Geeignet für: Windsurfer, Kitesurfer, Wellenreiter
Revier: Flachwasser, Welle
Windrichtung: beste je nach Spot, fahrbar alle
Wellingtons northerly wind wavespot. Heaps of parking, changing rooms, grass rigging and a nice sandbeach. Spot is located at the railway crossing when entering Plimmerton. No shorebreak to speak of. Waves form on a sandbar in the middle of the bay. Best ~1 to 2 hours after high tide. The tides are extremely important, might be flat on an incoming tide, but headhigh waves a couple of hours later!
This is the place for learning to wavesail or to get the most air you have ever experienced. Slow wave, starbord wavesailing. Mostly cross-onshore, average headhigh wave.
Most common and required winddirection is N to NW, which will produce above mentioned conditions. The more N it goes the gustier it gets. Some like this, as the waverides get more sideshore, others hate it.
A couple of times a year with the support of a big groundswell coming in from the Tasman, waves can get logohigh + on the bar and produce some great wavesailing as long as the wind does not go too far to the west.
Beginner and intermediate wavesailors love the spot, as there is extremely easy access, you never will get drilled on rocks, and its a great place for shredding it up.
Plimmerton is also rated by slalom sailors, in any southerly aswell as light northerly winds. Great course racing on „calm“ days out to Mana Island.
The whole coastline from Plimmerton up to Kapiti coast offers some really good slalom and course sailing. Plimmerton is best in a S, SE,or a light NW with great course racing out to Mana Island. Launch at same spot as wavesailors. Further north, launching is possible pretty much anywhere from Paekakariki to Waikanae beach. Whilst southerlies are a bit unpredictable up here, northerlies can offer some of the most consistent wind for slalom or course racing. If there is a swell rolling in, there is a bit of a shorebreak to cope with.
Generally, these spots are not too popular, not necessarily due to the lack of sailing quality but simply because most sailors live in Wellington.
Wellington central’s southerly wind wavespot. Sailors of all abilities launch at the western end of the bay near the toilets. (The toilets are at this stage one of the gay prostitution community’s meeting points, so watch out when you get changed or go for a pee !!!)
Lyall bay has a fast wave, which is basically a major beachdump. Generally cross-on to more onshore, starbord wavesailing. One bottom turn is usually the most you can get out of a wave. On bigger days, the waves form nicely further out, and they can get quite big. Waves are biggest in the middle of the bay. As waves start to close out it can be gnarly to get out though. Make sure you pick up speed and go downwind first, before attempting to get over the break, so don’t rigg too small a sail. Wellingtons most popular surfing spot lies at the other end of the beach, hardly any windsurfers go there as its not worth it, as the wind is too onshore there. Theres plenty of parking, nice rigging area and once again no shorebreak to speak of.
Most of the time, Lyall Bay suits any level of wavesailing, it is safe (but cold !) and great fun. If its heavy, there usually are a couple of ripped sails and broken masts, but that’s all part of the fun!
Lyall Bay can radically change its face from gale force onshore beachdump to serious down-the-line conditions with cross-offshore winds and waves comeing through in Taranaki style sets. Watch out for big southerly swells in combination with a very N to NE wind. Launch as usual from western end of bay. Works best around low tide. Wind can be super gusty, only for experienced sailors, other will struggle to a) get out through the waves b) to actually catch a wave. Good for 3-4 bottom turns and big aerials. Very fast, grunty wave.
Not sailed too often, Kapiti coast has a reputation of having a hell of a current in northerlies aswell as in southerlies. Some sailors have reported really good wavesailing sessions though.
One of the sailed spots is Paekakariki. Access is easy, take the mainroad into the village accross the railwayline, and follow the beachroad until it ends. Heaps of parking and rigging area.
In a northerly, Plimmerton will have to be over the top, favourably 3.7 m2, as the wind up in Paekakariki is always much lighter. A 3.7 in Plimmerton will be a 4.5 or 5.0 in Paekakariki. If the wind is too NE for Plimmerton to get any waveaction, and its nuking, try this spot, it might be worth it. Waves can be quite grunty, but any northerly will be relatively sideshore with good down the line sailing. Head to logohigh waves are most common. However, it doesnt happen that often, and the strong current will leave any wavesailors not intermediate level or higher walking back home.
