Sunset Sea Paddle from Porthcawl, South Wales

Porthcawl Paddleboarding with Outdoor Explore Wales

What a way to watch a stunning sunset! There are few more beautiful sights than sitting on the sea, watching the sun as it sets over the land. And being able to take people on such a journey by paddleboard, to give others the opportunity to experience the amazing views and colours presented by the sun going down over Porthcawl is truly worthwhile…

Sat on our paddleboards in the middle of the bay, chilling out as we watch the sunset over Porthcawl harbour, enjoying the stunning views and multi-coloured skies as the evening turns into twilight. What a fantastic adventure!

Sunset Porthcawl Sea Paddle

After spotting that the high tide and the sunset in Porthcawl were happening at the same time, I excitedly checked the wind forecast too… I wasn’t too hopeful as we’ve had a pretty windy summer, quite often in an offshore direction – the most dangerous for paddleboarding: you don’t want to end up in the middle of the Bristol Channel!

The forecast was for a gentle breeze, blowing across Newton Beach. Perfect! Just a little check of the cloud cover… YES! Very little cloud cover forecast!

I quickly got onto the laptop and created a new Sunset Porthcawl Sea Paddle then slapped social media posts everywhere to let people know we were heading out for a relaxing evening paddle.

Fast forward to the evening in question, I took the 45-minute drive to Newton Beach, Porthcawl, got out my 12′ Fanatic Ray Air Paddleboard and electric pump and set it off. I popped my head over the sea wall and was greeted with a wonderfully flat sea.

A beautifully flat sea at Newton Beach, Porthcawl

The paddlers who had booked onto the trip started arriving and when they spotted the Outdoor Explore Wales magnet on my van, they waved as they pulled into the car park.

I’m not sure if my excitement came across as particularly professional – but I’m sure I looked enthusiastic for the trip!

We got our paddleboard inflated, gathered our kit and made our way down the slipway to the sandy beach. We checked our gear – one paddler had their fin on backwards (that’s why we all check each other’s kit, nerves and excitement can cause you to make little, silly mistakes), everyone’s buoyancy aids were done up tightly, and I made sure everyone had a leash on.

One paddler had never been on the sea before, the others on a couple of times, so I explained that we should launch our boards between the small waves, back end first to get them floating without the fin sticking in the sand.

Just after launching, getting used to the sea’s movements.

As we paddled out, there was a nice bit of swell, which took the paddlers by surprise – the sea looked so calm from the beach! I soon stood up (to give my poor knees a rest!) and one other paddler tried too – with a splash soon after! It was quite lumpy so after that, all the paddlers stayed on their knees or sat down.

We paddled around the bay and then headed out towards Newton Point to check the conditions for a paddle towards Trecco Bay. It was a bit lumpier, but I was confident it wasn’t anything the paddlers couldn’t cope with. We rounded the point and headed across Trecco Bay, paddling straight towards the sun, already low in the sky, above Porthcawl harbour.

The sun making its way down over Porthcawl Harbour.

We paddled across Trecco Bay, against a gentle headwind and when asked if we were even moving I explained how we could check that using a transect of two items on the land – and sure enough we were making slow progress.

As we neared Rhych Point I noted that the clouds and rain that had been hovering over North Devon seemed to be heading our way, so we decided to turn around and head back to Newton. Once we had turned around we had the wind and swell behind us and made really fast progress back across Trecco Bay and around Newton Point.

By now dusk was rapidly approaching and the sun was only just visible above Porthcawl, creating some spectacular colours in the sky and along the edges of the clouds drifting in from the south.

The sun slowly disappears behind Porthcawl.

Once the sun had disappeared and twilight was upon us, we got our head torches out and paddled across the bay in the direction of Ogmore. It was slack water now too, so the swell had flattened out considerably and the paddlers who felt comfortable were able to stand up and paddle around.

The bays around Porthcawl offer some great places to watch the sun as it sets, but make sure you’re aware of the tide, wind, weather, swell and other factors that come into play for a sea paddle. If you’re not sure, join an organised trip, such as this one, put on by Outdoor Explore Wales and delivered by expereinced and highly qualified guides and instructors.

The paddlers all had a fantastic adventure and boosted their confidence as well as enjoying the stunning display the sun put on for us.

If you’d like to join out next Sunset Pothcawl Sea Paddle, dates and booking information can be found here:

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