Is Newcastle the new San Diego surf capital?
Updated: May 4, 2021
We all know San Diego to be one of the biggest surf cities in the world, but its sister surf city Newcastle is riding its way into the World Surfers League (WSL) for the first time.
Newcastle is located in one of the world’s largest surf epicentres – Australia. Where the beach and surfing is not only the Australian way of life but in the Australian hearts as well. Offering an abundance of beaches not only for sunbathing but for some of the best waves in the world, so if you’re looking for that next new wave head to Newcastle.
Newcastle or as locals like to call it ‘Newy’ is a town oozing with surfers stoke, known for its warm weather and mellow beach vibe. A true small-town surf feels. When the surf is up, there is a steady stream of dudes and dudettes slipping into wetsuits. When they’re not surfing, they’re either cruising on their longboards, taking a dip in the famous Bogey hole or strapping their boards to the rooftops heading for the next big swell.
Newy has something for all surfers with consistent swell and plenty of variety. Both Newcastle Beach and Mereweather Beach is where the surfers go to chase the perfect wave. Mereweather is one of Australia’s National Surfing Reserves not to mention where the recent WSL was held, with surfers all over the world flocking to get a taste of this pristine Australian coastline.
“It’s just one of those places you can’t compare to any place in the world, there's a highway that goes around it but once you're inside it, you won’t want to leave – it’s a vortex’ says local Dylan Henry owner of SUP Newcastle
On the big wave days, crowds head to Mereweather Point to catch surfers take on monster swells, the very best being in winter. These are the very waves that shaped the career of four-time world surf champion Mark Richards alongside other surfer leagues Luke Egan and Matt Hoy.
The waves around here can be dreamy or deadly with big shifting beach breaks, rip bowl nuggets and rocky point outcrops. You can expect swell to reach up to 5 metres some days with a chance to score some epic barrels. Not to mention you can surf in almost every wind with the exception of the easterly.
“You can get decent waves 99% of the time, which is hard to find for most places in the world,” says Slimes Boardstore Newcastle Co-owner – Tim Dickson
If you’re looking for a new board, you can head to two of the towns major surf stores Sanbah Surf Store and recently opened Slimes Boardstore Newcastle - selling world champion Mark Richard's boards. Perhaps, Slimes Boardstore Newcastle could be your first pit stop before catching that next new wave. But if you’re looking to try something new, SUP Newcastle / Go Foil Australia also offers the new hydro foiling which has risen in popularity over the last few years.
With the recent World Surfer League, world champions Carissa Moore from Hawaii and Italo Ferreira from Brazil, have left a lasting impression for surfers on Newcastle. Transforming the mellow beach scene into a vibrant and lively stoke central - the new global home of surfing. Where you can experience the inspirational power of surfing - unifying countries at the very local doorstep of Mereweather beach. As you hear the roaring cheers and anthems of international crowds as their surf warriors tackle the waves with their lightning manoeuvres and tricks. This surfer phenomenon truly does inspire and grow a global community to live with purpose, originality and stoke – tapping into the surfer soul connection.
“The WSL week was a lot of fun, seeing Morgan our local surfer did so well in the semi-finals and with the whole Mereweather surf club there to support - just really added to the energy of the place.” says - Slimes Boardstore Newcastle Co-owner -Tim Dickson
Not to mention the ‘Surfest’ is also held here, the largest surf festival in the southern hemisphere attracting more than 850 national and international competitors from over 30 countries. It is no wonder surfing is on its way to being in the upcoming Olympics.
With Newcastle offering plenty on the table for those who are looking to score a wave combined with its vibrant and connected community, it’s a place hard not to miss. Home to some of Australia’s best surfers and with decent waves 99% of the time, you simply can’t go wrong.
So, are you ready to ride the legendary waves in Newcastle?
By Marika Suzuki
Courtesy of Photos: Ryan Sneddon https://www.rsneddon.com/ & Alex Morgo https://www.instagram.com/alex_morgo/