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Published July 26th 2011
Victoria is a gold mine when it comes to surf beaches. The mighty Southern Sea that separates Tasmania from the mainland, Bass Strait, flows to the Victorian coastline; delivering magnificent high quality waves for surfing. Visitors from all corners of the world are seduced by the waves from the Victorian beaches. Yet the sea is an unpredictable force of nature to battle with. Although the Victorian coastline is famous for its high quality waves, the breaks have been somewhat known to be horribly inconsistent.
Surfing is something of an art that takes time and a lot of practice. When you first start learning how to surf, your only goal should be to just stand on the board and stay there until the wave ends. Skimming through pipelines and flipping around on your board can wait a few years. On my first day of surfing, my goal was to stand on the board at least once. The goal gradually increased over each surfing session, and I can proudly say I have stood on the board more than ten times.
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Any surfer will tell you that the technique to stand on a board is to just pop up onto the board. Easy said than done right? But in reality, that is the only thing to it. Again, practice and patience is the key.
Alternatively, there are many schools around Victoria where you can learn surfing. Classes, depending on the school, usually cost around $50 for a half-hour long tuition, proceed by real practice in the water. Classes are taught by local experts who truly understand the local waves, ensuring students will receive the most expert advice.
Beginners are usually issued with Long boards -surf boards that range between 8ft to 14ft. This is due to the fact that longboards provide more stability in the water, allowing the surfer more opportunity to ride a wave.
By the end of two hour surf classes, most students will be surprised to find themselves actually standing on the board, catching a wave. When you do finally catch your wave, the feeling of standing on a board, being taken passenger by the nature is exhilarating. Your adrenaline is pumping and you really feel like the King of all nature.
Due to the flat shallow water and low tides of Port Phillip Bay, beaches near Melbourne and its suburbs provide insufficient conditions for surfing. For a real good surfing experience, you will need to take a bit of a road trip out of Melbourne and seek those waves. The places listed below are ideal surf spots for beginners and intermediate surfers.
Located 95 km south west of Melbourne, Torquay is holy site for surfers and the official start of the Great Ocean Road. Every year since 1961, renowned international surfers arrive in Bells Beach to take on the waves at the Rip Curl Pro.
Unless you're an experienced surfer, I'd advice against surfing at Bells Beach as the waves can be quite taunting. The best beaches to tackle if you're a beginner are at Fisherman's Beach and Back Beach.
These beaches offer plenty of variety and provide the perfect environment for beginners to improve their surf skills.
Just a few kilometers down the road from Bells Beach, the little seaside town of Anglesea is the perfect place for beginners. Experience surfers usually head elsewhere to catch their waves, but waves are consistent in Anglesea, ensuring that beginners will have amble opportunity to perfect their surfboarding technique.
Lorne is a beautiful place to relax and spend a lazy weekend. Just about a four hour drive away from Melbourne, it's surrounded by the ocean and forest areas, making it a perfect getaway. The surf at Lorne is great and is very popular with surfers of all levels. When the winds are blowing in the right direction, Lorne produces some fun and long riding waves.
Besides the MotoGP and penguins, Phillip Island offers some exception beach to surf on. The most popular beach that surfers head to is Woolamai, known for its big breaks. However, the rips can be dangerous, so probably not the ideal pace for a beginner. Smith's Beach is considered the beach for beginners as it is protected by the Ocean swells. The waves at Smith's Beach are nice and easy, but the beach can get a bit crowded during the summer.