Leading up to Christmas, I keep getting asked about where I love to bodysurf. Keeping in mind that I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches, this is my list of favourite waves, and why.
This is my local beach, and it can be epic. Not only are there a good crew of local bodysurfers, but there is genuine mutual respect in the lineup where surfers happily co-exist with bodysurfers.
Avalon has a number of breaks. North Avalon is a nice left hander with a rip assist that follows the headland out to the back. If the banks are good, you'll get a number of peaks working left and right around the mid beach area. The south end of the beach opposite the pool can also have some decent right handers.
Working your way around the southern headland is LA (Little Avalon). LA is a mechanical right hander that sucks off a rock shelf and barrels like a mad thing. On the right day, there is nothing better.
Lining up at South Avalon
Narrabeen is a long beach. The north end is an infamous right where lots of surfboards riders can generally be found. However, the bank in front of the surf club mid beach can yield gold. Due to the open nature of the beach, banks tend to move around a lot. The swell pulses out of the deep and breaks on these banks quite close to the shore. The result is heavy, dredging barrels that can be awesome fun for bodysurfing. If you want to get covered up, then Narrabeen is your best bet! But prepare for a thrashing.
Getting some shade on a hollow Narrabeen shoulder
Noosa in Queensland is another favourite. Better known as a longboarding beach, Noosa is a mecca for surf lovers. I've been there are a few times recently when a cyclone swell has been in the neighbourhood, and the swell has been epic. Long, glassy righ-handers off First Point in sensational warm, clear water.
And if it gets a little busy on the points (and it does when the swell is good), then head to West Noosa for some heavy, dredging barrel action. A bodysufers natural habitat!
Final of the bodysurf event at the Noosa Festival of Surfing in 2013
It's a bit cliche I know, but I do love a surf trip to the Byron Bay area. A couple of years ago, we rented a shack near The Pass, and I fell in love with the area all over again. Both Wategos and The Pass are stunning beaches in their own right, and there are plenty of bodysurf friendly rides on offer. Both are right handed points, and can get busy on a nice day. But patience grasshopper! These waves are gorgeous, long, and glassy!
If it does get too busy, slip around under the lighthouse to Tallows Beach where you are bound to find a nice bank to yourself.
Byron Bay Surf Festival 2013 :: Body Surf at Wategos Beach
Okay, its not in Sydney. However, this is a fun wave that I remember most from a recent trip to the Mentawai's in Indonesia. Macca's was voted the most fun wave in a surfers poll around 10 years ago, and there is a good reason why. The reefs fringe a channel, and the wave just keeps A-framing and barreling. As a bodysurfer, getting in the barrel and staying there for an extended time is the ultimate. I did this time after time at Macca's. The speed of the shoulder is perfect for bodysurfing, meaning you could just set up for the line and enjoy the view.
Take me back! Glassy barrels at dawn. Maccas.
I could go on and on as there are just so many good waves such as Flat Rock in Newcastle, Blueys Beach, Treachery Beach on the NSW mid north coast, and many many more. I hope you get some value from the list, and please leave your suggestions in the comments.
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