The end of summer and the beginning of autumn is one of the favourite times of the year for British surfers. The sea is at its warmest and there are usually plenty of autumn swells to be had.
Understanding the tide times for the particular break you want to surf is vital to ensure that trips are not wasted and fun is not missed.
There is much debate about what tide times are best to surf but it is generally agreed that this is largely dependent on the break you choose. Many surfers, however, believe that, as a general rule, two hours before high tide is a great place to start if you do not know the area well. Certainly, an incoming tide will usually be a better choice than an outgoing one.
If the beach is renowned for being a good surfing spot, then high tide can be a good time to choose as this provides the longest travelling time after the break. If you are surfing a break for the first time, however, it’s a good idea to visit at low tide to check out what will be lying below the waves. No surfer wants to risk being pummelled on rocks that they didn’t know were there!
If you are looking to establish a regular break, it’s best to visit when the tide is at various stages. This will help you to discover where the breaks are and what will be the best times for you. Of course, environmental and weather conditions will also have an impact on specific days, but at least you will have a good starting point to help decide whether it’s worth packing up your board and wetsuit to catch some waves.