Yallingup_031Yallingup Reef is a serious wave and the home break of Taj Burrow who is a regular contender on the world tour. The wave breaks from the left of this shot over the edge of the rock reef which runs all the way out from the shore under the flat water you can see on the right.

You wade and paddle across that until the edge of the reef and then try to time launching yourself into the white water in a spell when not many waves are coming through. On that score I didn’t do so well and had a real battle paddling out into the waves which were well over head high. Each one hitting you sends you back a bit towards the rocks behind you so there is no choice but to dig deep and paddle like a man possessed until you get clear of the white water and are able to catch your breath out back.

DCIM104GOPROThe consensus opinion when catching the waves is to then surf rightwards back towards the edge of the shelf because it will be less of a paddle back out after your ride, as opposed to battling through about thirty waves having gone left.

However once clear of the white water there are all kinds of shadows beneath you due to the rocks, and because there is so much swell you can’t tell if anything is moving or not. Knowing what is in the water here I have to say I didn’t enjoy myself a great deal and I think this photo says more about that than I can.

To make matters worse all the wax on my board started flaking off making it very slippy and I then got stung by something all the way up both my forearms.

DCIM105GOPROI did catch a few rides though, but not knowing the break more than once found myself having to violently swerve around rocks breaking the surface just in front of me.

Not really my cup of tea this sort of thing so I got out before too long managing to muddle my way back up on to the reef having ridden a wave to the edge of it and bailing off at the last minute to stop my board hitting the rocks.

Yallingup_034

I dried off and got changed before going back to watch some of the locals who were really charging.

This fantastic statue has been erected next to the car park to celebrate the surf pioneers from Perth who first came down this way decades ago searching for more challenging waves.

I had another chat about the angry fish with somebody whilst there who sincerely believed that my life was under more threat from the local kangaroos population jumping out in front of my car.

I can’t say I am convinced by this argument.

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