Know Your Waves
Know Your Waves
The West Wales coastline experiences a variety of waves, primarily influenced by the prevailing wind patterns and the geography of the region. Here are some types of waves commonly observed on the West Wales coastline:
Atlantic Swells: The coast of west Wales faces the Atlantic Ocean, and therefore, it receives swells generated by storms in the Atlantic. These swells can produce powerful and consistent waves, particularly during the autumn and winter months when storm systems are more frequent.
Groundswells: Groundswells refer to waves that have traveled a long distance from their generation point and have a longer wavelength. These swells can originate from distant storms or weather systems and can provide consistent and well-defined waves along the west Wales coastline.
Wind-Generated Waves: The prevailing wind patterns in the region, typically coming from the southwest, can generate wind-driven waves. These waves are often influenced by the strength and duration of the wind, and they can vary in size and shape. During periods of strong winds, the wave conditions can become choppy and less organised.
Beach Break Waves: Along the sandy beaches of West Wales, beach break waves are common. These waves break when they encounter a change in the water depth, such as when they reach a sandbar or encounter the shore. The nature of the beach and its underwater topography determines the characteristics of these waves, including their size and shape.
Reef Break Waves: Although less common in west Wales compared to some other coastal areas, there are locations where waves break over reefs or rocky outcrops. These reef breaks can provide more challenging and powerful waves, often favoured by experienced surfers.
It’s important to note that wave conditions can vary greatly depending on factors such as weather patterns, tides, and local geography. Surf forecasts and local knowledge from experienced surfers or coastal authorities can provide more detailed information on the specific waves occurring along the West Wales coastline at any given time.