Pagham Windsurfing Guide
Pagham offers some really good windsurfing & kitesurfing conditions when many places on the southcoast are either too onshore or too offshore. However, lots has changed at Pagham over the past few years due to movement in the sandbar that sits between the sea and the river mouth that serves Pagham Harbour.
This sandbar used to create great breaking waves and down-the-line wave-riding in southerly winds but has now built up to the extent that it now channels an extremely fast flow of river water across the beach making the sandbar hard to access and redundant to most water sports.
Due to the above changes the shingle carpark that once serviced the launch area to the bar is now closed off and no longer used. Instead the launching area for Pagham is slightly father east at the end of Beach Road from an alley at the side of Pagham Yacht Club. (Parking is limited here but there is also an area between Beach Road and Sandy Road that can be used occassionally for a limited parking charge).
Unless you are looking to specifically get caught in the river flow (to either add or subtract from the current wind!) for safety reasons stay clear and launch opposite the Yacht Club instead.
The 'new' shingle beach at Pagham now offers respectable conditions more appropriate for free-riding and enjoying the wind swell.
Big thanks to Mike Eacott for the update on the recent beach changes. Revised June 2015.
Firstly Pagham is side shore in a SW or a NE, and is also good in an S when few places on the southcoast are.
For the less experienced, close to the beach is often flat and great for gybing and also freestyle practice if you are a bit of a maestro.
Pagham is one of the few places you can get a windsurf in in a North Easterly.
For further information on local conditions chat with Lee Rolfe from LAR Watersports in Pagham. These boys will help you out.
Be careful of the currents near the river mouth, and the water movement around the wavebreak. The water sweeps out of the harbour and parallel to the shore before sweeping out to sea. Avoid swimming or launching here unless you understand the risks. Also the shorebreak is deceptive, so be quick!
The situation can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/120248108
Directions to Pagham
From Chichester take the roundabout for Pagham (obvious maybe, but easily confused with erm, Selsey). Follow the road to the village of Pagham. Now head for Beach Road for a launch at Pagham Yacht Club.