Stand up paddle boarding in Swansea & Gower
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Rhossili to Mumbles – SUP DOWNWINDER

If any readers saw a lone paddler on the Bristol channel horizon on Sunday it was a good friend Tim Wright of Data mosaic here is a short write up of his downwinder from Rhossili to Mumbles.


Leaving Rhossili I immediately felt tired. 15 knot onshore breeze and a choppy 5 feet at 5 seconds on the buoy. Decided to paddle across to the causeway rather than battle the onshore round the Worm. Walked the board the short walk over the causeway (don’t forget your boots) then paddled the beautiful stretch from Crabbart to Fall Bay/ Mewslade. The small swell was rolling nicely and the chop gets flattened out. Plus the tide was about 1 hour off low so still on the way out and pulling me away from Crabbart.

By the time I got to Port Eynon point the tide was around low and no rips to speak of. I cut the corner off the bay staying about ½ mile to 1 mile out to sea with tail wind perfectly aligning Port Eynon point to Oxwich point, really helping out.

Oxwich was the only sketchy point in the trip. Despite crossing at pretty much low tide there is a large amount of water moving about to the West of the point. The rip is in a really wide band, making the water choppy and making it feel like you’re not making any progress.

From the point I cut a straight line across the bay to Hunts bay. Big thing to be aware of here is that the Westerly turns into a slight offshore wind, actually pushing you out beyond Hunts. Given that in the middle of the bay you’ll be over 1.5 miles out to sea this is an important consideration.

From Hunts back to Bracelet is reasonably uneventful. Be aware though if it’s a reasonable Westerly and you’re coming back to Swansea Bay the helpful westerly turns into a nightmare offshore wind pushing you out to sea. Not great when you’re shafted at the end of a long paddle.

The Westerly really helped out on the paddle, meaning I didn’t have to put in too much paddling effort. The choppy weather it creates though does get your legs burning after a few hours.

Plus its a good idea to time your start 1-2 hours before low so you get a tow out from Crabbart and then hit Oxwich point at around low tide.

Don’t think of doing this unless you’ve got a floaty board with a lot of volume and you’re happy paddling (standing up) for a few hours on choppy waters. Take some boots for the causeway, loads of snack food and at least 2 litres of water.

It took me 4.5 hours to do the trip non stop (apart from a 5 min scoffing session at Hunts). If you’re doing it without a tail wind or using a less floaty board I reckon it could add an extra couple of hours to the trip.

Please inform the Coatguard if you intend to take on such a paddle, they can then stay in touch with your progress via boats around the Gower and VHF radio.

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