GOLD COAST SURFING BEACHES
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STRADDIE (TOS) Straddie also known amongst surfers as TOS which stands for 'the other side' are a result of the Gold Coast Seaway sand-bypassing project. The project was designed to mimic the natural northwards sand movement that existed before the rock walls were built on either side of the river mouth. Sand dredged from the southern side of the seaway is channelled underneath it and dumped into the wave zone at TOS, creating a build up of sand resulting in bigger, better formed `barrelling' waves than at most other Gold Coast beach breaks. Mainly suited for the experienced to advanced surfers, to get over there you have to go to the spit and paddle across the seaway which can be quite dangerous having some dangerous marine life and boats constantly driving through.
Ideal Conditions: Wind NW - SW We Recommend: Straddie Surf Ferry $6
THE SPIT can provide quality waves for beginner and advanced surfers. Although a bit tricky for those who do not know the conditions, The Spit is very popular in northerly winds or days when the surf is very small. The Spit can provide a really nice white wash wave for beginner surfers but it is recommended some local knowledge is consulted before surfing in this area. For experienced surfers the use of the rips currents near the pier and rock wall will make your surf a lot more enjoyable.
Ideal Conditions: Wind NW - W
MAIN BEACH like most open beaches is a surf break that is always changing, some days it good some days it bad. Scattered sand banks can be found all through this area and picking up a lot more swell then the southern beaches. Good waves are easily accessible at Main Beach, Sheraton Mirage, Phillip Park (opposite Seaworld) and north all the way to The Spit. 1st Wave Surfing is located at Main Beach.
Ideal Conditions: Wind NW - W We Recommend: Cafe 54, Southport Surf Club
NARROWNECK BEACH is one of the most popular surfing beaches on the open stretch and there is no doubting the artificial reef which was constructed by the Gold Coast City Council is helping provide quality waves. In small to medium size surf you can almost be guaranteed to find a sand bank and a wave at Narrowneck. When it gets big, every now and then the artificial reef can provide some of the best rides to be had on any of the open beaches, the artificial reef can be a tricky wave more suitable for advanced surfers. We conduct our Stand up Paddle Lesson opposite Narrowneck in calm still water.
Ideal Conditions: Wind NW - W We Recommend: Subway 500 metres North of the neck
SURFERS PARADISE is the main tourism stretch and you will find the beach and the line-up can be crewed out with plenty of international and local visitors. Like any of the open beach breaks you need to have a bit of luck to score quality waves, definitely there is a better chance of scoring clean waves and offshore winds early in the morning with the predominant SE to NE on-shore winds coming in during the early afternoon. Drive along the beachfront Esplanade and look for banks that are always scattered throughout the stretch. When surfing keep an eye on the lifeguard patrolled swimming areas as lifeguards will have no problem hassling you with their loud speaker if you keep surfing in between the flags.
Ideal Conditions: Wind NW - W
BUDDS BEACH is located on the river approx 15 minutes walk from the centre of Surfers Paradise. This is becoming a very popular spot to come and try stand up paddle boarding. It is a great spot to hang out all day however it is best in the afternoon as it catches full sun and provides spectacular sunsets. Budds is well protected from the strong south easterly winds, it has heaps of free parking plus waterfront parklands, kids playground, toilets and a cool cafe to grab a coffee. TO HIRE A SUP PHONE 0410 400 800
Ideal Conditions: Wind SE We Recommend: Bumbles Cafe
BROADBEACH and MERMAID BEACH are a continuation of the open stretch of beach. You will find nice breaks if you keep an eye on the wind, swell and tide, but when the surf starts to get big sometimes the swell can be too straight for the open beaches and just close-out, on smaller days fun shore-breaks can be found especially on the high tide or on the edge of rip currents.
Ideal Conditions: Wind NW to SW We Recommend: Stuart Surfboards (new and used), Gold Coast Hwy
MIAMI is at the southern end of the open stretch. A nice beach break that can provide lefts and rights and can break better than the northern beaches when the swell is big and straight and the SE wind is blowing. Miami is more of a residential neighborhood with plenty of regular beach go’ers and local crew, it is a nice beach to escape the tourism crowd with an occasional nice bank forming on the outside, on the northern side of the headland.
