WHAT IS THE BEST TIDE?
Always a key question for every spot.
LOW – Not the best, but can work. West Mersea is very well known for its Oysters… these are definitely on show at low tide and are definitely best avoided. At low tide there are some sandbanks that are left which help you to get out on the water… however beyond that you have mud, a lot of it, with sharp oyster shells in. If this doesn’t put you off and you get the water then its generally pretty flat at low tide making perfect blasting conditions for windsurfing and freestyle conditions for kitesurfing (just remember its sharp if you do hit the bottom).
MID – The kitesurfers of Mersea are keen on mid tide conditions since it provides perfect flat-water bays between the sandbanks. Super easy to get in and out the water as by this point the water will have started to flood onto the main beach. For windsurfers, this tide works but remember its still shallow in places! The end of the sandbanks can give you a small bump (maybe even a tiny wave on the right day) which can be all you need to get a little air. Outside of the sandbanks, the water state can get pretty choppy or can be fairly lined up wind swell on the right direction (see lower down for wind directions).
HIGH – High tide can be mixed. Sometimes great IF the wind direction is good, however OFTEN at dead high tide you can crazily confused chop that’s pretty unenjoyable for both windsurfers and kitesurfers.
WHAT IS THE BEST WIND DIRECTION?
Always remember we ideally want wind against tide otherwise we’ll struggle to make it back to the same spot we started (especially if underpowered).
SOUTH (ONSHORE) – Generally not the best. Doesn’t work well on a high tide or mid tide. Can be good at low tide as the water state stays pretty flat! A good direction to blast along the front and go and explore the West Mersea coastline!
SOUTH WEST (CROSS ONSHORE) – The prevailing direction for the UK. This is what the wind direction will be most of the time. Works well at West Mersea on an incoming tide (from low to high tide).
WEST (CROSS SHORE), This works well at West Mersea. It can be pretty lumpy in the middle of the estuary, but this makes for some fun windsurfing and kitesurfing. Good direction to head over to Bradwell and go on a bit of journey.
NORTH WEST / NORTH / NORTH EAST (CROSS OFFSHORE / OFFSHORE) – As for the Northerly directions, its generally a no go for kitesurfers since the wind is often so flukey and offshore, especially closer to shore. At this point it is usually worth checking out other spots. These directions can work round at East Mersea or the Strood. For the windsurfers its still risky going out on a Northerly direction but have the luxury of being able to bob back to shore with very little wind if need be. If you do make it out to the wind line then generally the water conditions can be pretty good… it can provide some mega flat water which can make for some pretty fast blasting and also good foiling conditions!
EAST (CROSS SHORE) – One of the best directions at West Mersea, although it comes relatively infrequently! Sometimes a summer sea breeze can kick up in the afternoons, keep an eye out! Easterly conditions can make some smooth wind swell in the middle of the estuary making perfect conditions for both windsurfers and kitesurfers. Also super fun to play on with a foil.
SOUTH EAST (CROSS ONSHORE) – Another good direction! It is ideal to go and explore up the estuary and into some of the channels. Again, often comes as a sea breeze in the summer!
WEST MERSEA WINDSURFERS AND KITESURFERS CLUB
If you’re a regular at West Mersea then it is worth joining the club as you’ll get use use of the club hut which gives you a great base for your day or session on the water. There’s a great group on regulars down at the club and it is a perfect way to meet fellow windsurfers and kitesurfers.
WHERE TO PARK
At the bottom of Seaview avenue there is a public pay and display car park. It is pretty cheap and is right next to the beach. There is a grassy section before the beach huts that’s ideal for rigging kit up (see map above).
Thanks, The Fluid Lines Team
Fluid Lines is an independent, family run snow and water sports shop based in Colchester, Essex