Elwood Beach Melbourne (Victoria Australia)
Windsurfing at Elwood, VIC
Elwood is located on Port Phillip Bay approximately 8km SE of Melbourne.
This spot is associated with Elwood Sailing Club which has a strong following of recreational windsurfers with up to 50 members dedicated to the sport. On a good day you can find 20+ windsurfers launching from the front of the club and a further 20+ who launch from the end of Head Street to the south of the Elwood Pier.
Launching of kites is prohibited in this area however you often see kites cruising up-and-down the coast past ESC further out to sea.
Sailing Type & Ability
The sailing here is predominantly bump-and-jump or flat-water-blasting on days of lighter winds with bigger sails & slalom gear.
Some days when the wind is high enough and in the right direction the chop/waves can be around 1.5 metres enabling windsurfers to conduct freestyle manoeuvres.
The area is relatively protected and there is a life-saving club right next door making it an ideal place for beginners and improvers dependent on the wind-strength and direction.
Wind – best seasons & wind directions
The best time for sailing here is during the warmer months between November and March but sailing here is possible all-year-round.
The ideal wind direction is from the S or NW however anything from SSE to NNW work ok except when the wind is strong from the SW (direct on-shore) the shore-break makes it difficult to get out. During summer on the warmer days there is a reliable “cooler” afternoon sea breeze that kicks in around 2 pm (most typically 15 – 20 knot southerly).
SW breezes are directly on-shore and can be difficult to sail as you are effectively running across the beach in the shore-break. Northerlies are off-shore and can be very strong during the summer months however a northerly with quite a bit of west can work well at Elwood. The water is very flat when the wind blows from the north but the winds are typically very gusty.
Water – temps & conditions
Water temps peak at around 22 Deg C in Summer so a short wetsuit (sometimes shorts & a rashie) will suffice and can be a chilly 12 Deg C in winter so you will need a good wetsuit or very thick skin.
The water is typically clear and blue except when there has been any significant rainfall where it can get a bit murky due to storm-water drains that flow into the bay. Sometimes during summer after a big rain event it can be advisable to not enter the water due to health risks.
When the wind blows from the south it is cross-on-shore and if the breeze is above 12 knots a reasonable shore-break is present.
Rigging & Launching Area
There is a grass rigging area in front and next to the club-house although most of the grass tends to die in front of the club house during the hotter months.
From the rigging area it is only about 30 m across a soft sandy beach to the launching area.
There is a rocky groin protruding out into the water near the club providing some protection from the shore-break or if you want get straight on the plane, head to the windward side of the rocks.
Sailors should be aware that they are not to sail inside the yellow markers into the swimming zone. They should also keep an eye on swimmers doing laps between the markers when sailing to/from the launch area.
At certain times of the year the bay gets inundated with jelly fish. They are not deadly but direct contact with your skin can cause an irritating rash.
There is a small rocky reef on the North side of the rocky groin so be aware of this at low tide as a fin strike is possible.
Other things to be aware of is other sailing craft, fishing boats and personal water craft.
Facilities – parking, toilets, showers, bbq, kids, non-sailor
For members, the club has BBQ facilities, men’s & women’s changing rooms, hot showers, toilets, wash-down facilities for gear and storage. On Saturday’s when there is club racing on for the other boats the upstairs bar is open to members.
For non-members there is public BBQ’s located nearby as well as toilets & change-rooms next to the lifesaving club.
- Services Overview:
Location of centre:
- Adults Lessons
- Kids Lessons
Instructor Adrian provides windsurfing lessons in front of the Elwood Sailing Club to kids and adult. Ability levels include first-timers through to advanced sailors wanting to improve their skills. Lessons take place in front of the sailing club at Elwood on Port Phillip Bay, just 10km SE of Melbourne, Australia. There are no set days of the week however lessons Read more...
- Changing Rooms
More about to the club
If you are interested in knowing more about the club or about joining the club, visit the website here: https://www.elwoodsc.com/
Nearby Services – retail, restaurants, bars
The nearest shops for windsurfing gear are Sailboard Headquarters in Sandringham (https://www.shq.com.au/)
There is a cafe and up-market restaurant near the club and Elwood Village is about 500 metres away which has a variety of restaurants and bars.
Where to stay – camping, RV, hotel/motel, apartment/house
If you are looking for accommodation nearby you will find a number of houses and apartments on Air BnB and hotel accommodation on Booking.com.
There are no camping grounds or RV parks in the area.
Windsurfing Retailers in the Area
- Category: Kitesurfing Retailer and Windsurfing RetailerWindsurfing Brands:
- Flying Objects
- JP Australia
- Neil Pryde
- Select Fins
- Buoyancy Vests
- Liquid Face
- Neil Pryde
Sailboard Headquarters has a physical store located in Sandringham SE of Melbourne, VIC, Australia. They offer the biggest range of windsurfing gear with many of the top brands. They also have a good range of kitesurfing equipment as well as foils. Check out their website for details and online sales. Read more...
- Twin Tips
- Kite Surfboards
- Speciality Boards
- Kite Foils
- Category: Windsurfing RetailerWindsurfing Brands:
The Big Blue are the exclusive importer of Point-7 & I-99 windsurfing & SUP gear. Being a direct distributor they offer great discounts for volume purchases. They do not have a physical shop however contact them via their website and they can provide the latest information & pricing. Read more...
- Harness Lines
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- Flat Water Blasting
- Bump and Jump
- Longboard Cruising
- Flat Water
- Small Waves
- Cold Water
- Moderate Temp Water
- Salt Water
- Shore Break
- Easy Launching
- On-site Parking
- Kids Playground
- Public Toilets
- Jelly Fish
- Shore Break
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1 Review on “Elwood Beach Melbourne (Victoria Australia)”
This is my home windsurfing spot so I get to see it in all conditions across all seasons.
I am not much of a winter sailor here because the water can get pretty cold and when the antarctic wind blows from the south it can be freezing cold…and yes I am a softy.
During the Months of November to about March (during summer) afternoon sea-breezes (12 to 25 knots) are common place (from the South or South-West) making the sailing opportunities fairly regular.
On the down-side, there is quite a bit of fetch across the bay when the wind blows from the South making the water very rough and choppy (also creating a bit of a shore break at the launching area). Another problem is during the peak of summer there can be a lot of Jelly Fish. They are not the killer type but can give you a bit of a sting so wetsuits are pretty essential most of the time.
On the plus-side I get to store my gear at the Elwood Sailing Club and hang out with a great bunch of windsurfers and when the conditions are right the sailing can be pretty good.