Gower surfing makes waves across the world
Wild Welsh winter surfing off the coast of Gower has been making waves all over the world from California to Sydney
An article written by an American visitor that gives a thumbs-up to surfing off Gower has been getting positive feedback across the planet.
Michael Kew, a Santa Barbara-based surfer and wordsmith, has been waxing lyrical about beauty spots like Langland Bay since returning to the USA from a trip to the Swansea Bay.
Michael was in the UK to experience the best and more unusual aspects of British life in the build-up to the London Olympics this summer.
He said: "Arriving in Swansea via the relaxing National Express bus line from Bristol, I headed out to Mumbles – the country's surfing pole star. Many people wondered why I had travelled from sunny Santa Barbara to Wales but I was there for a two-week bonanza of secret-surf-spot glory. The Langland waves we were watching had roughly 40 surfers – mostly young shortboarders."
Jason Nel, a South African-born surfer who now lives in Carmarthenshire, said: "I surf in Gower throughout the whole winter. It may be one of the harshest and coldest experiences of my life but it's always worth it for that long ride."
A surfer from Sydney in New South Wales also says he found surfing off Gower to be "thoroughly enjoyable" even though the temperatures are a little colder in 'old' South Wales.
Their feedback comes in the wake of a Swansea Council marketing campaign on Underground trains in London that's been encouraging Londoners to ride a different kind of tube when their teams play the Swans at the Liberty Stadium in the Barclays Premier League.
Promotional images of Three Cliffs Bay have also been put up at the Paddington Underground Station.
Figures show tourism is worth more than £320 million a year to the local economy.
Cllr Graham Thomas, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "It's encouraging to read what Michael has said about Gower and his views will be echoed by people all over the world who have visited Gower for surfing and other outdoor activities.
"The beauty of Gower is that there are surfing spots to cater for all standards of surfer and many nationalities have travelled here over the years to try a different kind of surfing experience.
"Swansea is one of the UK's best-known locations for surfing and we've even got an indoor surf simulator at the LC attraction in the city centre that allows people to try surfing indoors.
"Michael's article will further raise the profile of Swansea Bay across the world at a time when we're already getting fantastic exposure because of the success of the Swans in the Premier League.
"I'd encourage people in Swansea to give all our international visitors a warm Welsh 'Croeso' as, like many visitors before, they do tend to return year after year and help spread the word about our wonderful city."
Swansea Bay Beaches Guide