Surfers of all levels know there are three different types of breaks; beach breaks, reef breaks, and point breaks.
Depending on where you live, learned to surf, or have travelled to, you may or may not have experienced all of these variations. Whether you are already well-versed in these types of breaks or not, it is important to distinguish between waves breaking on on or near the beach (beach break), longer waves breaking on a rocky shelf (point break), and waves breaking further out to sea, that often pack more power and punch (reef breaks).
Even if you are an intermediate or advanced surfer, who has been surfing for a while, you could have only ridden one or two of these types of waves in your lifetime.For instance, if you learned to surf on the Northern Beaches of Australia, you may have mostly ridden waves at beach breaks like Narabeen, Freshwater, and Manly Beach for instance. Or maybe you live on the Gold Coast, and mostly ride waves at point breaks like Snapper Rocks and Kirra.
So how do you know what the best type of wave is for you and where you can find them in Australia?
The coasts of Australia draw many surfers to the line ups for good reason. There is a wide variety of breaks and pretty consistent swell. Whether you choose to live on or visit the east or west coast, you have the full gamut of mellow to epic breaks at your finger tips.
The East coast of Australia 9with 37,000 km of coastline, is known for fun to epic breaks like Noosa Heads, the Pass, Broken Head, Lennox Head the Box, North Narabeen, Kirra, Snapper Rocks, Bells Beach, and Aussie Pipe (Black Rock). This list includes all types of breaks for a wide variety of experiences and surfers.
Noosa heads is a great choice for all levels of surfers, including beginners, because of the smaller, clean, long rights that peel down the point during the summer. If you are a regular foot, or love to nose ride on a longboard, this is a dream wave.
If you prefer a faster, more high performance point wave, check out Snapper Rocks or Kirra. Not only are you guaranteed a long ride, but you can even pull off some sick barrels on the right swell. Just watch out for crowds. Surfers flock to the Gold Coast from all around the world for a reason.
If you prefer a faster, more hollow/punchy waves with lots of variations, definitely travel down to NSW to check out North Narabeen. There’s a reason this is one of the most popular beach breaks in the world.
Speaking of reef breaks, if you are a more advanced surfer, give Black Rock in NSW a chance. You are almost guaranteed to get barreled out of your mind here on a good day. Just make sure you are quick to your feet.
What about the West Coast?
Luckily the west coast of Australia also offers epic waves like Margaret River with 40 reef breaks and beach breaks, including that include Surfer's Point (one of the most popular surf destinations and contest locations). The draw of the West Coast is that it isn’t nearly as tapped into in terms of surfers as the East Coast. Although there are still spots with crowds, you can head off the beaten path and easily find surf all to yourself.
So which spot is for you? Try as many as you can and decide what works best for you. One of the main draws of surfing is the wide variety of breaks, wave types, conditions and coastlines that leave surfers frothing for more.