EUROPE / UK / POOLE
The first proper soft sand south coast location as you head west from London, with flat water in the harbour and the open sea just a short hop across the road
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 – 3 BEGINNER – 4 WARM WATER - 4 STRONG WIND – 3.5
Main image: Harbour action, Sandbanks Photo: Poseidon Kite School
Summer time is foil time! Andy Gratwick and student off Poole beachfront Photo: Easyriders
ON THE WATER Poole Harbour (the world’s second largest natural harbour) offers several flat water locations. ‘The pond’ (where Poseidon and Easy Riders are based) works in all tides and is waist deep for a kilometre out, making it an ideal learning venue. The harbour works through all tides (best at high tide) and is ideally oriented for riding in the prevailing south-westerlies. Essentially, this is a huge, shallow expanse with the backdrop of multi-million dollar properties - apparently it’s the fourth most expensive beach to buy property on in the world. Aside from the glitz and glamour, this is simply a safe learning environment that, although busy in the height of summer, breeds confidence and progression at all times.
On the seafront, Bournemouth Bay offers good jumping and wave conditions which work in all tide states and most wind directions. Nearby Kimmeridge Bay offers advanced wave riding conditions. Poole beach is a seven mile long horseshoe bay which, at different times, creates perfect intermediate and advanced riding with flat and wavey conditions for twin-tips, surfboards and ideal foiling conditions with no hazards or crowded waters. Hidden gems in the harbour include Studland, Swanage, Hamworthy and more. These give endless options for all wind directions in a picturesque kiteboarding playground. Sick of flat water? Head to the waves. Big winds coming? Choose between flat water control or off-the-kickers boosting madness.
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER These beaches have some of the cleanest sand and water the UK has to offer. The local summer south-west seabreeze fuels the wind speeds in July and August with great afternoon learning and foiling conditions. Local to Poole is the north-west land breeze after hot days during spring and summer, which really opens up many of the lesser frequented TT spots. UK weather varies a lot, with its frontal driven, complex weather system, meaning the conditions are variable all year round. But, as a general rule, you’ll need bigger kites in the summer – often 12 metres on your twin-tip. It’s not exactly bikinis and boardshorts in December but, being in the south of the country, this area draws its fair share of wind and summer time can produce no-wetsuit days in the harbour’s shallow waters.
Waist deep security, Poole Harbour Photo: Easyriders
Heading into autumn and winter you’ll generally need your seven and nine metre kites. Low pressures can produce high quality waves and jumping ramps along the beaches in anything from south to northwesterly winds. Easterlies also provide great conditions along the beaches. Winter storms can be a pretty full-on experience, where you can expect to be at maximum power on your smallest kite. These times are for experienced kiters only as there are far fewer riders on the beach looking out for each other.
Yes, this is the UK! Poole Harbour
Studland on a northeast wind
Ride harbour side or beach side!
Easyriders head of shred, Andy Gratwick
OTHER SPORTS & OFF THE WATER ACTIVITIES Accommodation in Poole ranges from five star boutique hotels to cheap Airbnbs, along with food for every pallet and wallet. If you want to be as close to the schools as possible the Sandbanks area is your best bet. Otherwise, the closer you are to Bournemouth the more hotels there are. If you’re after a high end culinary experience, Rick Stein’s restaurant in Sandbanks is highly recommended, but being so close to several towns and cities there’s everything you can imagine, from accessible supermarkets to chicken ‘n’ chips outlets. Closer to Poole is Ashley Cross, the go-to area for pubs and restaurants that comes alive in the evenings. Staying here would provide a more lively experience within close proximity to seriously decent kiting. Public transport is reasonable, but for kiteboarding convenience we strongly suggest getting your own wheels so that you can make the most of the variety of spots. Wet wetsuits on buses aren’t fun... or very welcomed!
Looking for other activities? Corfe Castle is impressive. Once a Royal fortress, it’s only ten miles out of Poole. At the other end of the spectrum is Splashdown, a waterpark with flumes that run across the roof and down into the pools. Outdoors, there’s loads of Jurassic Coast trails that you can walk or mountain bike along and it’s also worth mentioning that central London is only two hours away by car (similar by rail), so overnight excursions into the capital are a good option.
London Gatwick (LGW) and Bristol (BRS) are 2.5 hours from Poole. London to Poole is only two-and-a-half hours by train.
SCHOOLS EASYRIDERS provide jetski driven, bluetooth communicated, BKSA approved, highly experienced kitesurf tuition for all abilities, in either 1-to-1 sessions or groups of two. Rent everything you can imagine and they provide wing-surf and foil tuition, too. Languages spoken: English, Spanish and French. www.easy-riders.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org POSEIDON KITE SCHOOL offer BKSA approved tuition for all levels, from sunrise to sunset, daily. Using the latest Ozone and Axis equipment, they cater to everyone and anyone’s needs from the infamous Poole sandbank. Languages spoken: English, Spanish and Lithuanian. www.poseidonkiteschool.com email@example.com