Gold Coast Surfing
The Gold Coast has some of the best and most consistent waves in the nation; it's home to round one of the Association of Surfing Professionals world tour; there are 70km of beaches and four epic point breaks. It would be appropriate to call it a surfers' paradise; and they did.
In fact, getting a wave on the Gold Coast is as easy as heading east to one of the many great point breaks or beach breaks. When the wind is right and the swell is from the east (usually in the morning) the beach breaks light up and surfers are almost guaranteed a wave. Those sorts of conditions happen about once a week on average, with one to two foot swells the norm throughout the year across most of the beaches.
However, the truly great swells only hit once every couple of months and as the beach breaks only handle up to about four foot of swell, the points get pretty crowded when it's pumping!
Gold Coast Surfing Guide — where to go for the best waves
Gold Coast Beach Breaks
There are some great beach breaks all along the coast with some of the best banks around The Spit, Main Beach, Narrowneck, Palm Beach and Mermaid Beach. At times these can carry some awesome waves especially when there are cyclones and big storms about.
For the rest of the time they offer reasonable waves without the crowds that usually congregate at the point breaks. It's also a Boogie Boarder's paradise with lots of great waves and even the odd barrel or two to get into, we recommend you get in early before the wind gets up. Once the wind is up around Narrowneck than the Kite Surfers take over.
Gold Coast Point Breaks
Snapper Rocks Superbank
The now legendary 'Superbank' breaks just north of the NSW/QLD border, the break starts at Snapper Rocks, can hold out in massive swells and is home to the longest rideable waves in the world. It's consistent but possibly the most crowded wave in Australia. When it's pumping, the locals guard the water pretty fiercely. On any truly good day there will be a number of world champions in the water, so unless you're a world class sufer, a local, or preferably both, you won't see the inside of a barrel. However, if you follow surf etiquette and don't drop in on anybody you'll be sure to get a look in.
The grand-daddy of Gold Coast point breaks, Burleigh is an absolute classic right-hander which holds bigger swells than pretty much any other point between Fiji and Bells Beach. When it's small, it's still surfable but when things get going, the wave is legendary.
Before the Superbank was created Kirra was the favourite wave on the Gold Coast — sadly, the shape of Rainbow Bay in which it sits has changed so much that Kirra now plays second-fiddle to Snapper. It still holds its own, in fact in cyclone season the swell becomes part of the Superbank. Usually it is now considered the older, less popular brother of Snapper. It's still popular with Body Boarders and it is also a truly beautiful beach to just hang out at.
South Stradbroke Island (Straddie)
If you're not scared of sharks or ships, South Stradbroke Island is one of the cleanest, most consistent breaks in Queensland. Getting there involves a paddle across the Gold Coast Seaway, but it's worth the effort, especially at sunrise. If the journey across the Seaway scares you then plenty of water taxis operate from different points on the Gold Coast.
Learn to Surf!
However, a few helpful tips, the right equipment, and heaps of encouragement from your highly qualified and experienced instructor will go a long way to getting you hooked forever. This 2 hour surf lesson is located at the beach end of Cavill Mall, departing daily at 10am and 2pm.
Learn how to surf during this 7-hour tour to Fingal Head, a small coastal village just 15 minutes south of Gold Coast on the Tweed Coast. With its natural beauty, from mountain backdrops to golden beaches, Fingal Head provides an excellent setting for practicing your surfing skills. You'll receive two 90-minute lessons, plus lunch and snacks. Select your departure location when booking; four locations are available, from Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay. Transport is by minibus.
You can hire out a huge variety of boards around the Gold Coast including shortboards, malibu longboards, mini mals and learner boards. All boards come with a leg rope and wax and wetsuits and soft roof racks are also available to hire for those who need them.
Try to make sure you can hire a board for the entire length of your visit, so you always have your board on hand to take advantage of any early morning swell. No waiting for the shop to open in the morning so you can hire a board!