EUROPE / UK / EXMOUTH
Perfect flat water riding behind the sandbanks in an estuary that scoops up all the prevailing wind on the south coast
WHEN TO GO: Peak Season: April – September Air Temp: 0 – 30°C / 32 – 86°F Water Temp: 7 – 18°C / 45 – 64°F
CONDITIONS: WAVES – 3 FLAT WATER – 4 BEGINNER – 4 WARM WATER - 2 STRONG WIND – 4
Excellence in Exmouth All photos: Edge Watersports
Top drawer summer time conditions
ON THE WATER Exmouth is home to the Bridge family, who have 35+ European and World titles between them. They’ve chosen Exmouth because of the epic conditions – it works on basically every wind direction except the rare north-easterly, and offers a large number of spots to suit the conditions and the desired disciplines. The main spot (the Seafront) works perfectly on the prevailing south-westerly winds in the UK, but can take anything from easterlies through north westerlies, too. The Seafront comes into its own around two hours either side of low tide with great flat water inside the sand bar and waves outside. Edge Watersports run the majority of their lessons there, using boats to access the flat water and set up on the safe sand banks that emerge as the tide drops. Around high tide with winds from the south or the east, there are also opportunities for wave kiting on the Exmouth reef, known as Maer rocks.
The Duckpond is a great beginner’s spot on a north-westerly, delivering constant winds and brilliant flat water (yes, there are two flat water spots within five minutes of each other!). As it’s nice and shallow, the Duckpond is perfect for getting to grips with the early stages of kiting. The only tide states that won’t work are during the two hours either side of low tide, at which time you have to walk across the sand to King’s lake - another solid learning and flat-water spot, which will tend to be less busy on the good days.
Bridge Senior with the Duck Pond info in this video
Steph Bridge, continuing to inspire at Edge Watersports / Photo: Matt Austin
Evening session on the Duck Pond
Beachfront flat water... but get some local advice on the tidal movement first
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER The UK is controlled by either low or high pressure weather systems and each day is different – producing conditions that never get boring. From April onwards the sea temperature rises, the days get longer and Exmouth’s reliable afternoon sea breeze starts to roll in at around 16 knots. (Note that any online wind statistics, and the chart info on this page, only show the regular frontal forecasted winds rather than the increased local thermal effect in summer.) The most used summer-time kite is a 12 metre, however, it is possible to ride most days if you ride foils with foil kites. During the Exmouth summer you’ll be in a thin wetsuit enjoying regular evening sessions and epic sunsets.
Edge Race Cup action
The winter brings seven and nine metre conditions and you’ll need at least a 5mm wetsuit, but this is when the wave sessions are at their best. Winter storms bring large swells which make for really fun wave riding and big air days - the sort where you will smash your WOO record. Storms often bring a lot of rain, however, these days can also be much milder. Exmouth is a good place to ride in high winds as, thanks to the sandbanks on the seafront, the water remains flat. There’s easy parking at the kite spots and you’ll often be sharing the waterways with the infamous Bridge family and a heap of friendly locals. There’s a great kiting scene that attracts people from all over the UK for its quality of conditions. Simple as that!
"EXMOUTH HAS ONE OF THE MOST VIBRANT, WECOMING AND TALENTED LOCAL SCENES IN THE UK" JIM GAUNT / KITEWORLD EDITOR
Winter wave sesh
OTHER SPORTS & OFF THE WATER ACTIVITIES Being 90 minutes from Bristol and 30 minutes from Exeter, there’s lots to do. Dartmoor National park is just 40 minutes drive away and the coastal walks from Exmouth are stunning. Really good surf is only an hour or so away – Cornwall is very accessible from here. Everything is within walking distance in Exmouth town, although a car is the best way to get around between the spots and town. Find everything from shops and supermarkets to cinemas and restaurants. Exmouth is easy to reach – London to Exeter is only two-and-a-half hours. This area of the UK is booming, so there is also a real buzz around the town, especially in summer.
There’s lots of good local produce: fish, mussels, oysters etc. and accomodation options to suit every budget. If you’re able to nab a place near the seafront you’ll be walking to the main spot, where the new Edge Watersports centre is opening this summer within the Sideshore seafront development - right next to award winning celebrity chef Michael Caine’s new restaurant (not the cockney actor who likes to ‘blow the bloody doors off!’). The new centre will have compressors on tap, showers, loads of demo equipment and a cafe.
London Gatwick (LGW) is 3.5 hours, Bristol (BRS) is 90 minutes and Exeter (EXT) is 30 minutes from Exmouth.
Exmouth is easy to reach – London to Exeter is only two-and-a-half hours by train.
SCHOOLS EDGE WATERSPORTS offer 2:1 tuition with some of the most experienced instructors in the country. Owned and operated by the Bridge family, you’ll be in the hands of some of the most celebrated racers and freestylers on the planet, who dedicate their lives to getting more people onto the water. www.edgewatersports.com firstname.lastname@example.org (Check out the new Edge Watersports development at: www.grenadierestates.co.uk)