For locals, the beach and the glorious surf it provides us access to, is more than just a treasured pastime, it’s a way of life. Surf, sun and sand are synonymous with the Sunny Coast lifestyle. Which means that every man and his dog tend to think they’re the best thing on a board since Mark Richards, so here’s your chance to prove it. The annual Noosa Festival of Surfing returns again, and this year it’s bigger than ever. Sign up or be on the beach anytime between March 4th and the 11th to experience this not to be missed epic event.
For those who live with their heads in the sand, or maybe are just new to the region, the Noosa Festival of Surfing is THE local surfing festival to be a part of, with countless greats making their earliest competitive appearances here over the years. The festival itself started back in 1992, when the Noosa Malibu Club (est.1986) made the decision to start a long-board competition that would celebrate Noosa’s perfect point break waves, and to unite the growing local community of traditionalist style surfers.
It wasn’t until 1994, when club member Jamie Pradella filmed the thrills and spills of the event, and chopped it up to create the ‘surfer’ cult classic ‘Malibu Heaven’, that the event started to make some serious traction into the competitive scene. In 1996 they introduced their first ‘Pro’ divisions and immediately began to attract the best the global surfing scene had to offer. The event grew to involve all walks of ‘surfer’ life from short-boarders to paddle-boarders and even tandem events. The rest is history.
There are four major divisions of competition, each with many more divisions within and way too many to list here, but the event is split up into Men’s Amateur Divisions, Women’s Amateur Divisions, Speciality, Pro & Team Divisions and the dedicated SUP (Stand Up Paddle boarding) divisions. There really is a division for everyone, but get in quickly, as places are filling FAST.
As for the spectators amongst you, there’s plenty to do between heats, from live music and entertainment, to a plethora of fantastic food along the esplanade. Featured artists this year include: Pat Capocci – described as a unique blend of western swing, jazz, country and blues with loads of style and charisma in his song writing; LOS LAWS, Noosa-Heads’ local Blues/Grunge/Rock’N’Roll band; Bearfoot; The Wet Fish, Toxic Fish and many more. Whether you’re a competitive grade surfer (or just fancy yourself one), an amateur, or just like to watch other athletes carve up some waves, there’s a lot to like this March at the Noosa Surfing Festival. For more see their website.