Phillip Island Surfing
Phillip Island surfing is renowned throughout Australia. The swells are hardly ever too small to surf and based on the size of the swell, surfing enthusiasts can always find a sheltered break in any type of wind – it is after all an island. Furthermore, throughout the year, Phillip Island hosts numerous surf clinics and tournaments for men, women and juniors. While there are a few of the beaches ideal for experienced surfers, there are a few that are suitable for all levels of experience.
The beaches on the south coast often are a little unpredictable with variable surfing conditions. Hence, it is advisable for surfers to first consult the surf lifesavers at the beaches to find out which location is apt for their skill level.
National Surfing Reserve
The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve consists of four breaks. These are Woolamai, Smiths, Summerland and Cat Bay.
Woolamai beach breaks extend from Magic Lands up to Forrest Caves. It comprises a shallow reef covered with sand; and the winds and currents work together to create crescent-shaped sandbanks, making it ideal for surfing. Swells here range from 0.5 to 2 metres.
This is where surfers will find Phillip Island’s best barrelling reef break – Express Point. However, it also is great for smaller swells, which can be found at Smiths Beach and YCW Beach. Express Point is where experienced surfers will be able to find challenging barrelling waves that tend to turn up when there are two metres or higher swells. Usually, these conditions prevail at half to high tide and when there is a north to northwest wind.
Newbies or amateur surfers will enjoy the Smiths Beach and Beachcomber Beach, where the swells are consistent due to the sandy bottoms of the sheltered bays.
This is the break where surfing started on Phillip Island in the 1920s. Those looking for the biggest swells should head out to Summerland Beach not just to enjoy the Penguin Parade, but also take out their long surfboards to ride the reef breaks. Towards the western end of the beach, the reef break is known as Centre Break and is popular with short-board surfing enthusiasts for its low tide waves.
During wintery conditions and high tide, surfers tend to congregate at Summerland Beach to enjoy the big swells with a northwest to southwest wind.
This Bay boasts a high quality right and left reef break that allow surfers to surf high swells. In fact, there are several reef breaks of different standards, but the best undoubtedly are the ones at Right Point and Flynn’s Reef. These two breaks are great for surfing during the summer months when swells are higher than 2 metres. With a south to east wind, these two breaks, specially Flynn’s Beach, are popular for hosting surfing competitions.
Surfing at Phillip Island is perhaps one of the best in Victoria, if not Australia. With surf-able conditions throughout the year, surfers tend to throng to the Island in droves. However, since some of the beaches can be a little wild, surfers are advised to surf just between the flags at the patrolled beaches or speak to experienced surfers and locals about the ideal surfing beaches and breaks.
Surfing at Phillip Island:
Red – Very Experienced Orange – Experienced Yellow – All Surfers