There are no shortage options along the 23 miles that make up New South Wales's Tweed Coast. From Fingal to Pottsville, it's home to some of Australia's best beachbreaks. And this weekend, the Tweed Coast Pro lands at Cabarita Beach for the first of the three-stop Australian Grand Slam of Surfing.
Cabarita's ability to hold swell makes it an ideal contest site. Remarkably consistent, based on what we're seeing in the forecast models which is calling for plenty of swell, the beachbreak should be plenty punchy and crunchy.
We're looking at conditions that are going to force surfers to think creatively. From where to sit in the lineup to what maneuvers to employ, due to the ever-changing nature of the waves the possibilities are endless. Barrels, airs, turns, it all depends on the how the surfers choose to approach the sections in front of them. It also means there's potential to see some big upsets and exciting, down-to-the-wire heats.
When it comes to how to creatively approach Cabarita, look no further than local Chippa Wilson, who grew up surfing the beachbreaks of the Tweed Coast. Wilson's surfing is a product of his environment. He is able to mix up his maneuvers and adjust to different types of scenarios.
"There are so many spots and they're all accessible. It depends on the time of the year, but it's pretty good -- there are a ton of banks, no reefs or anything," Wilson explained in an interview with Red Bull.
Another Tweed Coast original is seven-time World Champ Stephanie Gilmore, who grew up in Kingscliff, New South Wales. With the local knowledge and her vast contest experience, why wouldn't she be considered a favorite out here?
In 2018, Isabella Nichols won the Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro, which took place at Cabarita. Last year, Nichols finished number one on the Qualifying Series and solidified her spot on the 2020 Championship Tour. She's could easily upset the top seeds in the draw and show the world exactly what she's capable of.
For powerful surfers like the Wright siblings and Julian Wilson, the fact there's going to be waves -- and wind -- opens them up to lean into their full, explosive arsenal of maneuvers. Wilson particularly thrives in these kinds of conditions. It suits his air game perfectly.
The opening day of the event is looking like it's going to get breezy in the afternoon, which will only complicate things further for the surfers, but for fans, it's a great chance to see how good their heroes really are as they'll be summoning all their talents to make heats. Pro surfing is back, and the shifting sands of the Tweed Coast are poised to provide the drama we've all be missing.