For the first time in 8 years we drove up the Newell Hwy. 1½ days and 1,700km, not the sort of thing you would want to do that often. Interesting to see how little water they have in their dams and how dry the country is. It makes you realise how lucky we are living on the coast where the tide always comes back in every day.
Hit the Super bank around 2 Sat afternoon 3-5ft light onshore heaps of crew out especially off the point where it was fairly uneven. Inside Snapper through Rainbow to Greenmount and down to Coolangatta the swell really evened out and the crowd really thinned out, it wasn’t much smaller and it was just peeling along the bank.
Sunday morning my QLD surfing buddy Geoff picked me up at 5.30 and we paddled out at first light. The swell had picked up and the wind was light off shore. There were already heaps out but as we worked our way down the bank we were almost by ourselves. As the crowd increased we just moved down the bank to Greenmount and so on. Basically the Super Bank is made up of about 8 sections between Inside Snapper and Kirra 1st groin a total length of over 1.3km. There was a rip which once you cleared the break took you back out to the point, if you wanted to go that far, so paddling was easy but after 3hrs we couldn’t paddle any more and ended up coming in half way along Coolangatta beach. We had some incredible waves and saw some amazing surfing from some of the best surfers in the world. Geoff said it was the best surf he had in 9 months.
I went back later and took some line up shots from Kirra Hill, Greenmount Hill and then took some close ups off the rocks at Snapper. The crowd was massive maybe 200+ and stretched all the way to the Kirra groin, weekends you have to start early.
For the next 10 days it was 2-3ft with an occasional 5ft set offshore every morning with a sea breeze coming in reasonably strong by midmorning. With the Q/Silver Pro only days away the point was always crowded but just down the bank a little further it was easy to get a wave especially between the change of shifts 7.30 and 9.30.
On Friday 23rd the swell picked up to a consistent 5ft, it was glassy and it stayed that way all day. We surfed from 6-9 and then from 1-3.30, I’ve never seen so many unridden hollow waves, Sat morning was the same hardly anyone out and heaps of waves. Craig Watson from Rye paddled back out and said he’d counted 100 guys off the Point at 7, yet there was maybe only 15-20 along the next 3/4 of the bank where we were. It was easy to link at least 2 of the sections, sometimes you could be lucky and get into a 3rd.
Every couple of waves or so one of the Pro’s would come ripping from way out the back some where and disappear down the line.
That made it 3 unreal surfs in a row and no real hassles getting waves. Over the next 5 days it was light onshore, the swell dropped to 3ft with the odd 5ft set. Friday 2nd March was my last day, over the 3 weeks and I hadn’t surfed anywhere else over the period I’d checked out the Alley, Burleigh, D Bah, the Pass, Lennox and Fingal but nothing came close to the Super Bank. Today it was 20 knots cross onshore pretty lumpy but you could still get some good rides. The best thing I saw over the 3 weeks was a double tube, I didn’t see the start of the wave but every body out the back was hooting and screaming I looked across inside and some guy was coming out from deep inside a 5ft really hollow barrel no big deal I thought, but then a couple of seconds later Dean Morrison followed him out.
Another interesting thing I saw were the stick men. These are guys who stand up on 10-12ft boards and use a single 6ft paddle to get out and then paddle onto waves. Luke Egan was heaps better than anybody else, he used the paddle to help him turn on the wave face, he didn’t use a leggie except on the last really choppy day and then I reckon he would have done a lot better with a sail, only time will tell whether it becomes the new trend.
That’s all for now, see you in the surf
Thursday 1st March The last lot of shots are of the contest, it was the first round of the men’s, I watched Kelly surf too far inside and lose, then I saw Andy do the same thing except his last wave which he paddled wide for and ended up winning the heat. The 3rd heat I watched Mick do it to perfection, one long wave down the bank and paddled back out, the next 1 just as long but he takes it to the beach, runs back through the crowd, jumps off the rocks and does it all again wins by heaps. It’s always seems easier from the beach, but the wider waves were the go as all the locals knew and the results showed it.