Cobo (Ice Cream Alley)

Butter flat water & tasty Guernsey ice cream

Conditions

Flat Water

Usable Tides

Mid, Low, Spring Low

Usable Winds

N - NNW

This is a rarely kited spot, with a bunch of potential. There are very few places on Guernsey that can offer genuinely butter flat water, but Ice Cream Alley is one of them.

The areas you’re interested in are two narrowish reaches with rocks on either side, at the southern end of Cobo bay. The better of the two is easily spottred as it has a long outfall pipe that reveals itself on the dropping tide.

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Image Credit: Baz

 

Launching

This is another spot with no beach at all on the higher tides, but there’s plenty of space as it drops, and that’s the best time to arrive. Pick a suitable lump of sand and steer well clear of bystanders… The beach nearest the south kiosk is a good bet.

The Good

With a solid north wind, Cobo will light up as wonderfully as any lagoon spot in the world! Ideally you need no open ocean swell as it’ll find its way into the bay and naff up the conditions a bit. When it’s good and flat you can get up to warp factor 12, and really start to work on your wakestyle chops. You’ll need to wait for mid tide down, but anything from there is a big green light.

You’ll also find you get an audience pretty quickly which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your point of view!

The Bad

This is a one trick pony… North, or North-North West are the only useful wind directions. North Easterlies are horrendously gusty, and anything with any serious West in it will blow wind chop into the reach and mess up the butter.

Boats are also an issue, moored all over the place in the summer, but cleared out in the winter.

This is a one trick pony… North, or North-North West are the only useful wind directions

The Ugly

If you don’t feel completely confident about staying up wind, this isn’t a spot for you. The tack is straight out to sea, and straight back again. If you lose too much ground you are going to find yourself well out to sea, confronted by a significant presentation of uneven rocks on a dropping tide, and a very long walk (or even worse a downwind, emergency sail round the Albecq to hopefully end up back at Vazon). It isn’t likely to happen, but be sure that you can deal with it if it does.

You can pretty much forget about kiting here in the summer. Cobo is insanely popular with tourists and the Rockmount pub crew that come to watch the sunset each night. Don’t take risks with other people’s safety.

Getting There

Cobo is signposted from almost everywhere on the west coast. There’s a free carpark at the south end, and another one nearer the middle, next to where the boats are hauled out for maintenance.