Area: Kitesurfing in Wales.
Llandudno is situated between the Great and Little Ormes, North Wales. It is actually the largest seaside resort in Wales. It has blue flag beaches and features Britain’s biggest longest passenger cable car.
West Shore has a bit of everything for kitesurfers: flat water, chop and some small kickers can all be found in the same session!
West Shore will work on anything from SW to NW. Best on W. It is actually possible to ride on SSW and NNW but both are gusty.
Spring tides are very difficult to kite and give you a short window to get out, but are worthwhile due to the awesome flat water they generate.
Low tides below 2.6m are pretty much un-kiteable, unless you go out back (a walk of about 1.5 miles). If you do go out back you need to be very careful when you come back in as the sand bars are very treacherous and generate some very strange rips and currents.
Mid point tides are best to kite.
West shore is a large westerly facing bay with huge lagoons that flood at various tide states, providing flat water.
At high tide there is some super smooth flat water behind the groyne. You'll be lucky to get on it though because the locals will be nicking all the space! Watch out for the Mutiny Kites pro riders boosting massive airs.
At low tide states, West Shore becomes an ideal learning area with shallow water and lots of flat sections, with sandy bottom.
The rest of the bay is choppy until the channels form and then it goes flat again.
The swell that does come in is really bizarre. Don't expect cleans sets here.
There are some guidelines and a permit system at westshore.
Watch out for the signage at the beach.
Seasonal permit – Westshore has a seasonal permit running between April and October. This permit is managed by the harbour authority. The permit can be purchased for the year or at a daily rate.
Local rules require all kitesurfers to carry details of their 3rd party kiting insurance with them.
During the summer months Westshore is an incredibly busy beach with families, holiday makers and swimmers.
The restrictions on kitesurfers require that kiters keep put of the swimming zone, designated by a line of yellow buoys in the water.
If you are not able to keep upwind of the yellow buoys then you should stay out of the water until the tide goes past them.
Please see signage at the beach before going out to ensure you are aware of launch and land and emergency bail out areas.
Please talk to the local kiters as they have managed this beach efficiently with the local harbour authority for many years and maintained access to it at all times. They do not take kindly to anyone putting the location at risk due to inconsiderate or dangerous practice.
Due to the mountains flanking the beach the wind can be significantly greater than forecast, as westerlies accelerate through the gap in the mountains.
South westerlies and North Westerlies are kite-able but can be gusty as the wind comes over large headlands before getting to the beach.
- On street car parking
- Hotels and guest houses galore
- Shops, pubs and restaurants in Llandudno
- A few rocks appear at lower tide states
- Barnacle covered rocks at the end of the groyne
- The groyne itself at higher tide states
- At low tide, if you are riding in the channel running NW to SE be aware that you are now upwind of the groyne!
- Watch out for the sand bar between the lagoon and the sea. It's easy to find yourself running aground or landing a trick to find the water beneath you is only 1 inch deep!
- West Shore is a particularly difficult and potentially dangerous location at high water. It has a very fast and large tidal system. This creates a number of ‘dead wind spots’ and areas where an inexperienced kiter can get in trouble.
- The launch area is very small and if you cant stay upwind well then you should avoid high water.
- Shipwreck becomes visible at lower tides (level with the car park)
Getting There & Parking
See map below for location of car park. Postcode for sat nav purposes is LL30 2AS.
Park near the sewage processing building on West Parade (which as you drive down West Parade will look like a toilet block).
You can inflate your kite on the grass outside this building then carry it over the wall and launch near the groyne.
Weather Forecast & Live Readings
I'm hoping at some point to get a decent feed into the site for weather, but until then here's a link to 7 day wind forecast for Llandudno.
And if you're wondering if it's on right now, the best report is probably live readings at valley, from the Met Office.