The Best Places to Kitesurf Near Plymouth
Located just a short drive from Plymouth city centre, Mount Batten is a versatile spot for kiters of all abilities and perfect for an after-work session. There is a slipway dedicated for public use which is where you can launch and will give you access to the water at all points of tide, although be warned, this can get quite busy during the summer, so choose your moment wisely. Intermediate kitesurfers can gain access to the entire space by launching at the area marked off as A. The beach is lovely at high-tide but will get increasingly rockier as the tide retreats. South and south westerly winds will give clean winds and a bit of chop to play in whilst north or north easterly winds will be gustier but flatter. A fantastic spot to get out on the water on Plymouth’s doorstep, but do take the necessary precautions when sharing waters with other craft. There is a sailing centre situated here that will be able to provide some equipment/assistance should it be required.
BanthamThe bay at Bantham is around a 45-minute drive from Plymouth but takes you through a coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the fantastic beach is worth the trip for any level of kite surfer – including spectators! Many are put off by the long walk to the water at low tide, but the less-crowded waters only add to the many benefits of launching at Bantham. The window for kitesurfing in a given wind direction is relatively small, but it is the prevailing westerly wind. If you are planning a trip here, keep in mind that you need to steer well clear of the red and yellow RNLI beach flags for swimmers and refrain from entering within 50m of the flags. As with any location, kite surfers are advised to be extra careful when tides are going in or out, particularly on an incoming tide where it is possible to be rushed towards the river. But don’t panic; there’s a beach at the mouth of the river that allows you to land and pack up. After a session, head to the friendly local pub - The Sloop - for a well-deserved beverage and a hearty, refuelling meal.
Around half an hour in the car from Plymouth lies Whitsand Bay, and most launch from The Grotto beach thanks to the shorter walk with all the equipment. Blarrick Cliff is perfect for kitesurfers thanks to the expanse of space on the water, allowing you to practise your latest tricks without the worry of a collision. South easterly winds produce cross shore winds in a left to right direction whilst west north westerly winds also work but from right to left. Whilst this beach can cater to a range of abilities, there are rocks extending far out to sea, meaning beginners will need to be extra cautious to avoid such areas. The three-mile stretch of golden sand is often thought of as one of Cornwall’s hidden gems and the remarkable settings makes it a definite for the UK bucket list.
SlaptonAround 50-minutes from Plymouth, Slapton is a great day trip for both kitesurfers and spectators with plenty to see and do in the surrounding area. The sea itself is fantastic for kitesurfers of all abilities although beginners may want to avoid the sea when waves are dumping. The best conditions here are on pure southerly days which are few and far between, but on the rare occasion it occurs, the session is likely to trump anything else you’ve experienced in the UK. The water stays calm and you’re sure to attract a crowd of onlookers at the sea wall – so it’s probably a better option for more experienced kiters unless you’re willing to return to shore red-faced after a spectacular bail. The pub on the sea wall is called the Cricketers and will provide welcome refreshments regardless of how your session went.
PaigntonPaignton is around a 55-minute drive away from Plymouth and is a fantastic spot on the south coast of Devon. Conditions peak at low tide to 1-2 hours before high tide and can cater to all abilities. Preston Sands is the main beach and is home to a designated launching and landing point to the far-left end of the beach. You’ll be sharing the seas with both surfers and bodyboarders when the swell is up, so be conscious of other crafts at all times and give them plenty of space. Paignton is also home to other fantastic beaches such as Goodrington and Broadsands, the latter of which works particularly well for northerly/north easterly winds. This gives you a little more room for flexibility, allowing you to choose your destination based on conditions on the day.
That concludes our guide to the best kitesurfing spots near to Plymouth, all of which make a fantastic day out or a welcomed escape for a couple of hours whilst you hit the open water. Devon and Cornwall are both brilliant areas of the country and have some of the most diverse coastlines in the UK, making them perfect for kite surfers who can shred whilst also admiring the spectacular views. If you’re looking to head slightly further afield, check out our recent blog post, 7 Locations on Every Kitesurfers Bucket List.
Have you been kitesurfing in the UK or Plymouth? If you have any other spots to recommend, please do let us know in the comments via social media to share them with fellow enthusiasts!