Swansea Mumbles SUP
Mumbles is the only place to SUP on Swansea Bay when the wind blows from the South West. Enjoy a sheltered SUP to Mumbles Pier and lighthouse.
≈ Quick Facts:
- Launch Point: Mumbles
- What is the distance to the pier: 1 mile
- How long does it take to the pier: 20 minutes
- Shelter from wind: SW-W
- Best Tide: Incoming or high
- Waves: No
- Pay To Park: Yes
- Parking Distance: 1 minute walk
- Do you pay to launch: No
- SUP Rental: No
- Wildlife: Not seen
- Eat & Drink: Plenty Of Cafes & Restaurants
- Toilets: Yes
- Hazards: Fishing lines & Mumbles Head rip tide
≈ Location Guide:
Where to park and launch a SUP in Mumbles
There is plenty of access to the sea, 4 slipways in a relatively small area. I launch my SUP about 1 mile from the pier in a decent sized car park opposite the roundabout where the B4593 road ends. Oh there’s also a Costa Coffee right there which is a huge bonus!! You access the water via a set of steps from here, very easy to carry the board down though. There’s plenty of pay and display parking available running nearly the entire length of the Mumbles waterfront. Best wind direction to launch is a SW as it is the only place on Swansea Bay where you can get shelter from the wind. The rest of the bay is very choppy in this direction. Mumbles is only worth a SUP at high tide really, at low tide the water goes out a hell of a long way, Swansea Bay has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, over 10 metres. That’s a long stony, muddy walk and the current can be dicey as well as the sea rushes out.
What is there to see?
The first thing that will strike you is the expansive view from the prom of the entire 5 mile stretch of Swansea bay, including the tallest building in Wales, named the ‘Meridian Quay Tower’. Oh and it has a restaurant at the top if you need to earn some SUP browny points with the other half!
Once you have carried your boards down the ‘steps’ launch point (1 mile from the pier), it should be deep enough to launch directly from the bottom with relative ease. If too shallow you will have to wade out a few 100ms from here. Wear wetsuit boots or shoes as the seabed is pretty stony and muddy. I prefer supping from the steps as the slipways are too short a run to Mumble pier. Once you have launched you will immediately get a great view of Oystermouth Castle overlooking the sea from here. (the Castle is only 5 minute walk from this car park if you fancy a look round. It’s open until 5pm. Stunning panoramic views of Mumbles town and Swansea bay from here!!)
Anyway, I digress, once you start cruising along the coast towards Mumbles pier, which you will see for the entire SUP, you will have a pretty high sea wall on your right, not particulary interesting to look at. At high tide the only place to stop for a breather is the various slipways as Mumbles doesn’t really have a beach as such.
After this you will pass the first slipway right next to some off road parking. Then you’ll next approach Knab Rock which is where the huge cafe ‘Verdis’ is located, flanked by a slipway on either side. There is also a collection of the attractive Mumbles properties on the other side of the road from here. In the Summer the hill behind the promenade is framed by a covering of lush trees, very pretty.
Loads of parking here by the way. Once you have past this point watch out for psychopathic fisherman slinging their lines from the prom at you. I had one literally trying to hit me with his line weight. The first I knew about it was when I heard a wizzing sound over my head and a line across my chest, lunatic! I was a good couple of 100 meters out to sea. Best to give this stretch a wide berth, and SUP further out. It’s safe to head closer to shore once you see the next slipway on your right. There will be no fisherman after this. You’ll then SUP past the old RNLI launching station and slipway, off limits to paddle boarders. The older of the two buildings orginates from the 1800’s. Then after this point it is only a few more flicks of the paddle until you reach the old Mumbles pier, built in 1898, so very old.
It’s a bit of an odd one, it splits off in to two separate boardwalks with a building at the end of each walk way. One with a brand new wood clad RNLI building (lifeboat house) situated on the end and the other arm of the pier has a red roofed building on the end, this is where the launch lifeboats (lifeboat station).
Both have slipways but off limits to SUPs. Once you paddle under the extremely rusty, spindly legs of the main pier you get an awesome view of the white lighthouse (built in 1794) sat perched on what looks like a tiny island.
But it is in fact tenuously connected to the mainland, the land on which it sits is named ‘Mumbles Head’. At low tide it is possible to walk out to the lighthouse. There are mega strong rip currents around the head, plus it can also get pretty rough on the other side if any kind of wind is blowing, there is no shelter from the Mumbles land mass out there. So if you don’t feel safe venturing out there then you are better off landing on the tiny beach tucked just out of sight to the right, it sits handily right at the end of the prom. You can walk up some steps from this beach to fetch a cold drink if you’re a tad parched.