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A Swell Worth Its Wait In Gold

A fleeting Gold Coast swell that deserved the superlatives

“It’s been a pretty awesome couple of months of surf on the Gold Coast,” says photographer Andrew Shield. “But the swell last week has been the highlight. The banks along the beachies have been pretty much trashed by swell after swell, but it’s groomed the sand on the northern points to perfection.

“The banks at Kirra are still in fine shape, but the great sand at Rainbow and Greenmount that was evident all through May has been pushed along toward Kirra. Kind of unusual to see so many Cooly guys surfing north of Bilinga, but in this swell, Burleigh and Currumbin were the pick — breaking like Kirra, but two- to three-foot bigger. As usual, when the swell gets overhead, the sweep was horrendous. The guys with skis (or with friends with skis) were having a way easier time of it. Not only for stepping off but also just for lifts back out. Dingo [Morrison] and Shaun [Harrington] and Brenno [Brent Dorrington] were up early and got a few at Kirra before heading north to the Alley where they each got some incredible waves.

“Hippo [Ryan Hipwood] and Bede snuck out through the creek at Currumbin and headed north to Burleigh and scored what Hippo was describing as the best waves he's seen on the Goldie. Not unusual to hear lots of superlatives when conditions are like they were, but in this case, he has video evidence to back up his claims.

“Last Wednesday was still amazing at Burleigh. Smaller than the previous day, but maybe even more lined up and perfect. The sweep was just as bad, but the size wasn't really there to justify the use of jet skis, so everyone was paddling their guts out. And not surprisingly, even without the skis, the best surfers were still getting the best waves. Ricardo Christie made the trip north from Cooly, as did Nic Vasicek, and the both scored some awesome barrels. One of the standouts of the whole swell, though, was Mitch Parkinson. He paddled both days and scored maybe more tube time that just about anyone.”