"Surfing at Tea Tree," the legendary Australian surfboard shaper Bob McTavish said, "is like having a cup of tea with God."
McTavish is referring to Tea Tree Bay, one of the five different surfing sections on the points of Noosa Heads National Park. McTavish first surfed the wave in the early 1960s and later used it as a test track for the boards that were pivotal in the shortboard revolution around 1967. It is perhaps ironic that these days Noosa is universally regarded as one of longboarding's most iconic locations.
The small coastal town of Noosa is situated on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, about 80 miles north of Brisbane and is famed for its stunning beaches, tourism and perfect, but relatively rare pointbreaks. It is a Mecca for Swedish backpackers, a haven for Australian holiday makers and for nine months of the year, a fairly uninspiring place for surfers. Sure the sun is incredibly hot, the water ridiculously warm, the sandy beaches blindingly white, but the fun beachbreaks don't exactly fall into world class quality.
However, in the summer months, when intense low pressures and cyclones form in the Coral Sea, the pristine National Park located 10 kilometres to the south of the town produces waves of pure perfection. When this happens, Noosa comes alive.
The waves and setting offer a pure vision of perfection, ranging from rolling longboarding peelers to sand spitting Kirra-like barrels. Its rarity only adds to its value, for if you find yourself sitting in the throat of a Boiling Pot drainer, you know you have bagged one of surfing's most rare, beautiful and pleasurable experiences. This is when God puts the tea kettle on.
The National Park (or the Nasho in Aussie vernacular) offers five distinct pointbreaks. From the top of the point are Granite Bay, Tea Tree, National Park, Johnson's and First Point, which all face north, away from the predominant southeast swell. For real surf they rely on rare angled cyclone swells and long, Fiji-based easterly wind fetches. These don't happen very often.
The south swells that can light up the Gold Coast's famed points march straight past Noosa, swinging wide of its groomed sandbanks. However, when the swell angles more straight east, the five points roar into action, along with a guaranteed rabid and frothing crowd desperately keen to tap into this most rare of surfing's life force.
The five different sections offer different scales of difficulty, with the Boiling Pot, perhaps the most famous and intense of the lot. However it is First Point, the last and most mellow wave at the end of the line that is longboard heaven. Its perfect easy peelers have drawn surfers since the early 1960s.
It has also been the site of the annual Noosa Festival of Surfing, Australia's biggest retro surf jamboree since 1993. This is the zone where Noosa legends like Josh Constable, Harrison Roach and Julian Wilson all had their first waves and where their style was groomed. Current Women's Longboard Champ Soleil Errico also has been a regular visitor to the event.
"Noosa is where my home and my heart is," Wilson told the WSL. "I grew up longboarding First Point and it might be the wave where I've had the most fun. It really is a magical part of the surfing world."
It is also now the site of the new WSL event, the Noosa Longboard Open, which will add a jewel to the festival's week long run of music, art, board swaps, teams challenges and general meeting of surfing minds. Is there a better or more iconic wave to kick off the newly minted World Longboard Longboard Tour? The answer of course, is no.
Watch the Longboard Tour's Noosa stop March 7 - 10, 2019 on worldsurfleague.com, the WSL App, or Facebook LIVE.