing.
Water conditions ok, but not as clear/clean as other local beaches.
Launching not easy for kites, so not a beginner spot, except you come with your 'teacher' who is careful when launching.
Parking not official and very limited, when parking at the few spaces you could cover other kiter's and windsurfer's launching spot!

Submitted by:
local kiter
14th Jan 2007
Amenities Available
parking camping cafes toilets dogs disabled blueflag

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Ardersier. Closest beach to Inverness, the City of the Highlands.
Very good onshore conditions in W to SW winds and a wind surfing spot for many years. Recently more and more local kitesurfers (and currently (2007) even the odd kitesurfer using light-wind directionals ;-))
Gusts are not as bad as around Findhorn/Burghead, and when the wind goes SSW there you can still find W-SW at Ardersier, due to the wind funnelling up through Loch Ness heading over the Moray Firth.

Windsurfers go out from low to high tide, kitesurfers can try the high tide, but it's easily 3 meters deep at spring tide. Choppy on high tide but not as bad as further out the Moray Firth at open sea.
Excellent smooth shallow water in low tide, can be quite a walk at spring tide (low), and very few obstacles like stones or fence posts, still, always advisable to check out the place at very low tide to assess the ground.
Don't try 40ft jumps in shallow water as a gust might make you come down at land, which could be a painful encounter.

Launching in general, whatever tide, is not easy for kiters at all (no prob for windsurfers), and beginners should not go alone here! There are close bushes and trees, limited launching space and even as advanced you ideally bring someone along, as you can't rely on the local dog walker to appear and help you out when you're in trouble.
Parking is very limited, when parking at the few spaces you could cover other kiter's and windsurfer's launching spot!!!
But you can park at the Fort George parking area and carry your gear a few meters to the launching spot.

Very good place to try new tricks as for flat water conditions.

The water however is not as clean as further out the MF at open sea, but hey, if you're desperate you go there. Certainly not drinking water quality and wetsuits need rising but some people really exaggerate when talking about 'dirt' water conditions. The 'soily' sand is muddy similar to Findhorn Bay, so don't expect a lovely sandy beach. But this usually would keep the beach free from swimmers who prefer to go bathing at Nairn.

Launching on the 'soily' sand is doable and the safest option, but you must not complain if your kite (particular if twin skin) gets wet and heavier, as there are small puddles which remain.

Nice doner kebab restaurant at the junction turn-off to Ardersier (not the Airport turn-of's), and you might find its owner kiting here as well.

Worth paying a visit to Fort George if the wind's gone.

Sports Suitability
Surfing thumbs_down
Surf Conditions at Ardersier (by Inverness) are Not Good
Buggying thumns_down
Buggying Conditions at Ardersier (by Inverness) are Not Good
Windsurfing starstar
Windsurfing Conditions at Ardersier (by Inverness) can be Good
kitesurfing starstar
Kitesurfing Conditions at Ardersier (by Inverness) can be Good
Wind Suitability
Windsurfing at Ardersier (by Inverness) Kitesurfing at Ardersier (by Inverness)
NW   N   NE
SW   S   SE
NW   N   NE
SW   S   SE

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