Still sailable but pretty much bang onshore, not too much fun when it’s big as you’ll be spending most of your time running away from white water. Most of the locals will be sailing at nearby Mothecombe which is easier, or you can sail from Bantham side at high tide which gives flat water between the waves but can be busy with kites if not too windy.
South West, cross on:
Starboard tack jumping, big friendly rollers on the outside and an easy sneak out from the inside. If it is head high on the way out, you’ll be gybing on a mast high swell on the outside. The key to sailing on a SW is not to be too close to the island (wind shadow) but not be too far downwind that you get battered and washed up in the river mouth and the more powerful waves, they’re always bigger when you get out there! A good starting point is gybing in front of the lifeguard hut (as long as there’s not a swimming area there).
Westerly, cross shore:
Great jumping and riding at high tide on a westerly, generally a bit smaller than a SW day and better mid to high tide but still OK on low, the further you go down wind the better it is, (bigger waves).
North West, cross off:
It needs to be fairly windy for NW to work at Bigbury, but it offers free ride sailing upwind on the other side of the island and nice wave riding in the main break but can be a little gusty. High tide can be great fun in between the island buzzing the sea tractor that crosses the causeway.
Northerly, dead offshore:
The worst direction!
North East/East, offshore/cross off:
Generally flat water and baby waves, usually a lot windier than just down the coast due to funnelling effect. Great coastal blasting down to Bolt tail / Hope Cove. Don’t tell anyone but a few times a year we get epic waves in this direction, this creates amazing down the line rides of around 500m when it’s big enough, it’s usually busy, though still great fun when it’s waist high too.
South East, cross on:
Port tack jumping, fairly on shore but good fun sailing over to Bantham and back. Can be tricky getting off the beach at high tide though.