IOW Beaches

SANDOWN BAY

Made up of several long sandy beaches, ‘The Bay’ is perfect for a variety of watersports to suit any ability, from total beginner to pro. For surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers, Shanklin favours north-east to southerly swells, while Sandown and Yaverland work best with wind and swell from an east to south-west direction. If you are seeking calmer waters, an offshore breeze can provide glassy, mirror-like conditions, great for all paddle sports and learners.

Photo credit: Timi Eross Photography

Main spots

Shanklin – Surfing, Windsurfing, SUP Boarding, Kayaking, Bodyboarding
Sandown – Surfing, SUP Boarding, Kayaking, Bodyboarding
Yaverland – Windsurfing, Kite Surfing

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SOUTH

Ventnor on the south coast is renowned as a popular tourist destination due to its Mediterranean micro-climate and beautiful rocky coastline, making it a perfect spot for exploring by kayak or stand up paddleboard. However, when the low pressures arrive from the Atlantic Ocean, the wind and swell kick in from a predominantly south to west direction, turning Niton and Ventnor into two of the best windsurfing spots in the U.K.

Photo credit: John Carter

Main spots

Ventnor – Windsurfing, Surfing, Kayaking, SUP Boarding, Bodyboarding
Niton – Windsurfing, Surfing, Bodyboarding

WEST WIGHT

There are surf spots aplenty scattered all along the beautiful south-west coast, however most surfers will head towards the ever-reliable Compton, or Freshwater Bay if the surf is really pumping. Kite surfers and windsurfers generally favour Brook with its offshore reefs and wide expanse of open water. On flat calm days, the Freshwater Bay caves are an awesome place to explore on a stand up paddleboard or kayak.

Photo credit: Paul Blackley

Main spots

Compton – Surfing, Bodyboarding
Brook – Windsurfing, Kite Surfing
Freshwater Bay – Surfing, SUP Boarding, Kayaking

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NORTH WEST

The north-west side of the Island is subject to strong tides which draw through the Solent and can make or break a session; timing is everything when visiting some of these spots so grab yourself a tide timetable. If you’re planning on paddling around Newtown Creek you’ll need to go 2-3 hours either side of high tide to ensure maximum access to this stunning National Trust Nature Reserve. When the sea breeze kicks in on a dropping tide, windsurfers and kite surfers head to Gurnard or Colwell Bay for some fun, wind-against-tide, bump and jump action.

Photo credit: Sienna Anderson – Soul Photography

Main spots

Colwell Bay – Kite Surfing, Windsurfing
Newtown Creek – SUP Boarding, Kayaking
Gurnard – Windsurfing, SUP Boarding

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NORTH EAST

From Ryde all the way around to Bembridge Harbour are sweeping sandy beaches and picturesque natural inlets which are ideal for touring by kayak or stand up paddleboard. When the cross to offshore prevailing winds start to howl, windsurfers and kite surfers flock in for some great flat water freestyle or blasting sessions. Also worth a mention is the surf break at Whitecliff Bay; tucked away in the shelter of Culver Cliff, this sandy beach break can offer some fantastic clean and punchy surf when the conditions are right.

Main spots

Ryde – Kayaking, SUP Boarding, Windsurfing, Kite Surfing
Seaview – Kayaking, SUP Boarding, Windsurfing, Kite Surfing
Bembridge / St. Helens – Kayaking, SUP Boarding, Windsurfing, Kite Surfing
Forelands – Windsurfing, Kite Surfing
Whitecliff Bay – Surfing, Bodyboarding

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