Hove Beach & Lagoon, Brighton

Hove Beach is just one mile down from where the Brighton PWA events used to be held. It has a diverse range of conditions suitable for all abilities. Hove Lagoon itself is about the size of a football pitch and is only waist deep all the way across. It offers sheltered flat-water conditions ideal for beginners and intermediates; a great place to learn for adults and children alike.

10 meters away, across the promenade, is Hove Beach where the fun begins. Summer sea breezes offer perfect blasting and freestyle conditions for intermediate windsurfers. Great for practicing those carve gybes, waterstarts, spocks, big macs, and those big kahuna burgers!

However, once those low pressures start tracking across the waves start pushing in. A typical force 5 plus can easily see head high waves providing excellent and very challenging conditions. Just check out the video and see for yourself.

Fees: To use the Lagoon and all the facilities you pay £8 per day or you can join the club from £22.50 per month and use all their equipment as well.
NO charges for parking or launching on the beach.

Beach Faces:

South

Best Wind Direction:

The beach: South-west. This produces the best jumping conditions. Westerly winds provide some excellent wave riding conditions.  If the wind has any East in it, then the sea is usually quite flat, so great for blasting and freestyle.

The lagoon: Wind direction does not matter. The wind will never get stronger than a force 4 due to it being so sheltered. However, if a storm comes through it can get quite gusty.

Best Wind Direction For Waves:

South-west pushes in the best waves, and makes for great jumping and riding. If it has been windy for a few days and then swings a bit more westerly then you can get get some pretty good riding. Most of the sailing at Hove is starboard tack.

Not Good:

Southerly wind. The waves make it very hard to launch.

Tide:

Low to mid tide is best for all levels. At high tide the shore dump can be very large and off-putting. The best waves occur when the tide is on the push.

What’s On The Bottom:

At high tide, stones. At low tide, sand.

Any Hazards:

An old wooden groyne to the left of the launch area, only exposed on a spring low tide.

Other Water Users:

A few dinghy sailors in the summer.

Suitability / Levels:

The lagoon: Brilliant for beginners. The sheltered conditions allow you to master the technique required to windsurf properly on the sea. Plus you won’t drift off anywhere (accept to the other side of the lagoon!)

The beach: Intermediate to Pro
The summer sea breezes produce flat to choppy water sailing ideal for blasting and freestyle. However when it gets above a Force 5, the waves make for very challenging conditions. Your waterstart needs to be bomb proof, as does your launching technique through the shorebreak.

Wipeout Factor:

On a big day, go big or go home!
However we can launch our safety boat in pretty much any conditions, so kit breakages are not normally a problem.
We use a ZAP CAT as our safety boat. This is a South African Surf Rescue boat, with a 50hp on the back. These boats are designed to cope with waves much larger than we see in the United Kingdom, so we can offer safety in most conditions provided the tide is not too high. (Our instructors love doing rescue when it’s windy due to the amount of airtime these boats get.)

Instruction:

Hove Lagoon WatersportsThis is an RYA recognised centre, and offers instruction for all levels both on the lagoon and the sea. They offer a Start to Windsurf package for £99. Or have some private tuition over 2 hours for £50. Click here for all instruction packages and costs.
The Club offers a unique Gym style membership. You can become a member of Hove Lagoon from as little as £22.50 per month.
This then entitles you to unlimited equipment hire for as long as you like, whenever you like. We have a very diverse range of equipment ranging from beginner to the latest wave and freestyle kit. Most of our sails are Hot Sails Maui, and most of our boards are Quatro. You also get safety cover for your membership fee, along with free clinics once a week.
Click here for Membership details. Or emailinfo@hovelagoon.co.uk or Tel.  01273 424842.

Kit Hire:

Kit is available to hire on the Lagoon for £15 per hour to non-members. Contact Hove Lagoon Watersports. Details above.

Friendly Factor:

From spring to summer we have a lot of members who come down whether it is windy or not. On a windy day, at the weekend, expect to see around 25 to 30 sailors out. After sailing, hop into the Club House for a beer and a chat.

No Wind Alternatives:

From spring to summer we have a lot of members who come down whether it is windy or not. On a windy day, at the weekend, expect to see around 25 to 30 sailors out. After sailing, hop into the Club House for a beer and a chat.

Surfable?:

Yes, but usually when there are waves there is wind. The Hot Pipes, 5 mins down the coast, can produce some excellent surfing. Ask in the Club House.

Facilities:

Toilets

Yes, on site.

Shower

Yes, on site.

Windsurfing Shop

Surfladle, 15 min drive away.

Food

Costa Coffee Bar and lunch snacks in Hove Lagoon Clubhouse.

Parking

Free, but it can get quite busy. You can park in any of the surrounding roads.

Pub

There are too many to mention, being in Brighton. Alcohol is served in the Club House.

Accommodation:

www.visitbrighton.co.uk

Local Hotshots:

Robby Swift and Guy Cribb Sail at Hove quite regularly when in the country. Other hot shots include Matt Pearch, Scott Topham, Laird Ross, Adam Humphries and Lucy Robson.

Local Knowledge / Secrets:

Catch the tide on the push for the best waves. To get some good wave riding, try to catch the tail end of a low pressure, giving West or North-west winds.

Extra:

Hove Lagoon Watersports will run its regular Ocean Carnival Event between 28-30 May (over May Bank Holiday). This year (2005) will see the following:
UKWA National Racing Championships, UKWA Freewave Series and Hove Lagoon Watersports Windsurf and Dinghy Taster sessions at £5 per person, adults and children.
Also a regional Zap Cat Race event, Extreme BMX and Skateboard displays. Massive Saturday and Sunday night parties including outside bar, four live bands and some quality DJ’s from some of Brighton’s top night clubs. Free to everyone.
For more info email: info@hovelagoon.co.uk

How To Get There:

To view an online map to Hove Lagoon & Beach, click on the map at the top of this page.

Route from London
Follow M23 from London until it turns into the A23 and follow it to Brighton Sea Front. Turn right at the pier roundabout and follow the coast road for about 3 miles until you see Hove Lagoon on the left hand side.

Route from the west
Head for Shoreham and follow the A259 coast road until you pass the Ocean Sports surf shop on the right. Turn right at the next set of traffic lights.

Alternative route avoiding Brighton traffic
Take the A27 Brighton bypass and take the exit for Shoreham Harbour. Follow the road until you come to the traffic lights by Sainsbury’s. Turn left and then right at the next lights. Follow the road over the railway down to the coast and turn left. You will be about a few minutes west of us.

Report By:

Jon Malyon (JB)

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