Cold Knap - Barry, Cardiff

Cold Knap is probably the most popular windsurfing location in South Wales. It’s the closest beach to Cardiff and gets plenty of sailors on the water on windy days. It’s also close to Cardiff airport so current wind data from the weather station there is directly relevant.

Beach Faces:

South

Best Wind Direction:

South-west, West to North-west

Best Wind Direction For Waves:

Same as above.

Not Good:

Any other direction.

Tide:

Up to 4 hours either side of low tide is okay, but 2 hours before low tide (falling) is good for flat water and up to 2 hours after (rising) is best for waves.

What’s On The Bottom:

Sand at low tide, pebbles at high tide.

Any Hazards:

Rip tide around the eastern end of the beach.

Other Water Users:

Sometimes fishermen, a few chav’s in the car park.

Suitability / Levels:

Intermediate upwards, you need to be able to stay upwind.

Wipeout Factor:

Generally okay but on a big day the high tide shore break can claim a few masts.

Instruction:

No

Kit Hire:

No

Friendly Factor:

Excellent crowd. Try out the locals’ websitewww.winsurfing.co.uk

No Wind Alternatives:

Excellent crowd. Try out the locals’ websitewww.winsurfing.co.uk

Surfable?:

Yes, but it needs 8ft of swell plus on Marine Buoy 62303 to be worth it.

Facilities:

Toilets

Yes, on site.

Shower

No

Windsurfing Shop

Rat Rigs, 6 miles away in Cardiff.

Food

Burger van in the summer, shops around corner.

Parking

Free all year.

Pub

None worth recommeding, head to Cardiff.

Accommodation:

Tons of B&B’s in Barry up to super deluxe international hotels in Cardiff.

Local Hotshots:

The Sheldon twins, “doc”, Ben (when he’s around) Scott From Rat rigs and so many talented locals who all have their day.

Local Knowledge / Secrets:

If the wind is forecast to be a light north-westerly, but it’s a really sunny day, we can often be out on 5.3m’s on the sea breeze. This works even better if the weather has been cloudy or rainy first thing in the morning. Forget coming here if the wind is southerly, or any kind of easterly or more northerly than W/NW.
There are other beaches at Porthcawl which allow sailing in SE/E/NE and NW.

How To Get There:

From J33 of the M4 take the A4232 to Cardiff airport and then the A4050 to Barry. Head Towards Barry Island, and then follow signs for “the Knap”

Report By:

Scotty Harrison

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