The main thing to realise about Porthcawl is that although there is a wide area to play in with its three distinct beaches (four if you include the esplanade), the town is built up and is home to a large number of wave riders. This means that when the surf turns on, the obligatory crowds also show up. Surf etiquette therefore must be adhered to when paddling.
Rest Bay is the most popular of Porthcawl’s three beaches with Coney and Trecco following close behind. Rest Bay serves up the best waves on a solid swell but equally has the hardest conditions to deal with.
Coney Beach, in front of Coney Island Amusements and Fairground, gives the easiest paddle out but often the wave can be a brutal close out. This inevitably means that rides are quick and if you don’t have your wits about you then you’ll be dumped unceremoniously on the beach!
Trecco is another beach break that offers easy, slow (ish) waves. There’s a large campsite just in front of the break and as such access can be tricky.
The Point, in-between Trecco and Coney, is a superb wave that breaks over rocks and isn’t for the inexperienced, while the Esplanade in Porthcawl town is a high tide dumpy break. Newton is also close by but struggles to attract swell.
Whichever beach you hit up, make sure all your valuables are locked away securely as belongings have been known to go walkies.
How to get there:
Take the M4 motorway to Cardiff. Continue towards Bridgend and keep going until eventually Portcawl is sign posted.
With all the breaks being in close proximity to Porthcawl town, there are a wealth of facilities available as you would expect from a seaside resort – although you will still need a towel to hide your dignity while getting changed at the beach.
Bad tempered local surfers, other water users and the usual wave environment hazards are worth watching out for. Go with respect and you’ll be fine. Rest Bay is best avoided at high tide if you’re inexperienced.
Ins and Outs:
Apart from the long, low tide walk at Rest Bay, it’s pretty easy to get in and out at all places. Drag your kayak along the sand and away you go.
If you want to know what the surf is up to then check out the regular updates from www.porthcawlsurf.co.uk. You can also hire gear and get certain spares from them if you need, although be aware, this a surf shop first and foremost.
Porthcawl is one of those sleepy seaside towns that once was thriving but has now fallen into decline – and in parts disrepair. Featuring many hotels along the main promenade, you can see how the place once was but now it seems to be the elderly and wave hunters that frequent the spot. From a surf point of view, Porthcawl boasts a number of spots all within a short distance of each other.