Surf Spots on the Coffs Coast & Learn to Surf Schools
Coffs Harbour is a beachside town with miles of unspoilt beaches, so it stands to reason that as locals, our lives revolve around the water. There are not many children that don’t grow up learning to surf or joining the local “nippers” surf lifesaving club.
If you’re interested in taking a “learn to surf” class, check out the bottom of the story for some great surf schools.
Given that on the Coffs Coast we are spoiled for choice, I thought I would share some local knowledge about our best surf spots.
Whether you’re a beginner learning to surf or a seasoned surfer there are so many options. Unlike popular surf breaks in the city beaches or at the Gold Coast you won’t be competing for waves too often.
- Coffs Coast Short Board Surf Spots
If you’re riding a short board take your pick of any of the local beaches. Depending on weather conditions each will be a little different on any given day but any wave is a good wave. A popular beach for shortboards is Macauley’s in Coffs Harbour.
Woolgoolga main beach is another good option for shortboards. This beach is also suitable for beginners in moderate weather and is a patrolled beach. For those looking for something a little bigger Woolgoolga back beach might be a good option.
- Coffs Coast Long Board Beaches
Diggers Beach just North of Coffs Harbour is known for being a long board break. You will see standup paddle boards out and the occasional shortboard when the swell is bigger.
Arrawarra is a quaint beachside town further north with a great longboard beach. It’s a bit of a drive but this gorgeous little village has a great long board break off Arrawarra Headland. These are my two best pick of beaches for long board riders.
- Coffs Coast Bodyboard Beaches
Gallows Beach is located to the south of the Jetty near the Fishing Club. Drive past the boat ramp and up onto the carpark. Here you can sit and watch the surfers catching waves or get in the water yourself. Access to the water is a little precarious and usually requires a well timed jump off the rocks as the the wave sucks out.
North Wall is to the North of the Jetty and is more easily accessed. This surf spot is great in a big northerly swell as the wave wedges off the break wall, giving a great right-hand break.
Boat Ramp – The boat ramp is located near the fishing club at the jetty. It only works in a massive 4 plus metre swell. When everywhere else is out of control check the boat ramp and see if it’s working. This is another right-hand break. When the boat ramp is working its loads of fun and gives great photo opportunities.
Learn to Surf
Perhaps you have decided to spend your holidays learning to surf. Congratulations! You picked the best place to learn! Not only does Coffs have the best beaches, we also have some great learn to surf schools!
Lee Winkler’s Surf School
Lee is a surfing legend on the Coffs Coast, even his 9-year-old son is winning comps and can be seen on the beaches before school most mornings.
Lee Winklers Surf School includes all equipment including safe Softboards, wetsuits, rash vests and sunscreen. His surf coaches are fully accredited Level 1 Coaches and have had years of experience teaching adults and kids to “get up” and ride the waves.
Lee’s lessons are heaps of fun but include the basics such as learning how to stand correctly, how to cross the wave, turning techniques along with identifying correct waves for your ability. Surf safety is another important aspect of the classes. Surfers are shown how to recognise a rip, currents, gutters, and the rules of the ocean and surf etiquette.
- East Coast Surf School
East Coast Surf School caters for beginners through to intermediate surfers wanting to learn a few more skills. Lessons are 2 1/2 hours long and tailored to the ability of the group.
Solitary Island Surf School
Solitary Island Surf School is located just north of Coffs Harbour at Emerald Beach. Run by world class surfers they conduct classes for beginners in their group lessons on a daily basis and are available for private coaching, family lessons and high-performance coaching. The 5 – 12year olds are catered for in the Vegemite SurfGrom classes.
Is learning to surf on your list of things to do this school holidays? If you’re looking for more ideas for school holiday fun on the Coffs Coast take a look at my story “Free Summer Fun – Coffs Coast”.