Southbourne Windsurfing Guide
Southbourne doesn't get windsurfed enough for the quality of the wave, but is a spot that kitesurfers have cottoned on to pretty well. It is also a very popular location for surfing although since coastline regeneration has occurred the banks are less lucrative. Nevertheless, the wave remains extremely good for wave riding.
On it's day, Southbourne is one of the more radical spots on this coast due to it's heavy wave that breaks on the bar and also a challenging shore break, oh and groynes.... A good day to try out Southbourne for entry level wave riding would be a Bigsalty 2 Wave Star Rating. Before taking the trip you could always cross reference the Bournemouth Surfing Centre Surf Cam linked to from the weather page.
For general recreational windsurfing, Southbourne also excels due to the great scenic view of Hengistbury Head and the Isle Of Wight and clear water that is great for snorkelling on the windless days.
For early intermediates & beginners, double check the shorebreak and if that looks ok from the beach then there is no reason why you wouldn't have a great windsurf here.
Those who know Southbourne and have had the taste of it's powerful wave, scour the forecast for the required wind directions, which are westerly and on rarer occasions easterly. The wave tends to build more obviously as a swell than other locations on this section of coast and breaks powerfully on the sand bar.
WSW and even SW can be good for cross onshore jumping, although on occasions a trip round to Boscombe Pier could be preferable although the wave will generally be smaller.
Westerly is also sailable (and potentially excellent) but can be the most challenging wind direction due to its gusty nature. You will secure some excellent down the line wave-riding but getting of the beach and overall wind strength can be challenging in the lighter winds sheltered from the cliff. You will probably find that both here and Avon beach are light on the inside but Avon Beach due to the fact that the waves break further out to see will have more wind amongst the waves.
The groynes can be intimidating but provided you keep your distance, even losing won't necessarily be a problem because it often rests in a channel just between the inner bar and the shore.