The Superbank: a joint venture between Man and Nature
The Superbank is a man-made surf break located in Coolangatta, Gold Coast, Australia. It offers one of the longest wave rides in the world.
On special days, the Superbank allows you to take off at Snapper Rocks and touch the sand at Kirra in a 1.97-kilometer (1.22 miles) surfing experience.
Despite the crowded waters, the Superbank offers a complete adventure into the wave-riding portfolio: fast barrels, mushy sections, aerial ramps, and classic wave faces.
There have been plans to change the region's geomorphology, including cruise ship terminals, sand injections, and casinos.
But the Superbank is sensitive to subtle changes, and if the surf break shuts down, so will the tourism in Coolangatta.
The Gold Coast Superbank is a lucid dream.
The sand pumped to the northern side of the Tweed River allows you to get barreled in the early section into Greenmount, and then if you're lucky and good enough, the wave machine will send you through Coolangatta into Kirra.
According to the Tweed Sand Bypassing, between April 1st, 2000, and October 20th, 2002, the quantity of sand dredged reached 1,062,618 square meters.
So, how did surfing evolve before and after dredging?
- Burleigh Heads was the best and most popular surf spot in the region;
- Snapper Rocks was an average, fairly consistent right-hander with occasional lefts;
- The longest ride would only connect Snapper to the rocks at Greenmount, i.e., 200 meters;
- The Gold Coast City Council decides to keep the mouth of the Tweed River free from sand and safe for boats. The sand dredging process begins;
- Surfing changes in Coolangatta. Rides of up to 20 seconds are now possible;
- As the Superbank takes shape, ten-second tube rides become frequent;
- In 2002, Joel Parkinson wins the first-ever Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast as part of the World Championship Tour;
- The surf movie "3 Degrees" (2003) features Jarrah Tutton's 20-second barrel at the Superbank;
- Damon Harvey rides a four-minute-plus wave from Snapper Rocks to the Pizza Hut restaurant located at North Kirra;