The Swellies Wave

The Swellies Wave is on the Menai Strait between the A55 and A5 bridges. This whole section is called the Swellies and the wave is formed by the Swellies rock ...

... which is marked by the south cardinal mark.

With any high tide over 5.5m at Holyhead you tend to get a surfable wave for a sea kayak but slightly bigger tides needed for shorter river kayaks. Although it is customary to look at the high tide data it is also important to look at the low tide data too as what you really want to work out is the difference between the two as this is what really causes the wave to work. Any difference of range over 5m works but 5.5m is better and by 6m it gets to be quite a steep and retentive wave.

If you get to the wave for low tide Holyhead you can warm up as the wave builds. At these early stages it is only possible to surf the wave with longer kayaks such as Sea Kayaks but once the wave builds up the shorter kayaks can surf it too.

It can be quite a sociable event with lots of different types of kayaks turning up to surf the wave. The wave is quite wide and several kayaks can surf it at once which often leads to games of 'King of the Wave' where several kayakers compete to surf the wave at the same time with new paddlers dropping in as others drop off the back of the wave. 

For more tide information have a look at the Holyhead tide tables. See you there.