Shipstern Bluff Surfing

Shipstern Bluff Surfing

Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia

Shipstern Bluff should be viewed with a mix of revulsion, wide eyed wonderment and pure respect for those daring enough to attempt to ride such a wave. It is huge, absolutely huge, thick beyond belief, has pits below sea level, three storey faces with double-up steps mid face, cold heavy water, car size granite boulders and sharks bigger than the wave itself. The average surfer is right when they think such a wave was never meant to be ridden, but some have tamed her.

Shipsterns Bluff or Shippies is on the southeast coast of Tasmania. It breaks a scant few meters from large granite boulders below a 200m high cliff. After take-off the wave surges in size and draws water off the stepped granite shelf dropping the surfer below sea level, offering one of the heaviest pits on the planet, and then it’s over.

It requires a 4 meter plus southwest swell to be its mighty best but is wide open to any south swell. The offshore northerly wind is harder to encounter than enough swell. Shippies can only be reached by boat or a 2 hour walk in through the Tasmania National Park. Spectating from the headland above in a warm hoodie is the only sane thing to do at Shipstern Bluff.

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