We get asked a lot whether or not you can kitesurf in Lyme Regis….. So we caught up with local Fone riding kitesurfer Murray Saunders to get the download. Murray has been windsurfing and kitesurfing in Lyme Regis for 20 years so as a reference he is pretty good and reliable.
So over to Murray to part his knowledge:
“Kitesurfing in Lyme Regis can be awesome, you just need to know what to look for in the forecasts and what to watch out for when boots are on the ground.What deters most people is the launch and land. Absolutely it should be shown some respect and don’t do it if you’re not confident or comfortable to do it. That said as long as you’re not messing around it’s perfectly safe and no worse then anywhere else. I launch and self land here all the time and touch wood it’s been no problem. My advise would be to double check your setup and make 100% sure you have everything good to go. It’ not the place to launch and find you haven’t attached a line. When launching bring the kite up SLOWLY and take ti straight over the sea. Don’t mess about feeling bar pressure etc.. you don’t have the space. If you need to do that do it out on the water where you have the space if it goes wrong. I guess basically what I am saying is don’t mess around showing off, just get the kite in the air safely and get yourself out to sea.
Wind wise Lyme Regis can handle anything from South East to WSW. To be honest these directions are kind of at the extreme to the left and right of what works. A south east wind can be a bit flukey and a wsw can be gusty. That said it can be done and can produce fun conditions.
So if the forecast is for SE winds you looking at port tack on shore. The place to launch is the far east side of the beach and you will be heading out towards the rocks on the end of the cobb. As always in Lyme low tide is best with an ebbing tide producing the cleanest waves. It’s not a super long tack but the riding and jumping can be fun. As the wind comes around to the South it gets a bit more consistent and less gusty. The only thing to watch out for on a South wind is that the cliffs behiond the town don’t kill it. Again launch around low tide and in the middle of town beach.
SW is where the wind is best. The cleanest air for launching is from the middle of town beach and eastwards Boylo’s watersports is a good reference point as it is kind of the most west you want to go. Any further west and it gets a little gusty for take off.
If the wind is more west of southwest then it is recommended you kite on the west side of the cobb (monmouth beach). It holds the wind direction better but you have to be careful as the cobb wall is prettry sketchy and you definitely do not want to be blown onto it.
The guys at Boylo’s (Lyme Regis Water Sports) are super helpful and friendly. They are right on the beach and can tell you what the conditions are doing. It’s worth dropping them a call on 01297 444222 if you need a weather report, it could save you a disappointing trip!
So what if it goes wrong!? Well at low tide the curved bay has ‘beaches’ all the way around so it’s not that much of a drama if you end up down wind. I’ve had a few epic walks back because of dying wind. It’s not that bad, not fun but not bad. Just take it on the chin and kite downing to a beach and land it safely. DON”T try and fight it or go near the rocks.. They eat kites! Just punt it out, go around broad ledge and head down wind.
So kiting in Lyme is safe. It’s great fun and can make for an epic session. It does seabreeze in the summer and the winter can produce massive waves. Certainly not a beginners spot but at the same time you don’t have to be a kite god to have fun here. Like I said, drop the guys at Boylo’s a call and they’ll be more then happy to help you! Good luck, see you out here!”