01 August 2017

Kitesurfing the Great Barrier Reef

Written by Ben Wilson, Posted in Interviews

Adventure to the outer reef

Kitesurfing the Great Barrier Reef

I’ve spent the last few years trying to coordinate this Great Barrier Reef kite trip. I’d heard whispers of remote waves that only break in certain conditions and rumours of their location but all the locals who surf out there stay tight-lipped. Nobody shares this kind of knowledge.

So over the last couple of years, whenever I was fishing up there, I’d look for waves. I scoped out patches of reef with potential and I started putting together a plan to come back and kite it one day.

There’s a lot that goes into planning a trip up there – swell direction, tides, moon phase, wind. Everything can either make it or break it. I called Stu Gibson who does our drone and still photography and it didn’t take much convincing to get him on a plane up to the Sunshine Coast. I also wanted someone to come and shoot video, so I contacted a local guy, Tom Rawlins. He hasn’t shot much kiting but he was eager to join us.

All the best spots are around 35nautical miles out to sea and far beyond where most people go. I have a small 21ft fishing boat that until now I’ve mainly used in calm seas. Although I take it far offshore, I normally choose glassy conditions, ideal for fishing. The boat is set up with fishing in mind – centre console, depth sounders and just a small stowage area with enough space for 1 or 2 people to sleep uncomfortably. 

From the Coast it’s about a 5hr drive north and then a few hours further in the boat. The conditions were pretty good on the way out so we made it to what I assumed would be the best wave spot in about 3hrs. Watch the clip at the bottom of the page for the full adventure.  

Complete article featured in The Kiteboarder magazine, Vol 14, No. 2. 

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ben wilson great barrier reef kitesurfing

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About the Author

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson, a big-wave kitesurfer and co-founder of BWSurf. A pioneer of the sport, Ben was one of the first to use a surfboard in harmony with a kite and he continues to drive the sport in new directions.

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