Where can I windsurf in Melbourne?
This list includes the most popular windsurfing locations around Melbourne (within Port Phillip Bay). SHQ, JP Australia, Neil Pryde
Port Phillip Bay - North
Dawsone St (Elwood)
Another option for the southerlies,Elwood usually gets a few more windsurfers than Dendy and has nicer grass for rigging. Some complain that the water quality at Elwood is not as nice, but what it lacks in cleanliness, it compensates for with a complete lack of sharp rocks and underwater hazards. There is free parking in Dawson st, and provided the builders haven’t taken all the spots, you can usually get pretty close to the grass as well.
Dendy St (Brighton)
Home of the local freestylers, Dendy beach itself is quite popular for tourists and has a nice tucked away sort of feel. Not much in the way of a wave, and that’s by the bays standards, but the experts can find a ramp anywhere and frequently can be seen doing forwards, Kono’s and if you’re lucky you might see a burner. The spot can present some challenges for the inexperienced sailor, if you haven’t mastered carrying your gear down to the beach all at once, the parking situation might frustrate you, and for beginners, there are some nasty rocks not too far north of the launching area which can wreak havoc if the southerly’s end up dying or you can’t seem to go upwind. Usually this spot is better for guys who are more confident in their skills. If you just want to head to the beach to spectate though, Dendy is the place.
Green Point (Brighton)
For the howling Northerly’s of winter and the much more occasional northerly’s in summer, green point is where the windsurfers flock when the wind starts coming from the north. Yes, you have to deal with massive gusts and subsequent lulls, but they get you out there and usually present a pretty good time when they’re working. If the wind does drop, the slightly offshore direction that northerly’s roll in at mean you might be faced with a swim back to shore if you can’t get back upwind to the point. But heading upwind for your first couple of runs usually solves that problem and you can feel safe as long as you don’t go too far out.
Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary (Beaumaris)
If it’s too onshore anywhere else east of the city, get to Rickett’s. You have to put up with a few flat rocks which don’t feel too nice during winter but a decent wave comes through every now and then and this is really the only spot on offer east of Melbourne.
Port Phillip Bay - East
One of the few yacht clubs that has a one design windsurf fleet racing on Saturdays. If you're interested in course racing, this is a great way to get involved, or if you're local, the spot is quite nice for a cruise, without offering anything much more than general bay conditions.
If you're in this neck of the woods and you're after a spot, this place will usually get a few sailors and is all sand! Even in due North there is enough angle to get out around the pier and into open water, and usually the southerly's have enough west in them this far south to make it more cross than off, beginners should probably go further north if and chase more on shore conditions.
You can still find a decent crew of windsurfers on windy days out in Frankston, when its a strong northerly, it can often be even windier down south, and usually a tad more consistent as well. For southerly's you'd want it to be absolutely howling or have a bit of west in it so it avoids Oliver's Hill, and occasionally, oh so occasionally, you can get a 'wave' which, if nothing else might give you a decent springboard to jump off.
Other popular locations include: St Kilda, Hampton, Sandringham and Parkdale.
Point Leo - SSW/WSW
A great option for those summer seabreeze days when the wind at south channel has a little west in it. Point Leo is never massive, but cuts a reasonable wave when the swell height is 3ft + and is very easy to get to! The good guys will tell you that Leo has a pretty fat wave, but it's super easy to get out as its more a reef break than a shore break, and so with only a little bit of upwind effort, you can get into some nice sets and not worry too much about losing your gear!
Locations West of Melbourne
Not far from Barwon Heads, 13th beach works well with larger swell, and does work well as a surf beach if you’ve got a SUP in your car as well (or if you can actually surf, a surfboard), there is a very unthreatening rock reef close to shore, but there's nothing very sharp and adequate skills are all you need to enjoy yourself.
Torquay - Point Impossible
Good clean wave, works in WSW. Look for more than 2 feet of swell on Torquay main beach forecasting. The swell works best in mid-to-high tide. For those ever so inclined, there is Nudist beach just round the corner!
Torquay - Point Danger
Home of the legendary Jason Polakow, this spot has seen countless people learn to windsurf and still holds its value as a genuine wave spot. Usually big wind brings big waves but the prevailing direction can be slightly on shore if the waves aren't wrapping around the point. This spot still gets a fair amount of sailors on good days during summer.
Woolamai - E/SE or N/NW
Beware!! Not for the novice wave sailor. Woolamai is a pretty tricky wave to get out through, and can present beginners with quite the challenge. Many experienced windsurfers have also had to lay there gear to rest at this spot, not the place for those looking for an introduction to waves sailing. Having said that, Woolamai is all sand, no rocks, is very easy to get to and not too far away, and offers clean wave sections when the wave period is not too tight. There is no need to chase massive swell here but you want to make sure the wind direction is not too onshore or you'll have a nightmare getting out!
Inverloch - Anderson Inlet
A great destination for a “weekend away” type trip! If you’re looking for flat-water to teach your kids or you like the idea of freestyle, the inlet there is great for both. Speed runs require a little more timing and optimal wind direction as there are massive sand banks in the water which dissect the inlet in all directions. If you have enough room for every type of board, Inverloch has the potential for every
Sandy Point/Waratah Bay
Victoria's best wave spot!! If you can get a day off work or this place is going on a weekend, make the trip! Only a 3-4 minute drive from the entrance of Shallow inlet, the beach finds itself with adequate swell most days, and can really turn it on when easterly’s hit with a reasonable size swell. You’ll find yourself having to walk about 400m to the beach with your equipment, but you’ll find the effort worth your while. The waves are usually clean and there are no rocks or reefs whatsoever. IGNORE THE FORECAST!!! Well, don't completely ignore it, but the wind readings and subsequent forecasts are based on a Yanakie wind station which is always 5-10 knots off the mark. If its a hot day this figure is increased further as the wind picks up as it comes over The Prom.
Sandy Point - Shallow Inlet
Formerly the Mecca of Victorian windsurfing, the place is still blessed with picturesque blue water and sandbars that make for flying speed runs. The recent noise around the height of the dunes affecting the more common easterly’s has prevented more windsurfers from making the trek out there, but it still offers plenty of fun on days with wind. On a good day the spot is still a dream and can be enjoyed by your GPS demons or freestyle nuts. Easterly’s are the best for speed runs, the wind comes of the shore and depending on how close to the shore you’re willing to get, you can get near glass conditions and a wind direction that allows you to start of slightly upwind of a reach and then bear into a magnificent broad reach by the end of your run to really get you up past the 30 knot mark! Freestyler's have a bit more space to play with and will usually stay a bit further out than the speed guys, usually the lower tide conditions suit them the best as it keeps the water flatter.
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