We arrived in Walberswick -- just across the river from Southwold (sage advice from Surfwold Surf School & Bike Hire), at around 3:30pm. The sun had begun breaking through the cloud after a pretty dismal morning. Rolling up to the car park shed, we noticed the summer fee and scrabbled around for change, only to wind down the window and be told not to worry -- nice one!
A sole longboarder jogged out over to the beach past our car as we were changing into our wetsuits, giving me a bit of relief that I'm not completely mental for surfing there. We picked our way over the footbridge carefully as to avoid knocking over the crabbers' buckets or their excited children, after which a marshy path between the sand dunes lead us over a ridge and onto the beach. One of my favorite moments about surfing especially with unpredictable spots is the exploratory side to it; the anticipation walking over the ridge to see the waves and gauge the conditions.
The waves were clean with some solid sets, but these were dying off towards low tide -- just what to expect with a summer swell in East Anglia. What made up for this was the balmy 20°C water, bizarrely 2-3°C warmer than the air. So, in terms of energy there was very little to lose by being out there. In hindsight we could've even surfed in boardies.
Without being able to trust my shortboard to give me much leeway in the small conditions, Elly's 6ft foamie came into it's own. It's buoyant even at slower speeds, which lets you have more fun.
With the armband + nutripouch firmly attached, Elly waited for her first messy bail to test it out, and experimented with drinking from the armband by lifting her arm up and tilting her head to the side. This seems ideal for just having a slurp to wash out salt water. However, once winter sets in and we head to the west coast for less frolick-y conditions, we'll fill the pouch with a sugary fruit juice and probably drink it in one go midway through a long session, then the empty Nutripouch can be rolled up and put easily back into the armband.
This place is certainly a well-kept secret so it's beautifully uncrowded. Although you won’t be surprised if it flat, grommets (kids) and longboarders in particular should find rideable waves on a regular basis outside of peak summer. The lack of big, powerful swells means the east and south coasts of England can be a great place to learn to surf or to teach your kids to surf, without being put off by more brutal conditions.