From Where You’d Rather Be: The World’s Best Beachbreaks – SW Beachies, WA
Words by Tom Freed | All photos by Jamie Scott Whenever someone utters the phrase “from where you’d rather be,” Stab’s collective mind’s eye immediately focuses on a sand-bottomed setup beneath a smiling sun. We’re talking beachbreaks. Trunks. Bath water. All the finer things! And, since we so adore such things, we’ve decided to team up […]
Words by Tom Freed | All photos by Jamie Scott
Whenever someone utters the phrase “from where you’d rather be,” Stab’s collective mind’s eye immediately focuses on a sand-bottomed setup beneath a smiling sun. We’re talking beachbreaks. Trunks. Bath water. All the finer things! And, since we so adore such things, we’ve decided to team up with our like-minded pals at Coronaextra.com.au to deliver you a new series: The World’s Best Beachbreaks.
We’ll be detailing, visually but also through written text, all our favourite sand setups from around the world. The requirements? Nothing but golden grains beneath, nothing but a warm orb above, trunk temperatures only, and a perfect setup to end the day with a Corona and lime.
No. 8: South-West Beachies, Western Australia
While the meaning of the true name given to the south-west beachies in WA seems lost in eons and hidden in mystery, the ancients say that it’s derived from the indigenous Aboriginal phrase for “beachie that breaks one-thousand-dollar Haydenshapes Future Flex surfboards.” Fine…no ancients say that, but the name has something to do with water. And, Lawd, Lawd, that water… The richest, most vivid reflection of sky — a dazzling sapphire sea wedging and draining over silky snow-white sand. A two-kilometre-long stretch of banks serving up various tubes and skate ramps, hidden by dunes and warmed by a psychotic sun. Hallowed, Fountain of Youth: where a man can be young again, pack a lunch, some water and an extra board and jus’ camp the hell out all day like he was 12 again. That in-the-water-by-dawn-and-out-after-noon kinda beach break. Yes, one of those special beachies that doesn’t need complex chemistry to turn her on. Indeed, she’s always frisky, plays rough and is dreadfully gorgeous.
Dino Adrian is a true prince of The West.
Lemme break it down for ya:
Land in: Perth Airport, WA.
Then: Rent a car and drive south down to Margaret River.
Stay: In Margaret River (there’s a few hostels and reasonable hotels to chose from).
Bring a: Few shortboards. Mostly ‘cause you’re bound to break one (This is a real piece of work like that). Have a standard size you’re comfy getting kegged on; for bigger swells, you can use a step-up, a few inches up.
What’s she like? Wild and remote-feeling. Secretive, bashfully hiding her goodies with a 20-minute bush-walk. Dry, dark-green West Oz headland meets pristine shoreline painted an opaque-ivory. Crisp air, beating sun. The enlightenment at the end of your walkabout. And the sea caressing the beach? The translucent shade of blue that begot all others. And the waves caressing the sea? Depending on the sandbars, multiple lunging A-frames gracing a mile-long beach… or shallow, heavy rights and/or lefts draining over bone-white grains. All, so very hollow — pull-in after pull-in — with just enough closeouts to make the makeable ones seem fucking fantastic. Relatively uncrowded. Blustery offshores in the morning (Ugg boots optional), then 30 degrees Celsius by noon (Ugg boots quite sweaty now).
What really makes her tick? A 2.5 meter west swell with an east or even southeast wind. Over 3 meters and the beach is just a washed-through closeout. This formula all depends on how the banks down there are doing though, but usually a big ole swell the day before sorts them out and gets ‘em dolled up and ready for a little smaller west the day after. Regardless, this is one of those special beachies that cops a lot of swell and doesn’t even need the best wind or an offshore, as it faces a bit more northwest. You can kinda score it on nearly any condition and even a southerly wind is okay there, compared to other spots nearby. It’s also possible to score there year-round, but autumn is best.
Other options in the area… Gas Bay, at the start of the beach is a viable option. Gas is a shallow right-n-left peak over reef that peels into sand with a smart shore-breaky end section to punt off. Another beachie inside of that is Sewers, which is a shitty but rippable beachbreak and is still fun with an onshore wind when it comes to ramps. Drive a lil more and there’s Margaret River and The Box within striking distance.
Taj Burrow may be from Yallingup, but waves like this are worth any kinda travel time.
For a good time Quite close is the sleepy town of Margaret River, not particularly known for exhilarating nights-out. Nevertheless, Settlers Tavern or “The Tav” has an amazing chicken parma for famished humans and over-priced piss for humans that know what regular-priced beer costs. What the town lacks in babe-quantity, however, makes up for with old surf dogs that tell one hell of a surf-tale. Perth has more babes if you’re looking for that…
At all costs, don’t disrespect the coastal dunes. They’re fragile, beautiful ecosystems and, well, handle with care. Other than that, besides the obvious, WA is a bit wilder and less “ruley” than the opposite side of Oz, which is precisely what makes the joint so rad. Oh wait, here’s one: Snakes. Look down on the paths to the beach ‘cause there’s Dugite and Tiger snakes which are venomous as hell and could ruin your week if bitten. Also those fish that rhyme with bark. They’ve been problematic lately.
OK, I hear ya, but what’s a local say? Creed McTaggart says, “Whenever I think of home, I think of that beachie. Like, my dad would just drop me off there as a grom in the morning before school and I’d just run down the trail — ‘cause it takes a little while — and there’d always be waves. I’d just get there, post up in the sand dunes and I’d just see perfect beachie peaks just blowing out, with no one out, just the warmest memories of home. A lot of the waves do close out — it’s what you’re expecting — but you find that diamond in the rough, you know? For the most part they’re these shallow, hollow, heavy peaks. The beach is so long too, so sometimes you go there and there’s a left rip-bowl or sometimes it’s a right rip-bowl, and sometimes it’s just peaks everywhere. And then of course sometimes it’s shithouse and closing on the shore and you’re like, ‘Fuck, I just walked 20 minutes for this?’ (laughs) I’ve also broken most of my boards at that wave, for sure. Pack an extra board, a lunch and hang out all day.”
Get at beachbreak number 12, Ehukai Beach Park, right here.
Get at beachbreak number 11, Bocas del Toro, right here.
Get at beachbreak number 10, Fernando De Noronha, right here.
Get at beachbreak number 9, Outer Banks, right here.
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