Ideal Conditions: Wind NW to SW We Recommend: Miami Hot Bread (Salad Rolls)
BURLEIGH HEADS is a world class right hand point break offering long rides, deep barrels and can hold a large swell. A sand bottom that breaks along the edge of a rocky bouldered headland, on a low tide and a SE swell this wave can be all time perfection. Most surfers jump off the rocks at the cove at the top of the headland and do regular run arounds to get back out to the top of the point. Always crowded with a strong current don’t go out expecting an easy relaxing surf.
If the point is not your go, check out the Burleigh beach break, you can regularly find a bank with no crowd and a bit of protection from the onshore winds.
Ideal Conditions: Wind W to SW We Recommend: Govindas Vegetarian, James Street
PALM BEACH provides nice beach breaks that can really turn it on. Good banks can regularly form up throughout the area and the swell can peak up and provide nice lefts and rights. Worth a look if you are looking for a beach break when the wind is a bit to on-shore and the northern beach breaks are shutting down.
Ideal Conditions: Wind W to SW
CURRUMBIN (THE ALLEY) is a very popular surf spot providing for advanced surfers with a nice righthand point break with a workable face and also caters for beginners with clean cruisy fun whitewash waves on the inside. The outside wave can jack up on the take off (outside of the tip of the rocky point) and provide and occasional barrel section and then wall up and provide a fun wave that can run right down the point. If you catch a good one or get swept across the creek mouth it is a bit of a trek to paddle in, walk up, paddle back across the creek and then run back up to the tip of the point. (but on it’s day this wave can be worth it). Expect a crowd and have a good stretch of the arms before paddling out.
For the BEGINNERS the Alley is a very popular learn to surf spot, protected from the southerly onshore winds and the swell by way of a man made groyne that connects with the outside point, the wave wraps around the rock and then pushes in across the sandy bottom providing a very friendly whitewash wave that is perfect to improve your techniques. Be careful not to go to wide or you will get swept across the creek mouth.
Ideal Conditions: Wind W to S
TUGUN AND BILINGA beaches provide beach breaks at the southern end of the Gold Coast. Although these beaches do not catch a lot of swell and are regularly overlooked by surfers you can find some nice clean smaller waves which are great for intermediate surfers who are attempting to catch green waves and improve their board and paddling skills or, for those who just want to have a surf without to much hassle of a big crowd.
Ideal Conditions: Wind W – SW
KIRRA (Bring Back Kirra). Back in the day before sand pumping Kirra was rated as one of the 10 best waves in the world. Unfortunately due to too much sand the famous right hand point break rarely breaks and it’s amazing to think surfers now drive past Kirra Point without even checking it. If you are a visitor to the area, park next to the surf club, walk up to the hut and imagine what it must have been like to take off at the big groyne and pull into one of the most perfect barrells that broke right along the point. These days it takes a big cyclone swell to wrap into Kirra and occasionally the perfect barrells start to run again.
Ideal Conditions: Wind SW – S
GREENMOUNT is located in the corner of Coolangatta beach and is a great point break that is connected to snapper rocks, this wave works when the swell is about 1 to 2.5 metres but can also hold some larger swells. A standard ride runs for about 50 to 100 metres but on good days can break up to 150 - 300 metres. The bottom is sand with some rocks and it’s mostly suited for the intermediate to advanced but on the smaller days its perfect for beginner surfers.
Ideal Conditions: Wind SW – S We Recommend: RAW Energy for after surf breaky or lunch
SNAPPER is a world class wave and home of the Quiksilver Pro Surfing Competition. The wave is a righthand point break that regularly barrells and on the big days produces heavy hollow barrells only suited for the experienced surfer. In most swells it produces a fun wave that breaks for about 150 metres but on the good days an exceptional 500 metres, it can break from the start of Snapper Rocks, travel through Rainbow Bay, continue into Greenmount and then down to the big groyne at Kirra creating a long powerful wave that can be ridden for hundreds of meters. Snapper is all ways over crowded and the home break of many semi professional and professional surfers.... so "Good Luck" catching some waves.
Ideal Conditions: Wind SW – S We Recommend: Rainbow Bay Surf Club for afternoon sunset beers
DURANBAH also known as D-Bah is probably the most consistent quality beach break on the Gold Coast. You can regularly find peaking waves creating fun left and right hand waves with wackable lips and solid hollow barrells. It catches more swell on the smaller days but can also hold a large swell if the banks are right. It is definately suited for the more experienced surfer and it is located around the corner from Snapper Rocks at Point Danger in Coolangatta.
Ideal Conditions: Wind NW - SW We Recommend: Get some fish and chips and hang out on the hill