Top beginner surf breaks in South Australia
23 September, 2022
When you are still learning to surf, you to get used to looking out for the essential stuff. For example, the presence of lifeguards and shallow shore breaks. But 5-meter-plus waves and angry-looking barrels may be indications to move on.
Great surf breaks are for both new, young surfers (to train better) and those looking for just some fun little waves to catch. There are several breaks in South Australia that fit this description, and most of them have a great surf school nearby. So if you are looking for fun things to do in Adelaide in the great outdoors, then save this list of cool surf breaks for surfers.
The first surf break worth a look is Middleton Beach, on the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia. It has an exposed beach break active the whole year. It works best with offshore winds from the north. The best swell direction are southerly, and groundswells account for the majority of the surf in this area. What's even cooler is there are left- and right-handers at the beach break. It's a popular break when the forecast is good but don't stress, there's plenty of room for everyone.
Beginners can look forward to decent waves here when the correct conditions come together. Due to the presence of some reefs, an area of the beach may have waves that produce fun rides that can take surfers as far as 50 meters. Waves of the same quality can also be found nearby at Port Elliot, or at Knights Beach, all worth a try provided the conditions are just right. In some cases, Knights produce good heights together with occasional barrels for more experienced riders.
Next, we head on to Moana Beach located closer to Adelaide's Metropolitan area. This is a decently exposed beach break with reliable surf. Here, these cold months is the ideal season for surfing. Eastward winds help make good surfing. The best swell angle is from the west southwest, and clean groundswells are common. There are lefts and rights at the beach breakers. Keep an eye out for rocks.
Also in the same area is Adelaide's South Moana Reefs - a protected reef break, but expect inconsistent surf. As elsewhere in the area, winter season is the best time here to catch waves. Note there is no shield from wayward breezes here. Easterly is the optimal wind direction. Additional conditions for some good waves would be that the swell direction is west-southwesterly, and ground swells are more frequent than wind swells. It can become packed here when it is active.
Just over 3 hours drive from Adelaide, down the South East is the little town of Robe and Long Beach. Long Beach is another beach break with very consistent surf that may be used year-round. Easterly winds are ideal. The southwesterly swell angle is ideal. Lefties and righties litter the beach breakers. All tide stages have good surf. Even when the surf is firing, there may just be a thin crowd.
Heading the other direction to the north east of Adelaide, on the Yorke Peninsula is Berry Bay, an exposed beach break that produces highly reliable waves and is open all year. Eastward winds are the most beneficial. receives a mixture of wind swells and groundswells, with a swell angle from the southwest being optimum. Every beach break is a left. Again there may be no crowd waiting for visitors.
Lastly, this list is not complete without mention of surfing on Kangaroo Island! Vivonne Bay is a beach and sandbar break with reasonably steady surf. As in the cases above, winter is the best season for surfing. and northwesterly winds need to come from the west. Add to this a southwesterly swell direction, and clean groundswells. Lefties and righties are scattered throughout the beach breakers.
We hope all surfers have a blast training with the best waves this winter season! But before we end, beginners need to review once more these rather important learning points:
Booking in with a surf school such as Surf & Sun when you are first learning to equip you with the foundation skills of how to surf. You can then start training on whitewater or whitewash. Once you are confident with your pop-up and stance, you may venture out. You can test riding waves by catching small green wave "reforms" at the shore break.
Know more of the best wave types for beginners, and how to roughly estimate when and where they will occur. Of course, it would be also handy to know how to read a surf prediction.
At some point, you would need to learn as much as possible with surf breaks you plan to frequent. So study how to assess a surf area, and also where the waves break, how to spend your energy paddling out, and where to do so.
So this winter season, check if surfing can be part of your family's things to do in Adelaide with kids. You can be sure that as you keep refining your surfing, you will see the impact on your fitness and technique over time. And of course, it will be more enjoyable!
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