GALLERY: The Greatest Month of Surf in Oz East Coast History?

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 13d ago

When we say Australia's east coast has just seen one of the best run of swells in recent memory – we're not joking around. It's been days upon days upon days of epic surf – and while that sounds like a bit of a cliché, there really isn't another moniker that should or could be used.

In fact it's been so good, that locals are dubbing this the 'Great Week', and we can't blame them. Though the swell's easing off now, our inbox has been blasted with hundreds of images, which we've been storing up to roll out in one fell swoop. What you see throughout below is just that... and at least one photographer claims it's the greatest month in Gold Coast surfing history. A wild shout but one that makes us think, 'huh, maybe!'

Spot guide: Sydney

Kirra on Monday. Probably won’t break again for months. We’ll let ya know.

Kirra on Monday. Probably won’t break again for months. We’ll let ya know.

© 2021 - Andrew Shield.

As Aaron Pierce aka (@liquidstorm) puts it. “When I look at my hard drive for the last nine years I've shot on the Gold Coast, I've never had as many days in a month that I've photographed surfing, this May was bonkers good from start to finish,” he tells MSW.

“Two sessions for me stand out out, Burleigh on the 29th was producing epic surf all day, well over head and pumping and after that session a lot were surfed out. The other session was magic Tuesday morning the 25th at Kirra, not the usual 100 plus crowd out first thing as apparently everyone was waiting for the arvo low tide, big mistake as big open barrels were being unleashed on the groomed banks.

Burleigh.

Burleigh.

© 2021 - Aaron Pierce

“For around two hours that morning it was as perfect as you could get it, after about an hour of this word must've got out and the masses arrived with all scrambling to get out there. Occy was on fire getting deep barrels, bottom turns and hitting the lip with his legendary backhand hack, something special to watch and a honour to shoot, stand out of the morning for me.

How's this for an Oz slab?

How's this for an Oz slab?

© 2021 - Aaron Pierce

© 2021 - Aaron Pierce

“I'm stoked to the eyeballs for what I've witnessed in May and couldn't give a stuff if June is f******. The shots I've taken, stories I've got, people I've meet and seen smiling all month will keep me smiling for months. May will go down in history as one of the greatest months of surf on the Gold Coast.”

Greenmount.

Greenmount.

© 2021 - Aaron Pierce

"Around Friday May 28, a smallish area of low pressure formed just west of New Zealand. This, together with a large high situated over southeast Australia, started to form a passage of southerly winds in the Tasman Sea," says MSW forecaster Tony Butt about this run of swell. "Over the following few days, the low intensified, expanded and moved only very slowly eastwards, while the high persisted."

Unknown at Snapper.

Unknown at Snapper.

© 2021 - Aaron Pierce

"The band of southerly winds continued, pumping out pulses of swell towards the east coast of Australia, lasting several days before finally dropping on Thursday June 3. As the windfield moved east, the swell arriving on the coast gradually swung from south to south-southeast, with local wave heights hitting six feet at or so at exposed spots."

One half of one of Australia’s current pack of dynamic father/daughter duos. One day she’ll be surfing rings around Dad. Sierra Kerr, north of the Spit, June 1.

One half of one of Australia’s current pack of dynamic father/daughter duos. One day she’ll be surfing rings around Dad. Sierra Kerr, north of the Spit, June 1.

© 2021 - Andrew Shield.

How could you say no? Beaten-silver peak at Narrabeen late last week.

How could you say no? Beaten-silver peak at Narrabeen late last week.

© 2021 - Ian Bird.

Mitch Crews, meeting the lip half way, Duranbah. “He’s like a fine wine, maturing,” says photographer Swilly. “His rail game especially. He moved board-makers to his brother Alex and it really seems to be a good fit. It’s nice to see someone who’s really competent and out there killing it.”

Mitch Crews, meeting the lip half way, Duranbah. “He’s like a fine wine, maturing,” says photographer Swilly. “His rail game especially. He moved board-makers to his brother Alex and it really seems to be a good fit. It’s nice to see someone who’s really competent and out there killing it.”

© 2021 - Swilly.

Greenmount, calming down. Everyone started out the Great Week running up the sand. By the time they got to Tuesday, they were walking.

Greenmount, calming down. Everyone started out the Great Week running up the sand. By the time they got to Tuesday, they were walking.

© 2021 - Andrew Shield.

© 2021 - Morris.

In Sydney, the day was almost surreal. Kobi Clements having one of those “here-I-am!” moments, Narrabeen.

In Sydney, the day was almost surreal. Kobi Clements having one of those “here-I-am!” moments, Narrabeen.

© 2021 - Dunbar.

Here’s another kind of duo. Tom Carroll and Jeff Gilmore (father of Steph), go-behinds at Snapper. The photog once again: “That was so epic, they must have mixed up five cross-overs. Tom was frothing on it. He said it reminded him of doing it with Occy at J-Bay in 1984. They both just handled it so easily. Jeff, well he’s always going to get the waves at Snapper.”

Here’s another kind of duo. Tom Carroll and Jeff Gilmore (father of Steph), go-behinds at Snapper. The photog once again: “That was so epic, they must have mixed up five cross-overs. Tom was frothing on it. He said it reminded him of doing it with Occy at J-Bay in 1984. They both just handled it so easily. Jeff, well he’s always going to get the waves at Snapper.”

© 2021 - Swilly.

Then again, boom. Big deepwater peak off Bronte, in mid-swell.

Then again, boom. Big deepwater peak off Bronte, in mid-swell.

© 2021 - Bill Morris.

© 2021 - Dunbar.

Toby Mossop, playing with the wave base, Tuesday at Burleigh Heads.

Toby Mossop, playing with the wave base, Tuesday at Burleigh Heads.

© 2021 - Swilly.

© 2021 - Bill Morris.

Josh Kerr feeling the lip, Rainbow Bay. From the photographer again: “The board he’s riding there is a kind of mid length twin fin. Like Asher Pacey said, if he’d got on a twinnie when he was back on tour, imagine how many heats he’d have won.”

Josh Kerr feeling the lip, Rainbow Bay. From the photographer again: “The board he’s riding there is a kind of mid length twin fin. Like Asher Pacey said, if he’d got on a twinnie when he was back on tour, imagine how many heats he’d have won.”

© 2021 - Swilly.

Big Laurie Towner, NSW south coast reef. “He was navigating it like it was a two foot beachy,” says our man behind the lens.

Big Laurie Towner, NSW south coast reef. “He was navigating it like it was a two foot beachy,” says our man behind the lens.

© 2021 - Zach Bowden.

Magical morning at none other than Tamarama, May 31.

Magical morning at none other than Tamarama, May 31.

© 2021 - Bill Morris.

All captions by Nick Carroll