In a southerly, it will have to be absolutely over the top in Wellington. There will also have to be a groundswell coming in from the west. Therefore watch for weatherpatterns, where there has been a northerly for a while, building a nice swell, then wind swings quickly to south and goes gale force. Some sailors have scored pretty epic cross-off down the line sailing in such conditions.
After local legend Clayton Dougan was recently able to score an epic session there, hopes have been high for having a new wavespot around town and the whole Baring Head region in general. Efforts have been made in order to obtain permission to travel along the Pencarrow head road by car, in order to try and sail the legendary surfing spot „pipes“. Permission was obtained, however, key etc. needs to be picked up 3 days ahead, permission is only valid for one day etc. have pretty much killed those dreams. There is still the possibility of going through Wainouiomata and sail east of baring head, we are still waiting for someone to actually give it a go and find out if its any good ! Eastbourne as such is a shoredump, which can indeed be very gnarly and kill the equipment. It is also very difficult to figure out if there is any swell over there, and wind needs to be SW, which is usually good at Lyall Bay also. However, on days when Lyall Bay is over the top, Eastbourne might be an option, as its much less windier, and as everyone knows, there can be good surf over that way. This spot does not work like this very often !
A bit of a drive from central Wellington, but worth it, as this spot offers good slalom and racing conditions in a NW which is best or southerly. Access at south side of wharf, near the Rugby Club. Gets choppy in strong northerlies. After big southerlies there can be a nasty shorebreak. Generally very consistent winds, which make for great slalom racing or course racing around Ward Island or over to Seatoun. Quite a few sailors out on weekends which rate this spot higher than central Wellington spots such as the Ditch.
Popular for a time, but noone seems to sail there anymore. The wave apparently doesn’t live up to its reputation.
20 minutes north of Wellington, take a right at Plimmerton about 100 meters after wavespot on your left. Then follow this road until you reach Motukaraka point on your right. This is a great place for learning, improving or racing. Works in any winddirection from east round to north. Heaps of parking, grass rigging, toilets and BBQ area. Usually less windy than Plimmerton in northerly directions, but also gustier. Watch out for rocks and shells on bottom, shoes do help ! Also watch out for the sandbar in the middle of the inlet, which I have been told will take out even a slalom fin at low tide. Ideal for beginners as water is below headhigh for quite a distance and it is really safe. In summer breezes there is heaps of casual slalom and course racing going on. From October to April, the Wild Winds windsurfing school is usually in place at the weekends.
Kio Bay – „The Ditch“
Central Wellington, this is probably the most frequently sailed spot in the greater Wellington area. Heaps of slalom and course racing, awell as freestyle going on here. For sailors owning racing gear, this spot is sailable probably most days of the year. From central Wellington, head around the Oriental parade past Balena Bay, until you reach Kio Bay. Works best in a true northerly or a southerly. Anything else can get a bit gusty. Big chop comes through on a strong northerly, conditions are smoother on in southerlies. Not a lot of space on the little beach on High Tide. There are heaps of other places people launch of such as near the NIWA building or the east side of the bay, which can be better to launch off in high tide.
Travel out from Wellington towards the Hutt Valley, turn off at Petone and go along the foreshore to the far end. Parking just before the road leaves the shore and rigging in the adjacent picnic area, or better still veer away from the beach past the Mobil Service Station then take the first right, go across the park and rig just behind the sand dunes. Sandy beach drops away slowly, watch out for sand bars at low tide. Petone is best during a southerly, northerlies are offshore and gusty. Good learning and course racing in light conditions.
The second most popular spot in Wellington after the ditch. Drive through the tunnel into Seatoun, then head down to the shore where you will find heaps of parking, grass rigging area and toilets. Better then the Ditch in a NE, as the wind is more consistent. Stronger northerlies produce good chop for interesting airtime, but generally the spot is preferred by slalom and racing sailors. Watch out for the ferries when heading out far enough, they are fast !! If there is a decent northerly in town, and no one is in the Ditch, here is where you will find them ! Can also be sailed in a southerly which as I have been told produces a really good speed course, as long as you don’t mind the gusty launch. In light days, this is the place in Wellington for course racing up towards Scorching Bay.
A bit further north from Seatoun along the coastroad are Worser Bay, which is a good place for learning, followed by Scorching bay, being one of the best slalom spots around in a SE !
Simone Hollenstein (wellingtonwindsurfers.co.nz)