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Set amidst a blade runner esq industrial backdrop this is perhaps one of the most atmospheric places I’ve kited. With flaming towers and billowing smoke pouring out of the local steel works industrial chimneys it makes for an amazing photo shoot. All that industry (there’s a chemical works round the corner as well) does of course raise questions about the cleanliness of the water, but I’ve been assured by several people that because of the highly industrial nature of the area the water quality is highly monitored and actually very clean. If you believe that is up to you, but I kited there for a solid 3 hours and didn’t feel any the worse for wear.
At low tide the spot is little more than the mouth of the river … and a shipping channel to boot, at high tide the water washes ups over a vast beach and transforms into a huge flat water, waist deep lagoon. Literally 500m off the beach your still not getting your nipples wet…(I have lovely pert breasts!). In fact so shallow is the water, that the biggest problem you have is getting far enough away from the beach to stop yourself catapulting into a (highly amusing for onlookers) graceless faceplate…or as I found out removing a fin from you mates board!
The true beauty of Paddy’s is that it is one of the few places on the East coast that works in a westerly wind. In truth it works in anything from a SW clockwise round to a NE, with NNW being onshore. Westerlies and South Westerlies do tend to be a bit gusty, but when your only other alternative is a 3 hour drive to the West coast…I’ll take gusty every time.
Access is easy with free parking provided on a road running the length of the peninsula (from which the place takes its name, as this part of the river mouth was mainly built by Irishmen) overlooking the beach. The beach and launch spot is literally 2 seconds from the car park.
Facilities are few and far between so bring your own lunch! Redcar is 5 mins drive away in case of emergency beer crisis.
- The rocks at the Eastern end of the lagoon are definite kite killers (wouldn’t do your knees much good either)
- The wind around these rocks can be pretty flukey, so launch well clear of them.
- There is a wreck located about 100 metres to the west (the sandy side) of these rocks and about 500 metres out from the road. It is submerged at high tide so keep an eye out.
- The power lines that run along the side of the road are a definite hazard especially at high tide when you are forced to launch close to them.
I did consider titling this review “Tearing up Paddy’s Hole” but the image that created in my mind was far too eye watering.