Surf Safety

Surfing on the South Coast can be enjoyable and hazardous.  There are excellent surf safety tips on the National and State websites and fantastic weather sites that help plan activities in and on the southern ocean.  The following information is a little bit of local knowledge that help people new to the area. 

Beach Safety Hints:

  • Swim between the red and yellow flags.  They will only be out on the weekends in summer at Chiton Rocks, Port Elliot, or sometimes at Goolwa.
  • Read and obey all warning signs.  We put them there for a reason!
  • If you are unsure of the conditions, ask a surf lifesaver.
  • If you can’t see a lifesaver, don’t go in the water if you are uncertain.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Always swim under supervision if inexperienced in surf conditions.
  • If you get into difficulty, stay calm, float. and raise one arm to signal for help.
  • Never run and dive into the water, even if you checked conditions earlier.
  • Wave and tide conditions can change quickly.
  • Use 15+ sunscreen and wear a shirt and hat.
  • Remember to reapply sunscreen after swimming.
  • Learn how to spot a rip and keep clear of it.  A rip can be recognised by sandy coloured or rippled water running out to sea, when the water on either side is generally cleaner.  The waves may also be larger and breaking further out to sea on both sides of the rip.
  • Don’t swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Keep the beach clean, put your rubbish in a bin, and keep off the dunes.  They are there to preserve the beach environment.

 Check it out for yourself on LIVE SurfCam 

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Surf Hints for the South Coast:

Goolwa
Type:
Beach Break.
Size: 2-4 foot.
Winds: NE.
Tide: Mid to full (shorter paddle).
Tip: Have a good look up and down the beach if its no good out front. 
Chiton Rocks
Type:
Beach and Offshore Reef.
Size: 2-6 foot.
Winds: NE, N, NW.
Tide: Low for the reef.
Tip: Rocks guard both sides of the beach. Have a good look before entering the water. Ask a lifesaver if unsure. 
Cliffs
Type:
Reef/Beach Break.
Size: 2-4 foot.
Winds: NE, N, NW.
Tide: Low for the reef out the back to break.
Tip: Depending on sand movement and tide you might be better off not sitting right out the back. 
The Dump
Type: Beach and Offshore Reef.
Size: 2-5 foot.
Winds: NE, N, NW, W.
Tide: Low.
Tip: Right hand offshore reef works well even in stormy conditions. 
Surfers/Day Street
Type:
Beach Break.
Size: 2-4 foot.
Winds: NE, N, NW.
Tide: Depending on banks, high to medium.
Tip: Look out for rocks lurking in close to shore. 
Shark Alley
Type:
Reef.
Size: 2-5 foot.
Winds: NE, N, NW.
Tide: Mid.
Tip: A long paddle from the bluff, remember to paddle back before becoming totally worn out. And as the name suggests, keep you eyes open. 
Middleton
Type: Middleton.
Size: 2-5 foot.
Winds: N, NW.
Tide: High.
Tip: The jewel of the coast, you have to surf here to believe it. 
Petrel Cove
Type:
Beach Break.
Size: 2-4 foot.
Winds: SE, E, NE, N, NW.
Tide: Mid.
Tip: Take care submerged rocks and strong rip. 
Chicken Run
Type:
Point Break.
Size: 2-3 foot.
Winds: W, SW.
Tide: Low.
Tip: Very shallow, have fun rock hopping. 
Kings Head
Type: Reef/Point Break.
Size: 3-6 foot.
Winds: N, NW, W.
Tide: Mid-Full.
Tip: Shallow rocks make for an interesting ride. Not for novices. 
Knights
Type:
Backwash Peeler.
Size: 1-5 foot.
Winds: E, NE, N.
Tide: Low for best backwashes.
Tip: Take a shovel to dig your mates out of the sand when they get launched by the lip. 
Waitpinga Beach
Type: Beach Break.
Size: 2-4 foot.
Winds: NW, N, NW.
Tide: Depends on banks.
Tip: Soft sands move quickly with strong rips, so check each day and be careful. 
Bullies
Type:
Reef Offshore.
Size: 4+ foot.
Winds: NE, N, NW.
Tide: Depending on swell size.
Tip: Take a big board and big balls. Not for the novices. 
Waitpinga Point
Type: Beach Break.
Size: 2-4 foot.
Winds: NW, N, NW.
Tide: Depending on sand movement.
Tip: Offers some protection from strong NW winds, beware strong rips. 
Boomer
Type: Beach and Offshore Reef.
Size: 2-6 foot.
Winds: NE, N, NW.
Tide: Depending on swell size.
Tip: Waves break into knee deep water on the shoreline, remember to pull out or BOOM your gone
Parsons Beach
Type:
Beach break.
Size: 2-4 foot.
Winds: E, NE, N, NW.
Tip: Often quite surfable when wind is from the east.