Creating surf legends in Coolangatta - The Ripple Effect
Five thousand. That's the population of Coolangatta, Australia. Yet someway, somehow, this tiny town has produced more surfing world champions than anywhere else in the world.
Surfing Info: Coolangatta Surf Spots
Beginning from the southern most break on the Gold Coast is the Queensland and NSW border beach break of Duranbah; locally known as D-Bah. Duranbah Beach has a fast breaking beach break that works best on a south east swell. The bigger the swell the faster and more hollow is the wave formation. The atmosphere on the water re wave selection and positioning is aggressive and at times even tribal. Local surfers are guarded about their ownership of their famous beach break. Duranbah Beach is often used as the location for many surfing events including international and professional surfing contests, as well as Professional Australian Surf Life Saving Ironman Races.
The next break travelling north is Snapper Point. This is a classic point break where the waves are formed by southern ocean swells converging towards the rocky point, they then slide over and around the rock formation to break on the shallow sand covered rocks on the ocean floor. Relative to many of the other coastal breaks, Snapper Point is surrounded by deep water. Therefore the wave formations tend to be full. These types of waves accommodate longer surf craft as opposed to short fast boards. This break is a favourite amongst long boarders and surfcraft enthusiasts.
The next break is Little Mali. This is only some 100m from Snapper, separated by a stretch of sand. Little Mali is a reef break located directly off Rainbow Bay Beach. This is a popular break with malabu long board riders.
The next wave break is Greenmount Point. As the name suggests waves curl around the rocky point breaking on a shallow sandbank. A southern swell and southeasterly wind is ideal for this break.
The final break in the Greenmount area is Kirra Point. Arguably the most popular and well-known point break in Australia. During southern swells and winds Kirra Point provides big hollow tube rides that are fast and furious. Quick take-offs and aggressive surfing is required to master the surfing conditions as well as the local surfers. Enthusiasts trek many miles when the surf's up at Kirra and the cliff side road almost comes to a standstill as pedestrians and motorists alike slow to take in the spectacular surf break and the men and women who dare to surf it.
Coolangatta marks the southern end of the strip of surfing beaches that runs from the Queensland / New South Wales State Border north to Main Beach.
The town of Coolangatta is situated on the beach between the rock headlands of Point Danger, Greenmount and Kirra.
Behind Coolangatta, the land rises into the border ranges of the Tweed Basin - remnants of a large caldera (a large crater formed by the eruption and collapse of the Mount Warning Shield volcano 20 million years ago).
To the south is the Tweed River which forms in the Tweed and McPherson Ranges and then flows down along a flood plain to enter the sea at Tweed Heads.
Coolangatta is named for the schooner Coolangatta wrecked on the beach to the north of the Tweed River in 1846.
The schooner was waiting to collect a cargo of cedar and the ship dragged its anchors and washed ashore. A wreck, which was believed to be the Coolangatta was uncovered by wave action in 1974.