What makes Margaret River so special for surfing? Maybe it is those large waves that crash along the reef-lined shores. Thousand of kilometres away strong westerly winds known as the Roaring Forties whip around the ocean, producing large swells. These swells roll in off the Southern and Indian Ocean providing a surfer’s paradise.
Winter and spring are the best time for surfing but you are guaranteed all year round surfing in this neck of the woods.
Hot Places to Surf
The Bombie at Prevelly beach is said to be one of the biggest and nastiest of the local surf breaks. But the more you talk to the locals the more you will uncover the best and meanest of the breaks. The break’s names give you some idea of their ferocity, they include Suicides, Boneyard, Gallows and Guillotine.
The Lefthanders at Cowaramup Bay is one of the most popular breaks, where you will find many young surfers showing their stuff. And how could you forget Yallingup, which has an iconic status in surfing circles.
Two Premier Surfing Events
The world’s best surfers come here to compete in the two major surfing events, Margaret River Pro (formerly the Margaret River Masters) and the the Margaret River Classic. The Masters is held at Surfer’s Point at Prevelly Park just after Easter (mid March-April) and the Margaret River Classic is held every November.
Margaret River Pro
The Margaret River Pro is regarded by many of the world’s best surfers, as one of the most prestigious international tournaments to win.The event attracts up to 200 of the world’s best surfers. This is a four star rated World Qualifying Series (WQS) event and is part of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour. The prize money for this event is $100,000 AUD and the surfers battle it out for not only the prize money but for valuable WQS rating points.
Margaret River Classic
The Margaret River Classic began in 1979 the year that the swells reached up to 4 metres. The waves were so big and treacherous that half the competitors withdrew. The original event attracted less than 50 competitors but today it boasts over 150. Some of the division prizes are named in honour of surfers who have died. The Classic has the largest number of divisions in any contest in Australia. The most recently added division is the over 45’s. This was forced upon the organisers as the baby boomers continued to take to the surf. It would seem that if this pattern continues there will be even more divisions for the over 50’s and 60’s, then it will truly be the classics!. The pro junior division of the Classics is the one to watch. This is the door opener for a lot of young surfers wishing to go into State, National and International events. The junior division attracts high profile up and comers who have plans for professional careers in surfing. With money, prizes, sponsorship and pride up for stakes this is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Prize money for the Classic is $20,000 AUD.
There are a number of smaller competitions which are held throughout the year. These events are held along a 130km stretch of coastline from Yallingup (north) to Cape Leeuwin (South).The competitions take in over 75 top breaks in the area.