What SUP? Three Cliffs Bay, Surftember 2014

Three Cliffs Bay

This Sept Surftember has been fantastic. It has been warm and sunny in a classic Indian Summer. Spectacular surf has been turning up with long periods and big gaps between the 2 to 3 foot sets. Combine that with unusually consistent offshore winds that have been the opposite of the normal South Westerly prevailing winds, the waves have been steep and almost hollow breaking left and right. In layman’s terms the surf has been perfect, and I have the ‘delayed muscle soreness’ (DOMS) in my paddling arms to prove it.

DimExcuses One Man and his Dog

There have been long flat periods with no surf that have lasted for days, but with warm air, water and sun it has been glorious in South Wales. Perfect Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) conditions. SUPs have appeared in the DimExcuses blog before, when I tried them out for the first time and when some SUP riding friends surfed with me as a storm passed us by in Newgale. But I will leave the SUPs to others as I prefer to walk the Gower beaches with Frenchton Molly on flat days. So where else would we go in this glorious Surftember weather, but Three Cliffs Bay and Pobbles, regularly featured in this blog, you can see all the posts here.

Three Cliffs Molly

I like to do a circular route around Three Cliffs Bay ending up in Pobbles Bay. The route is dependent on tide, and this time I did the high tide route which is described here. That route first of all takes you to the marvelous Pennard Castle.

Pennard Castle

Pennard Castle has a fantastic view of Three Cliffs Valley.

3 Cliffs SUP

This is a commonly photographed view, but on this glorious Surftember day, if you look closely you can see two SUP riders paddling down the river to the Sea. It looks idyllic, you can see them in a few more of these photos as they progress down the river. Here they are again.

Three Cliffs SUP

And here is Molly in the sand as we walked around the headland.

Adventures of Molly

You get a fantastic vantage point to see the Three Cliffs themselves from this path.

Three Cliffs Ferns

Once around the Three Cliffs headland we dropped into Pobbles Bay to let Molly have a run on the beach and a dip in the Sea.

140904 3Cliffs (21)

It is not just me and Molly enjoying this late summer sun. We saw this little lizard as we walked up from Pobbles. He appears to be regenerating a new tail!

Pobbles Lizard

This warm weather looks set to continue well into the month, and I am still calling it Surftember as there is another picture perfect swell predicted for the coming weekend (19/09/14). So get your surfboard, SUP or just your walking boots and get out there, DimExcuses.

Three Cliffs Surftember

You can see all these pictures and a few more in the gallery below.

You don’t have to walk tall around here, but you do have to stand up. SUP Newgale August 2013


Finally this is the last of my blogging backlog from the summer.  You may have read in my earlier post that we did dabble with Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) last time we were in Newgale.  Well this time we had a flat patch with no surf.  Oli in the Big Blue Experience Shop had been keeping us up to date with the surf reports as we had no phone reception, pop in and see him in the shop next time you are in Newgale.  So with the knowledge there was little surf for a couple of days we rented a SUP.

DimExcuses SUP

This was my first real chance to have a proper DimExcuses go at SUP.  They are big old things, much bigger than surfboards and much more buoyant.  I suppose they have to be if you are going to stand on the things. First thing to say with SUP is they require dynamic (moving) balance, and as any sports science student will tell you that works muscle, in the SUP’s case thigh muscle.  Not my biggest muscle, which lead to much sideways wobble and a regular visit to Davey Jones.  As demonstrated here by Sharon Halpin, Splash!


Now you quickly realise that falling on the board is worse than falling clear of it.  So at the first sign of falling backwards I developed the Flintstones leg dash, quickly running the board under you backwards for an ineloquent back flop.  But in the calm conditions you soon get the hang of paddling about and it is a great way to wander around the bay.  You certainly get some attention too, mainly in anticipation of you coming off.

DimExcuses SUP 2

This is what it is all about, picture perfect SUP cruising in wild west Wales.

SUP Cruise

The second day saw some choppy surf coming and the SUP experience got a lot trickier, thought I would say the learning curve is rapid and the boards are great fun.  I adopted a kneeling approach to get outside the surf zone.

Kneeling SUP

Once outback I was able to stand up but with a lot more wobble in the chop.  I was soon chasing waves…

…and nearly got one!  Great fun, I can really see why SUP is so popular these days.  If you want to learn more about SUP there is a great blog about the journey from beginner to fanatic at staceylovessup, have a read. As well as keeping you up to date with the surf report, Big Blue Experience can sort you out with SUP rental and lessons, so why not give them a shout next time you are in wild west Wales and have a go? Like I said ‘you don’t have to walk tall around here, but you do have to stand up’. DimExcuses! So all that leaves is this one last Newgale beach shot.


Riders on the Storm. Surfing Newgale Pembrokeshire end of July 2013.

DimExcuses for not blogging since July, I have been getting up to all sorts of stuff and nonsense in Wild West Wales.  Finally getting a free weekend at the end of July I noticed that firstly the heat wave was sticking with us and some surf was on the way.


So it jumped on the opportunity to get down Newgale, Pembrokeshire for some more surfing.  I was also joined by some friends on Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP).


The weekend was nice and sunny, but by Saturday night people were packing up with reports of heavy rain in Cardiff, heading for Swansea.  The sky did cloud over and darken but we decided to get in for and evening surf as the storm seemed to pass us in the west.


There was a bonkers strange cloud cover and we got some small waves in the warm evening air.

SUP Newgale

Here is a video slideshow for the evening surfing.  I am now using Vimeo so that you can view the videos on ipads and iphones.  Youtube has been blocking my photo-slideshows because I haven’t cleared the music copyright.

SUP & Surfing Newgale, Pembrokeshire July 27 – 28, 2013 from Mark Blackmore on Vimeo.

And as we finished our evening surf all that was left to do was enjoy the stormy Newgale sunset.

Newgale Sunset

You could even see that stormy sunset as it set in an orange glow behind the pub.