12. Surfing/Bodyboarding


Surfing/bodyboarding: duck dive under a wave.


Surfing and bodyboarding are water sports synonymous with Australian culture, connecting people with the vast coastlines of the country. Surfing and bodyboarding have positive effects for building resilience, mental health, coordination and balance, understanding water safety and building muscle strength.



Surfing Australia

There are 215 affiliate clubs (9 in SA) and 120 surf schools (11 in SA) countrywide. Surfing Australia work to ensure high standards of quality are met in affiliate clubs and schools. There are many surfing and bodyboarding clubs across Australia that are affiliates of Surfing Australia.  


In 2021 a historic moment for Australian Surfing took place with a new name and identity: The Irukandjis: Deadly in the Water. Australian representatives across all surfing genres, including Junior, Open, Masters, Olympic, Longboard, Big Wave, Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) and Adaptive disciplines, now compete under The Irukandjis national identity and united colours at international events such as the Olympics, International Surfing Association (ISA), World Surfing Games, WSL World Juniors and Longboard Championships. The Irukandjis name was gifted to Surfing Australia by the local Yirrganydji people of North Queensland, driven by the efforts of Indigenous athlete and former World Tour surfer, Soli Bailey. Check out the story behind the new identity. 




Surfer Girls SA

A club for South Australian women and girls to have fun surfing and learning new skills. They are open to all ages and abilities and run surf trips, private lessons, education, coaching and more. They often meet at Middleton and Moana. Check out 92-year-old Nancy Meherne, our Kiwi neighbour who is still surfing!   


One of Australia’s surfing icons and the most successful female surfer in the world is Stephanie Gilmore who has won eight-word titles. Check out her story and what she likes to do in her spare time. 





A national platform to connect Australians with disabilities to access surfing and provide opportunities to achieve excellence. In 2021 the Australian Para Surfing team took home 6 medals at the World Para Surfing Championship!  




MicroGroms Surf Club

A South Australian club that encourages all children up to age 18 to “have a go.” They hold 10 competitions each year, run by dedicated volunteers.  





With many programs across Australia, there are six surf schools in SA. These schools teach beach safety skills such as surf survival, rescue techniques and basic first aid. The SurfGroms program caters for children between 5-12 years old, nationally. Whilst the younger surfers and paddlers are still developing fundamental movements such as balance, agility and coordination; the older kids are far more developed both mentally and physically, requiring a different approach when learning new skills. 




Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles

The Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles presented by Rip Curl is a gathering of Indigenous Surfers from across the country on the traditional land of the Wada Wurrung people at Bells Beach on Victoria’s Surf Coast. The event includes divisions of Open Men, Open Women, Junior Boys, Junior Girls, Longboard and Masters Men. 




Disability Sports Australia

There are many different types of disabilities that can surf and compete at a high level. These surfers are resilient and creative in their techniques and equipment and have support from their friends in the surfing community.     




Other Resources