From Poppit Sands in the north right round to Saundersfoot and Amroth in the south, the Pembrokeshire coast is renowned for its wonderful beaches and a variety of beach and reef breaks that make it a surfer’s and paddleboarder’s paradise.
No matter the wind direction, since the county is bounded on three sides by the sea, there is always somewhere on the coast where there are rideable waves.
The choice ranges from the burly big wave winter venues like Broad Haven South, the consistency of the long, high surf at Freshwater West, or one of the beaches more sympathetic to beginners like Newgale or Newport. Pembrokeshire has it all for surfers and paddleboarders: clean, clear water off its Blue Flag and Green Coast beaches, friendly natives, uncrowded breaks, stunning backdrops and relatively quiet strands with ample parking.
The coast is under the watchful eye and dedicated management of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, whose coastal footpath covers the entire 180-mile circuit, and their website on www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk provides advice and information for coast users to ensure that the condition of this golden coast remains pristine for present-day and future users. Their message to exponents of water sports, and other visitors too, is a plea to leave the beach as they found it, avoid disturbing wildlife and sensitive habitats, respect the friendly locals, don’t just ‘drop in’ and do return and enjoy.
There is also advice from the RNLI whose lifeboats, particularly the inshore craft where surfers and close offshore users are concerned, have to pick up the pieces when things go wrong. They appeal to the surfing and boarding fraternity to always use a lifeguarded beach wherever possible, and heed the advice of the lifeguards who know their areas intimately; novices surf only between the black and white flags; seek lifeguard advice on the best and safest places to surf; always wear a leash; if in trouble never abandon the board - it will keep you afloat; wave and shout for help when in dfficuties; never surf alone or between the red and yellow flags and never ‘drop in’ on another surfer. Water sports exponents are advised to visit the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter website for more information on surfing in a sustainable way - contact: wwwpembrokeshireoutdoors.org.uk. There are many organisations and shops around the coast who provide advice, tuition and equip- ment for watersports participants, whatever their sport. There are lists of providers in the National Park’s comprehensive free publication Coast to Coast and information is also available at the TICs, or the National Park Authority’s websites at www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk or www.arfordirsirpenfro.org.uk or on the websites of the water sports providers. The National Park Tourist Information Centres are: Oriel y Parc, St Davids, telephone 01437-720392 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.orielyparc.co.uk. Newport TIC telephone 01239-820912 or newportTIC@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk and Tenby TIC, telephone 01834-845040 or email@example.com.