Bournemouth Surf Forecast
The local council recently took out a detailed survey of how often Bournemouth beach is surfed and found that on average there are 77 good quality surfing days per year plus a further 70 or more smaller, not so perfect days where people can go out and have a surf.
Surfing in Bournemouth originally started in the 1960s and has had a strong following ever since. The year-round mild Bournemouth Weather is a big draw for surfers from the cold North. The Bournemouth surf forecast differs depending on the time of year you intend to visit. The best and biggest surf is mid Autumn to mid Spring where it can get up to 6 - 8ft. In the summer you won't get a wave much bigger than 3 foot, this is the ideal time for the novice surfer to have a go with one of Bournemouth's excellent surf schools.
About The Waves
The better quality surfing waves in Bournemouth are generated by low pressure weather systems that travel across the Atlantic, pumping a steady groundswell along the south coast when travelling in the right direction, this can last for a few days. If the Bournemouth surf forecast below is saying no groundswell then you have to hope that the lovely Bournemouth weather will bring you some wind from the W/SW/S/SE, which will push up a small wave you can play on, not so much space between them though. You will enjoy longer rides at Bournemouth pier than the neighbouring Boscombe pier, but be warned it can get very busy on a classic weekend! Another option is to give the new artificial reef a go "Weights, located off the Boscombe beach front, the only one in the northern Hemisphere, opened November 2009. The jury is out on whether it is any good or not, only time will tell.
Bournemouth beach is a very safe break to surf, a great location for all levels of surfer from the learner right up to the pro. Before heading to the beach always have a quick look at our Bournemouth surf forecast to check if the waves are too big or small for your level. There are no dangerous rip tides to contend with, no rocks to dodge and the water is very clean. To avoid the regular SW/S winds the majority of the surfing action happens to the East side of both Bournemouth pier and Boscombe pier. If you want to get away from the crowds, Bournemouth is spoilt with 7 miles of beach breaks to choose from, and all no more than 15 minutes drive away. See the list of breaks below.
Surf Spots - East to West
1. Hengistbury Head: Heavy shore dump at high tide, only worth a look at low tide, sometime the second sand bar can throw up a wave. Massive car park that's always practically empty. No toilets or lifeguard facilities. Windsurfers wave sail here occasionally in a Westerly. No good for high top vans as there is an annoying hight barrier.
2. Southbourne: Nice sand bar here, the wave can get huge here on the odd occasion as the Purbecks don't obstruct the in coming groundswell as much as the West end of the 7 mile stretch of beach. Better when there is no wind as you don't have the shelter of a pier here. Windsurfers sail here in a occasionally in a Westerly. Hight barrier again so no high top vans or motorhomes again, very annoying!
3. Boscombe: You have two options here, surfing either side of the pier or alternatively you can surf the artificial reef. The majority surf the east side of the pier. Picks up a decent sized wave here when the ground swell is pumping, but is a slightly shorter ride than Bournemouth Pier. Not quite as busy a Bournemouth pier. The reef is not really an option at the moment, the waves are too short and sharp, needs time for the sand to build up on it for a year or two. Windsurfers sail the west side of the pier in a Westerly. Plenty of parking, toilets. lifeguard. There is a surf shop and restaurant right on the front overlooking the break as well.
4. Bournemouth Pier: Mainly surfed on the leeward East side to shelter from the prevailing winds. You can surf both sides of the pier on a windless day, the wave is nearly as good as the other side but without the crowds. Not windsurfed here. Car Park. Life guard on duty.
5. Durley: Great place to have a surf when there is a decent groundswell and a apres surf beer, there is a pub/restaurant right at the waters edge. The typical weather for Bournemouth is SW/W which is perfect here for windsurfers. Come early though as there is limited parking.
6. Branksome Dean: Nice sand bar slowly developing after the new groins went in, perfectly sheltered from the N/NW winds so can be glassy on a light wind. The waves are smaller than Bournemouth pier and not quite as long a ride. Definitely no crowds here which is perfect for the learner. Windsurfers sail here in a South Westerly. Basic kiosk and toilets here. Car Park. No Lifeguard.
7. Branksome Chine: If you head from the carpark along to the West for 200 metres there is a bonus sandbar here that will give you the longest ride after the pier and doesn't need much of a swell to jack up a rideable wave, perfect for paddleboarders. The break is also sheltered from the N/NW winds, better when the wind is light though otherwise it manages to find its way to the water. Windsurfers sail here in a South Westerly. Nice restaurant here, beach kiosk and toilets. Small car park, come early at the weekends. Life guard on duty.
8. Sandbanks: Not really a surfing break, too sheltered from the Purbecks that juts out in to the sea. Waves only jack up when it's blowing a gale, so ideal for windsurfers. Windsurfers sail here in a South and South Westerly wind direction. Plenty of parking, toilets, few cafes and lifeguard in attendance.