I take no responsibility for your life choices! :-)
- Always check conditions, always ask a local.
- Don't go out if you aren't sure.
- You can't out paddle the wind or the tide!
Generally in tidal conditions you'll want to launch around high tide.
Your ideal window is probably 2 hours either side of hightide.
The tide is roughly an hour later each day.
Windspeed should be under 10mph, ideally onshore. Onshore means the wind will blow you back to the beach. Offshore means the wind direction will blow you away from the beach. It's often hard to tell on the beach if there's an offshore wind because the beach will be sheltered by the land. But you paddle out a way and suddenly the wind has you. You can look at flags or check a website.
Personally I choose not to put my head under the water within 48 hours of it raining because of run off etc
I definitely think going with guided tours is a good idea. It's safer, more social and you'll get the to see the cool stuff only the locals know about.
Magic Seaweed is good site for local conditions.
Here's a graph showing how water temperature varies through the year. More data here.
It's a sheltered bay but watch out for offshore winds.
Gelliswick Beach link
Similar to Gelliswick, watch out for offshore winds.
Plenty of parking, lots of bars and restaurants, although no convenience store. Beach is rocky
Milford Beach activity center
Milford Haven Tide Times
Great spot for learning. Windswept Watersports has SUP activities and rentals.
There's a surf shop where you can rent gear and buy wetsuits etc.
You can easily paddle from here to Little Haven for more pubs if the conditions are good.
Broad Haven website
There is a rental center that offers lessons and trips.
Good Trails Activity Center
On a bad day it can be very windy on the river and the wind can come up suddenly.
Sea Caves around Dinas Island
It was an amazing trip. Definitely recommend.
The tour ended in Newport which is cute little village with plenty of amenities.
Outdoor Explore Wales