Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Open water, tidal location that whilst often flat in summer gets a fairly hefty wave on the right swell. More cove like than true open beach there’s a significant reef to the right that you’ll appreciate or not.
In winter you get waves so Manorbier is predominantly a surf spot. Outside of this you get flatter times – especially in summer. That said freak swells can still chuck up a SUP surfing peak or two during high season. And if there’s onshore wind then you’ll definitely get something. Even if it doesn’t look paddle friendly at that point. Manorbier’s tidal range is pretty big so best be aware of how the beach changes as water ebbs and flows.
The reef should be kept well clear of unless it’s flat calm and you can see where the rocks lie at high tide. If the swell’s pulsing you should stick to the beach break unless you’re experienced. The river flowing into the sea does create outward flowing current so be mindful. Other water users are often in abundance so avoid.
Manorbier is well signposted and isn’t too far away from Tenby. The roads leading down to the beach are a little windy and narrow. Plus, if it’s a sunny busy day you may get snarled up in Manorbier village
The beach car park can hold a large number of visitors but it can still get bombed out. Parking on the roadside isn’t permitted so if you don’t get there early in high summer you mightn’t get a spot.
Manorbier is a popular spot. And not just with surfers. Lots of families descend on the beach when weather conditions open up. And everyone aims to sit in the sand which isn’t that expansive. Out of season is quiet unless there’s a groomed wave.
Toilet facilities and an ice cream van are on site. With a popular pub and tea rooms back in the village. There are also a couple of gift shops and general beach paraphernalia outlets.
Manorbier, being in relatively close proximately to Tenby, is perhaps the first most popular bona fide surf spot in this area. And as such it gets quite busy. A real tourist hotspot has built up around the beach with Manorbier’s village being a hub of activity in summer.
The beach itself is more like a cove at low water with a small ish stretch of sand that gives way to a large expanse of reef on the right. The rock are covered at high tide and you may miss them. So be mindful. That said, the reef can serve up a decent quality wave for the experienced. If you’re not aux fait with reef break waves then stay where the sand is. And if there’s any type of swell you’ll almost certainly have company in the water so remain respectful.
When the surf does one Manorbier gives access to a few different adventure SUP routes. Paddle left and you’ll come to Church Doors and Shrinkle Haven. Church Doors are nature made sea cliff arches that have been bore out by millennia of weather and wave activity. It’s a worthwhile SUP spot to check out just careful of the tide.
Head right from Manorbier and there’s more to discover if you’ve made a decent plan and have SUP safety in mind. As with the tide beware of the elements changing fast and you should be fine.
For the SUP surfers Manorbier’s wave is best on an incoming tide from around mid. Low tide tends to see the surf become rather dumpy and heavy. As the tide fills these decreases somewhat and you could end up with awesome silky smooth liquid walls. It does require some patience to score Manorbier right for SUP surfing. But keep checking and who knows what you’ll find.