Wales - Gower Surf Forecast & Surf Reports (UK)
Gower or "The Gower" is a the spiritual home of surfing in Wales. Pro-surfing alumni include Carwyn Williams and Chris "Guts" Griffiths but there has been a vibrant local surf scene here since the 1960s.
At just 20km long by 10km wide, there is much more to this small area than the surf. As Britain's first (read most obvious) area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), the stunning limestone coast has remained largely unspoiled despite the close proximity of the ugly South Wales industrial towns. Much of the land is owned by the National Trust and there are several nationally important wildlife reserves. Several Castles, many Norman churches, bone caves and Stone Age burial sites add historical interest and rarely a month goes by in summer without some national paper proclaiming one of Gower's 20 or so beaches as the finest in Britain (usually Three Cliffs Bay, Oxwich Bay or Rhossili but most locals would argue that Pwll Du and Mewslade are better). The Mumbles Mile was arguably where binge drinking was invented, but it is more eateries than pubs these days. The famous surfer's haunt of the King's Head in Llangennith is more popular than ever and several other Gower pubs have improved in recent years.
For traveling surfers, The Gower Peninsular is an excellent destination. Although the waves here are less consistent and generally a foot or two smaller than Cornwall and North Devon, Gower has one advantage over these areas. It has breaks that work in a wide variety of wind and tide conditions, located in a very compact area.
As long as there is a reasonably big swell in the Bristol Channel, big enough to wrap into sheltered breaks (say 3m plus) the chances are somewhere on Gower will be very surfable regardless of wind or tide. However, getting it offshore often takes a lot of thought because apart from the wind, swell and aspect there is the small matter of the second largest tidal range in the world to consider with and reefs that can be firing at low-tide can be submerged under 10 metres of water a few hours later at which time most of the beaches are submerged too. Some reefs don't even break on neap tides.
Most surfers visit Gower in summer, when long flat spells of several weeks are very common, albeit with a lot of variety from one year to the next - some summers are basically always flat and others have waves about half the time. When even the most exposed Gower breaks are offering dribly 1 foot waves, you would always be much better off heading to Cornwall, Ireland or Brittany. Autumn, winter and spring are much better times to visit.
Famous surf spots start with ever popular Langland Bay, located right on the edge of Swansea's affluent Western suburbs and just 6km from the city center. Here you will find an unusually large variety of reef and beach break options located within in a small area that provides useful shelter from frequent westerly winds. Langland only works at low to mid tide and the standout wave with attendant local crew is at Crab Island. On a good day, Crab can be be very good. Oxwich Bay, is a famous and popular high-tide wave which can provide head-high and hollow waves, but only in big winter swells - say 4m and up in the open channel - when that happens, even in the dead of January, don't be surprised to find more than a hundred surfers in. Broughton, a high-tide left point break needs less swell than Oxwich and works in SW and even West winds. Last, and most famous of the obvious breaks, the dramatic 3 mile wide sweep of Rhossili Bay with Llangennith at the northern access. Exposed to any swell, the big problem here is the wind. A light SW onshore can actually be ok and a few locals swear the waves are better in these conditions but everyone agrees that a NW wind really ruins the waves and in summer NW winds are very common. The Rhossili end provides shelter from southerly winds, especially at high tide.
Apart from these famous beach breaks Gower has a number of less well-known beachies that can be ok. Caswell is popular at high tide, but not often any good. Three Cliffs, Horton, Mewslade and Bluepool can have good surf too but really these are all rather irrelevant compared with the south Gower Reefs.
There are about a dozen or so of these. The majority are located between Port Eynon Point and Fall Bay but some, like Crab Island, are further east. Some, like Pete's, Sumpters and Oxwich Point, are well known but others are are at most semi-secret spots and sometimes good conditions at the obscure ones go unsurfed. They all need either light wind conditions or else an offshore NE quadrant wind and are usually a touch bigger than Llangennith which can make a huge difference when Llangennith is waist-high and gutless. Most, but not all, only work at low tide. Getting worked on jagged limestone rocks is always a possibility.