Max Rowe joins Boardseeker to guide us through September in his ultimate year. Max is back on home soil and looking forward to some incredible sessions at his home spots.
For the feature this month I’ll be looking into it all a bit differently. This is because for September I’m going to be concentrating on my favourite freestyle spots around England. The main reason for this is the last two years I’ve been at home in September, the conditions have been absolutely word class. I’m really hoping that the last comment doesn’t jinx it as I head back to the motherland!
I’ve decided that the easiest way to do this is to go through the spots in order of my personal preference, however please bear in mind that this is biased due to the ease of getting there from either my house in Colchester, Essex or my other frequent residence, my girlfriend's house very close to Chichester.
Hands down one of my favourite freestyle spots from across the world this place really is in a league of its own when it comes to freestyling in the UK. “The Trench" has rivalled some of the best freestyle windsurfing spots I’ve visited; which is why it’s sitting firmly at the top of my table. What makes it so special is the sandbar that forms at low tide forming what we’ve dubbed as “The Trench", It sits perfectly across the wind in a South Westerly and various parts of it will work in anything from a dead South to dead Westerly. I’ve even sailed it in a Northerly and it was still epic. Whilst waiting for the tide you can often sneak in an epic wave sail, which is one of the big things that compliments this spot even more. The trench will appear around two hours either side of low tide depending on whether it’s springs or neaps, the ultimate session is of course during spring tides at the lowest of lows and on this day it really shines.
Now time for one my local spots, which I discovered thanks to the legendary Dave White. It’s just down the road from Brightlingsea in Essex and can provide some epic conditions for freestlye, bump/jump and speed. It will only work at high tide and is best two hours either side. The wind blows onshore on to the beach fifty metres past the campsite and to the left hand side a big lagoon will form as the tide comes in. It works best on the highest high but is still seriously flat on most high tides, it just means it a bit less sheltered when it is fully high. Again it works best in a South West but is sailable in anything from a S-NW. One of my favourite things about this spot is fact you can sail from mirror flat water straight into the rolling swell.
If you drive on to Hayling Island and keep to the right you’ll come across an Esso garage which if you turn right at immediately afterwards you can find another top class freestyle spot. To be honest the best thing about this spot is the fact it works at high tide, which compliments “The Trench" beautifully. You need to get the tide pretty right here as at low tide there’s no point making the sharp long walk out and at fully high the water state can be a complete mess. In-between neaps to springs you’re pretty much guaranteed some flat water either side of high tide. The wind blows dead onshore in a westerly, which means you can sail parallel to the shingle bar but in a SW it still works extremely well.
Another on of my locals but one I very rarely get a chance to sail at. The Ray is well renowned for the speed potential, but of course anywhere that’s flat instantly has a massive potential to be a top freestyle spot. It’s a hell of a long walk and only works for a few hours but it is I00% worth it. Again it’s a spot that can only be sailed at fully low tide. Watch out for the seals!!
So that's it for my top four favourite freestyle spots in the UK. Obviously some will argue Weymouth, West Kirby etc should deserve a mention but from my neck of the woods I Haven’t sailed those spots enough.
Check out the full Boardseeker beachfinder to explore more of the top UK freestyle spots