Windsurfing Guide

Aubery Launch Area

The first one is situated in Aubury Crescent (travelling north on the A78 through the town centre, turn first left past the lifeboat station). I shall only mention this one in passing as after many visits I have yet to have a decent session here. It is only worth considering when the wind blows a north-westerly and maybe not worth considering at all. Launch from the small shingle peninsula at the north end of the bay and sail crosswind, across the bay in front of the town, towards the northern corner of the Isle of Cumbrae, approx. 1.5 miles away. Make sure you don't get in the way of the ferry as it travels to and from Cumbrae, which operates every 15 minutes during summer months. The main problem here is that the town of Largs is surrounded by hills on its eastern side which result in gusty and intermittent winds. If you are going to try this spot I would recommend at least using a mid-length short board with sufficient volume to see you through the lulls. I've given up with this spot and don't plan on trying it again. I should also mention that there is a serious sewage problem here that your nose will be aware of as soon as you step out of your car. An outfall is located on the shingle peninsula close to where you would normally launch from.

Southern Launch Area
The main windsurfing spot is in the towns south bay, (travelling north on A78, turn left into Bay Street about 150 metres past the junction with the Haylie Brae). Park at the bottom of Bay Street next to the promenade. Rig on the large grassy area surrounding Bay Street and as per usual, look out for the turds. The gentle sloping shingle beach here face west and is suitable for winds between south and west/south-west. I wouldn't bother travelling here for any other winds, as they can be rather inconsistent, however the odd local can be spotted persevering during winds that blow westerly to northerly. Although this is a good place to sail at at low tide, as the water line doesn't recede too much, beware of the first 150 metres as the sea bed remains quite flat and there are numerous rocks lurking just below the surface that can wreak havoc on your skeg. About 200 metres out from the shore the sea bed drops off quite suddenly into a deep channel. You should general find yourself sailing in a west/ north-west direction which should take you directly across to the National Watersports Centre on the eastern shore of the Cumbrae. This is approximately 1.5 miles away and is the main reason why this spot is so appealing as you can go on a 1.5 mile blast in the knowledge that you don't have too far to go should you get into bother. The channel between Cumbrae and the mainland is usually heavily frequented by yachts (although not too busy) and in years gone by you could launch yourself off the trailing wake of a nuclear submarine on its way too and from their nearby base at Faslane. Unfortunately they now use the channel on the other side of Cumbrae. Exercise caution if sailing into the bay at the National Watersports Centre as the wind here will be offshore from Cumbrae resulting in a wind shadow within this bay. Aim to gybe about 200 metres offshore. This will spare you the embarrassment of having to catch the ferry back to Largs dressed in wetsuit and carrying board and rig (although there is no charge for journeys back to the mainland).

Thanks to this West Coast of Scotland Windsurfing website for the above guide.


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