SUP route, Thorpe Bay Downwinder 7k – downwinder from Thorpe Bay (HM Coastguard slipway beyond Uncle Tom’s Cabin) to Chalkwell Beach: 7km…

Launch at Thorpe Bay from the slipway beyond Uncle Tom’s Cabin just short of the coastguard station (SS3 9QR) after mid-tide and head west (turn right!) towards Southend. Paddle parallel to the shore, past town, under the pier, past the casino and on to land at the rigging green at Chalkwell Beach. This is a one-way trip, so either leave a vehicle at the end before you set off, or leave your board at Chalkwell and get a taxi back to the start to collect your car.

Certainly best attempted in north-easterly wind on a flooding tide. ENE to easterly to ESE wind will get progressively choppier with some bounce-back off the shore in places, but still doable if you can handle the water state. (Northerly will be flattest, but with least tailwind, whereas true north-easterly will always see some choppy windswell wrapping into the estuary but with a good cross-tailwind.) Leave Thorpe Bay anytime after mid-tide – ideally soon after for maximum tidal assistance and the cleanest water. Don’t try it in southerly or westerly winds, or on an ebb tide. Check tide and wind conditions via our SUP weather page…

Best done in company, not least so you can arrange dropping off vehicles beforehand / or share a cab back afterwards! If there’s any chop (which there usually is) when the tide’s high there can be bounce-back in places – notably near the pier and casino. Beware of submerged hazards as the tide drops, usually indicated by green starboard markers. It’s perfectly safe shooting the pier, just give yourself plenty of room. Check the wind and tide via our SUP weather page.

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