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#1 2018-12-14 20:12:56

The Team
Registered: 2008-09-22
Posts: 538

Beerpan Rocks

Last time I got a shot at testing out the potential of the Beerpan Rocks was about 2 years ago if I remember rightly. That winter offered only one potential forecast that suited it. The components being approximately:

3m SSW swell
14 second period
SE wind (F4-F5 BFT)
Tide slack late morning

The swell was pretty big, this was evident from the long lines breaking along the coastline of Bournemouth Bay making the launch seem tricky but interestingly on the Christchurch Bay side (protected by Christchurch ledges and the Beerpan rocks themselves) it was relatively calm and mainly just choppy from the wind. On arrival at Hengistbury head via Christchurch Harbour the area for catching waves was almost directly south of the long groyne by about 100-200m where the sets were marching in slow motion. On the inside reefs that run parralel to Hengistbury head about 50-100m off the beach the waves were also breaking.

That's the recap. Now this time things were a bit different. Date 13-12-2018 (put here because I want to investigate the forecast components in our archive).

Swell was definitely smaller but wind stronger. I decided to windsurf at Southbourne initially and there were some good head+ high waves breaking quite heavily off the sand bar with a really nice angle to them due to the SE wind direction. A number of them were barrelling and spitting with some wall sections. I played for a while but it was clear that the ground swell that was mingling with the Easterly wind swell was starting to kick in. Taking this feeling along with a visual of the white water up by long groyne, I decided to move upwind towards the long groyne and take a look.

Once there, I began getting my bearings and settling in to the reef break parallel to the long groyne. The waves only seemed to be breaking here. Not further out to sea over the Beerpan where I caught them last time. But they were heavy and punchy and if anything closing out a little too much. Ranging from head to logo high. They'd come in in clear swell lines and then break quite quickly over the reef.

Being on the inside reef was a benefit because on an outgoing tide, you're protected by the main tidal flow by the long groyne and not far from the beach in case of any breakages.  The wind angle was absolutely ideal. I'd say it was ESE and was effectively cross-cross off on the wave meaning you could ride the smooth water still perfectly powered up.

I spent a while trying my best to attack some close outs and top turn on the wave faces (occassionally getting air drops) then got a few on a section of reef that opened out. It was a little frustrating for a while then I got probably one of the best waves of my life. Only about head and a half high but it was a perfect wall that allowed 3 critical smacks. That was a confidence boost and then on the waves that did close out on another area of reef I was going for some full speed aerials.

Bailed out one, which was a mistake (lost my nerve on the landing) and my kit got taken all the way to the beach and when I finally arrived to meet it, found the clew had been torn out.

Bit of bummer (and expensive lesson) but managed to sail it back with another great experience off the Beerpan rocks.

Keen to hear about how your session went today but feeling pretty pumped about it.

I plan to windsurf at Southbourne early tomorrow morning so maybe see you on the water.

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#2 2018-12-14 22:42:27

From: Dibden Purlieu
Registered: 2013-09-05
Posts: 119

Re: Beerpan Rocks

Great to hear you scored your best wave!!! I look forward to re-reading the report and digesting it.

Today was not great. Overall it was a success as I got back to where I started, unscathed. But the forecast E backing SE wind was actually ENE, confirmed now chekcing the weatherfiile data-log.. This was too offshore and the tide was too strong. and the wind was a bit light. I set off from Avon having first checked out the Christchurch Bay overview from Highcliffe, a good vantage point. The waves could be seen breaking at Beerpan and the outer ledges too, so worth a look.

Having wobbled over on a broad reach with the tidal flow, it was pretty tricky staying in position over the Beeran reef. I only had time for 4 runs across the Beerpan and caught a couple of waves, but couldn't drop in to bottom turn as to go front side  would have been a one-way ticket to Southbourne beach. It was hard pumping in on the waves against the tide and so close to the wind. It was fun though getting planing on the wave and after swell and charging in towards the Head. That inner reef looked tasty too but I didn't have enough margin on my time-window to risk the longer hike back in case of problems. The waves were breaking on the Beerpan but were only head high, the swell was forecast WSW 1.6m@15 sec. It was still breaking quite heavily and I wouldn't have wanted one on the head, which I only narrowly missed on one occasion. I'll have a sift through the mast-cam footage at some point but I don't think there will be anything useful from it.

Next time must be E or SE with no north in it! Pretty much your conclusion.

Last edited by Lobsterfunkdaddy (2018-12-14 22:46:36)


#3 2018-12-20 11:12:36

New member
Registered: 2018-12-20
Posts: 1

Re: Beerpan Rocks

Is Beer pan rocks surfable on the inside looking for a new spot Highcliffe seems to have turned into a massive shoredump, Avon when it is on is a shore dump but fun don,t  really want to join the crowd at B muff pier.


#4 2018-12-22 19:36:24

The Team
Registered: 2008-09-22
Posts: 538

Re: Beerpan Rocks

Beerpan rocks is not really set up for a good surfing experience on the whole because the reef sits in the way of a strong tidal flow around the end of the long groyne. The change in water depth from Bournemouth bay to the reef also intensifies this. I reckon it would be nearly impossible to hold a position unless there was no wind and slack tide.

Slightly inside the beerpan is a reef that runs parralel to long beach. This reef is sheltered from the extreme tidal flows but it's shape tends to lend itself to a close out. That said I did get some insanely good waves there that peeled with a vertical wall but I wonder whether it was a lucky swell angle. E.g. south easterly component.

The good news is that although short there are some nice but small beach breaks that peal into the bays of mudeford sandspit at different states of tide. They could be a backup option if another mission failed...

Southbourne has it's moments for surfing too. If you consider all of these options as novelty waves it could be a lot of fun. At least until highcliffe corrects itself, which could just be another couple of storms away from happening.

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