Works In: W - E
Ideal Wind: SW
When we say we're heading to Pettycur we mean the second beach behind the rocks. The small beach next to harbour isn't too safe to kite unless it's an onshore wind and the tide is completely out. Park up on the street next to the port - set your SatNav to KY3 9SB. Make sure not to obstruct way for the locals though! To get the other beach at high tide you need to go over the rocks - there's a small path there. But do wear shoes as the rocks can be sharp:
Pettycur works best in SW wind. If it's too westerly it becomes cross-shore and a bit more gusty. If it's too southerly it will bounce off the massive cliff very often creating windless area next to the shore. The beach is brilliant when it properly kicks in from SW or SSW, with very little chop and clean wind. It can be a bit on and off though so don't venture out too far if you feel that it's dying off!
Hazards: First of all - the tide moves really fast here - watch out for your gear. On a low tide it seems like a one big beach but as soon as the tide comes in the pass underneath the rocks disappears. Make sure not to kite close to the rocks - you don't want to end up on them and they do create a strong updraft too. Also, there are wooden spikes just after the west bit of the larger beach. Make sure to go there on a low tide to get a better idea of what's under water.
Suitability for beginners: Not really. Because of the cross shore wind and rocks you need to know how to stay upwind. If something goes sideways further out you'll be on your way to Norway. If it's cross-on and the tide is well out kite with caution.
Works In: W- SE
Ideal Wind: W - SW (cross-onshore to on-shore)
Great beach for massive waves to boost from when the wind's cross or cross-on. It gets a bit choppy too so you'll get a free leg workout. As the beach slopes away gradually you will have a lot of shallow water to play around with when it's not too wavy. Waves however can be quite big and nasty so don't venture out unless you feel confident riding in a large break.
Hazards: Big waves, abandoned anchor at the NW part of beach (hidden on mid to high tide), super sharp grass so keep your kites away. On a high tide there's very little place to launch and land so plan ahead.
Suitability for beginners: Nope.
Access: You can get to the beach through Shell Bay Caravan Park. Follow the road around (seaward side) until you come to a row of trees. Park up and follow the path through the trees. The caravan park is closed during the winter months (open season is 21st March to 31st November each year) so a key is needed for the gate which can be picked up from the park owners.
Works In: N - SSE
Ideal Wind: NE and SE (cross on-shore).
A fantastic, massive kitesurfing beach! It does need a wind direction we sadly don't get too often but when it kicks in this is the place to kitesurf! Waves can get quite big over here but then you get some sweet flat water sections in between. When you ride in St Andrews on a high tide you will also get flat water closer to the beach. It is quite shallow too on a high tide, however waves can be a bit intimidating to beginners.
There are also toilets on site and some cafes too. They open typically in the summer season but then St Andrews is just a stone throw away to grab something warm to eat after (or mid!) a wintery session.
Access: Follow the signs for West Sands Beach. We typically drive to the end of the road next to the beach. It ends in a small roundabout - that's where you can park up and gear up.
Hazards: In the summer the beach can get filled with tons of sun-burners, dog walkers and sometimes even horse riders. Typically in higher winds this isn't an issue but please take an extra care when kiting there. One accident can't get us all banned.
Suitability for beginners: When it's not too windy and it's cross-on it's a nice and safe beach to practice on. The waves can get a bit intimidating at times but you need to learn how to handle them anyway. Stay away from the dunes and you should be fine.
Works In: SE - SW
Ideal Wind: SW, cross on-shore.
Conditions: Shallow water conditions with wind blown chop. The tide moves in and out pretty fast here so. Keep away from Barry Buddon firing range. Their 'no entry zone' extends out in to the water so only kite here if you can ride upwind. They get pretty upset if they have to stop firing!
Access: Situated east of Dundee along the A930 through Broughty Ferry. Access to the beach is easy. Head in to Monifieth and follow the signs for the caravan park and Barry Buddon range. Go under the railway bridge onto Marine Drive. Park along the seafront to the east of the caravan park. Kites can be rigged down on the beach.
Hazards: A few rocks appear at low tide and the beach is rocky further towards the west. Watch out for people walking, jogging on the beach and also dogs wandering around. Keep away from the firing range zone at Barry Budden range. There are signs posted along the edge of the football pitches giving information on this.
Suitability for beginners: It's a rather safe beach in SW winds, just be mindful of the hazards above and you'll be be fine!