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.
Lessons & Club Gear
The club has some basic windsurfing gear for club members looking to try windsurfing as well as SUPs for those light wind days.
There are no structured dates for lessons however the club periodically puts on learning days.
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/) and The Zu in St Kilda (https://www.thezu.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.
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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