Best windsurfing spots in Australia

If you live in Australia and you love to windsurf, you are lucky.  Australia is blessed with so many amazing windsurfing spots—amazing swell, good wind and clean water.

One of the most idyllic places to windsurf is in Western Australia, mainly because of its location near the Indian Ocean. Its unpopulated and pristine waters make it enjoyable to windsurf. The area also brags 12,000 kilometers of unspoilt coastline where you can find flat water to powerful waves.

You can try to visit Margaret River, a personal favorite. To go here, you just have to drive three and a half hours to the south of Perth. Some of you may think that this is quite a long drive, but I tell you—it’s all worth it. This place is famous for it’s amazing waves, and lots of surfers consider this as paradise. Now, it is starting to be another favorite of windsurfers just like me.

The most remarkable thing about the Margaret River is its swells. I recommend this for those adventurous types of windsurfers who are planning to practice their tricks such as jumping, rotating, sliding, flipping and looping. You just have to be really careful because the waves can be dangerous too.

If you want to take your windsurfing to the next level, you can visit Gnaraloo. Hailed as the “mecca for experienced wavesailors”, the waves there can be very unforgiving. If you are not an expert, the waves  and strong currents can easily smash you against sharp corals.

Another windsurfing spot I have found is at Wyndham Harbour. This is located in the outer, southwestern suburb of Melbourne.It is very convenient to visit, because it is just half an hour away from Melbourne’s Central Business District. I go here almost every weekends to windsurf as well as to enjoy the sparkling beaches, eat and drink my favorite food and drinks at various cafes and frolick around the parks. I also love to stay at the waterfront apartments and enjoy the beautiful view.

My friends and I love the breeze at the Wyndham Harbour. When I’m here, I love to use my rotational sail more than the camber-induced one. I love rigging against the blowing wind. It challenges me so much. I recommend Wyndham Harbour for those who are trying to get the hang of windsurfing or just want to practice their skills.

Windsurfing gears for starters

Now that you have a background on what windsurfing is all about, the next thing you have to do is to prepare your windsurfing gears.

The first thing you have to secure is the board. There are several types of modern boards you can choose from, depending on the discipline you want to focus on and on the windsurfing style you do.

One of the board categories is freeride, which is meant for recreational cruising in flat waters and in light to moderate swell. The next one is formula windsurfing class, which is shorter and is typically used on Formula Windsurfing races where there is light to moderate winds. The third category is the wave board, a smaller, lighter board that is easily to maneuver. You can also use this board if you want to do some high jumps over the waves. The fourth category is the freestyle board that is wider and has higher volume. Like the wave board, it is easy to maneuver and can be used in performing jumps, rotations, slides, flips, loops and any other freestyle tricks, thus its name. The fifth one is the slalom board which is used for top speed windsurfing, just like the sixth category which is the racing longboard, often used during Olympic RS:X race. The last one is the beginner board (also known as the funboard) that has volume for stability.

Just remember that in choosing boards, you must keep in mind what condition you are going to use your board, its volume and its width. Making the right choice will ensure your safety and enjoyment.

Another thing you need to have if you are planning to windsurf is the sail. A windsurfing sail is commonly made up of clear polyester film (monofilm), woven polyester (dacron) and biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (mylar).

There are two sail designs you need to keep in mind: camber induced design and rotational design. For a cambered sail design, it has 1-5 camber inducers, some plastic devices that can be found at the end of each batten that helps to hold the aerofoil shape in the sail for speed and stability. Rotational sails, on the other hand, have battens that flip to the other side, thus the term rotation on its name. This kind of sail is easier to rig and maneuver compared to cambered sail, but it has less power and stability.

Windsurfing is my passion

When I was still a kid, my father always brought me along to his sailing trips, and we would sail around the bay while he was teaching me the basic techniques. I always looked forward to it, especially every summer. When I got older, my friends and I started to get into surfing. Crashing into the waves gave us adrenaline rush that I really enjoyed. Now that I’m an adult, I have found a sport that combines two of my greatest passions, sailing and surfing. It is called windsurfing.

The idea of windsurfing started around 1948 from a man named Newman Darby. He had this idea of having a handheld sail and rig on a universal joint so he can easily control his catamaran, a multi-hulled boat and was considered as the first rudderless sailboard ever built. Almost twenty years after Darby conceived that idea, an aeronautical engineer named Jim Drake worked on the idea and concept of improving the sailboard, rig layout and the universal joint. He is credited as the inventor of the sport windsurfing.

Windsurfing interested me so much because of how laid back it can be just like in surfing and at the same time have rules just like in sailing. It may sound quite complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, I know that you will easily fall in love with it just like me. I feel very alive when I windsurf. Adrenaline rush into my system and it feels so good. I also feel proud of myself especially when I do my tricks like performing jumps, doing inverted loops, perfecting the spinning maneuver and other freestyle moves I have on my sleeve.

I hope that someday I will be as good as my windsurfing heroes like Robby Naish, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Francisco Goya. I know I still have a long way, but with intense passion and love for being in the water, I believe that I can do it too.