The Box or Main Break: Where to Surf When it’s 6-Foot and Pumping?
Existential queries inside.
The WSL’s charter flight recently landed in West Oz for the second half of the Australian CT leg.
On their first full day in the west, the men and women were greeted with 6-8 offshore conditions. With North Point off the table (and almost certainly too small this day anyway), CTers were faced with one seemingly simple decision: should they surf Main Break or The Box?
Main Break is the deep-watered, A-frame reef on the south side of the Margaret River rivermouth. This peak has been the cornerstone of West Australian competitive surfing for decades. While it used to be considered a predominant left (and still is by most locals), modern CT surfers have preferred the shorter, steeper, ending-on-dry-reef right to earn their top scores. The most notable performance at Main Break was by John Florence in 2017, when he averaged 18.07 points per heat and redefined face-surfing in the process (see above).
The Box is located on the opposite (north) side of the Margaret River rivermouth, roughly 706.85 meters from the peak at Main Break. While The Box also comes out of deep water, it quickly lurches onto a shallow shelf, producing one of the shortest and most intense rides in competitive surfing. Its most famous day of competition came in 2019, when the men’s CT spent eight hours piercing black diamond tubes.
Both waves are potential contest venues, and with an even better swell expected to hit the area on the first couple days of the event, it’s a crapshoot where they’ll run.
In the video above, CT surfers were forced to make the choice between surfing Main Break or the Box. Here’s how the cards fell*:
Main Break: Mikey Wright, Caroline Marks, Michel Bourez, Ryan Callinan
The Box: Griffin Colapinto, John Florence, Adriano de Souza, Seth Moniz, Conner Coffin, Jeremy Flores
There are myriad reasons why a surfer might choose to practice Main Break or The Box. But we liked Griffin Colapinto’s take:
@griffin_cola: Yesterday we were about to paddle out at Main Break with the big crowd to practice for the comp when we then saw some sick ones at the Box. I wasn’t sure what to do because I wanted to get the feel for main Break. Then @sethmoniz asked me “ why do you surf Griff” then I remembered that these kinds of waves are the reason I love surfing. We then sent it to the Box and had the perfect start to the West Aus Leg. Thank you @sethmoniz @crosbycola for setting me straight 😉
*It is very possible that the surfers practiced at both venues this day. We’re simply basing this off the video.
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