The Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast, one of two Australian Grand Slam events in the Countdown Series, is due to go down on South Stradbroke Island between 1 September and 31 October.
It's the first time a surfing event has been held on the sand island known as Minjerribah by Indigenous Australians or "Straddie" by Gold Coast surfers. History will be made, as competitive action comes to one of the world's best beachbreaks.
The island is located at the northern end of the Gold Coast, just 200 meters across the Seaport Seaway from the mainland. It's reachable by a short paddle (though made daunting by the presence of sharks), jet ski or water taxi.
Yet despite being almost a stone's throw from the Gold Coast proper, South Stradbroke feels almost like another world. An 1800-hectare conservation park, it has sand dunes covered in casuarina that house rare wallabies. Whales often breach just outside the breaking waves, and birds sing in the melaleuca forest.
However Gold Coast surfers don't cross the Seaway for the flora and fauna. They come for the waves. It's arguably the premier beachbreak on the East Coast. Swells refract around shallow outer sand banks and then refocus and detonate in hollow sand-bottomed A-frame tubes on the inside. On its day, few beachbreaks can match its spitting peak perfection.
It's consistency is another key factor. The break hoovers in both local windswells and distant groundswells. That means if there is any swell from the east coinciding with offshore winds from the west, Straddie turns on the magic. Add the crystal-clear water and platinum white beach, and you can see why Straddie has been a saviour for Gold Coast surfers since it arrived as a byproduct of the Seaway development 30 years ago.
Now we aren't going to lie: September and October isn't the ideal swell window. We've just seen in the last few months so many epic sessions go down at Stradbroke, as the Gold Coast was pounded by swell during the lockdown period.
Autumn and winter tend to deliver the best sessions. However spring does come loaded with plenty of offshore days. And with only two days needed across a two month waiting period, the chances of scoring remain high.
The aim of these broadcast-only strike missions is to guarantee the best surfing in the best waves possible. With the iconic South Stradbroke Island as a venue, that's just what we'll get.