13th Beach: Poo Point
Poo Point is tucked into the far western corner at 13th Beach and is a great windsurfing option for when the swell on the 13th beach breaks is getting out of control, or when Point Impossible is looking good but the wind is staying WNW.
The wave itself ranges from fat, small crumbly waves that are tricky to do a lot with unless you’ve got plenty of power in your sail – to a rippable, clean point break that is really quite good. This spot is very sensitive to the quality of the swell, and can change depending on how the sand is positioned.
Generally non-threatening, it is a good spot for a range of skill levels and is reasonably consistent over the winter months on strong W-NW frontal systems. It is also the closest down the line wavesailing spot to central Melbourne on these conditions, with the alternative options being Surfies Point on Phillip Island and Waratah Bay.
25 knot+ WNW wind, low-mid tide and a large powerful ground swell to form clean lines breaking off the point.
Works on anything between W and NW, but WNW is definitely the best balance of strength and clean conditions on the face. Straight NW tends to be shadowed on the inside, making a higher volume board a good choice.
The swell at Poo Point is generally going to be about half the size of the open beaches at 13th. This point is tucked right up in the corner and is sheltered for swell with a decent amount of westerly direction. For this reason it is rarely ‘big’. A really strong swell (8-10ft+ for Mornington) is likely to see 4ft or logo high waves at Poo Point.
Refer to notes on wave height.
Tide is not super important, but generally the wave is going to get fatter on higher tide so low to mid is probably preferred. This makes Poo Point a good alternative to Point Impossible if the waves are good but the wind is hanging a little too offshore.
Poo Point is not a heavy wave, packing less power than the normal beach breaks at 13th. It is easily within the realms of beginner-intermediate wavesailors on smaller swells and is a ‘fun’ if not a ‘little soft’ spot for advanced riders on bigger days given the usually thin lips.
The predominant hazard at Poo Point is the downwind sweep that will carry you into bigger and heavier waves on the 13th beach breaks. Don’t dawdle in the impact zone and get caught inside, if you are already a bit downwind and struggling to get back out – head into shore, walk back upwind and sneak out through the smaller surf off the point.
On lighter wind forecasts or NW wind the launch spots and the inside of the break can be challenging to navigate with big holes and awkward offshore angles. It is often a good idea to use a higher volume board here to make sure you can get out easily. Always try to come back in on a broken wave to avoid getting stuck in a shadow and having to swim.
In theory rocks are a threat here, but in practice not so much. You are only going to have issues with rocks by tacking off on waves extremely deep, and on lower tides. It is quite obvious where the safe and unsafe parts of the wave are – so ride appropriately.
This spot is called Poo Point for a reason, with the large sewerage treatment plant just upwind. After heavy rain the smell is pungent – don’t swallow the water!
Poo Point relies on strong frontal systems from the West to North West, which means it is usually best in the winter months. The wind on the Surf Coast is notoriously fickle, with huge 30-40 knot forecasts sometimes delivering barely anything depending on how the front shifts. These weather systems can also flick the wind more offshore or onshore than you had expected. For this reason it is always a good idea to be flexible and try another spot based on what it is doing, not what you think it will do.
Check the swell forecast on Swellnet for the Mornington Peninsula here, and for Barwon Heads here. The Mornington Peninsula forecast is for the open beaches is always going to be at least a few feet bigger than at 13th Beach.
The waves at Poo Point are always about half the size of the open beaches at 13th, and are also heavily impacted by a more westerly swell direction. Generally for Poo Point, the bigger the better – proper days are going to be 8ft+ on the Mornington Peninsula open beaches.
Check live readings from Pt Nepean Swell Buoy here. Poo Point is going to need 2.5m+ average swell with a decent period to start breaking.
South Channel is generally going to be stronger than the wind on the water at any Surf Coast spot. The true wind strength is usually somewhere between the readings on South Channel and Aireys Inlet. Due to the local wind effects which tend to the keep the wind on a westerly system hanging to the north longer than forecasted, Aireys is also more useful for determining the real wind direction.
Nearest Windguru Forecast:
Waves heights given in feet are ‘surfers’ size or Hawaiian Scale. Loosely this means a 3ft wave is head high, 4ft is overhead and 6ft is double overhead or mast high. Use the table below to roughly translate between surf forecasts and live swell readings at Point Nepean.
|Wave Size||Swellnet Forecast (Mornington Peninsula)||Point Nepean Swell Buoy (average height)|
Swell period relates to the amount of energy in the swell, a sub 10 second period is low and will be weak. An average quality swell will be around 12-14 seconds and high period, high energy swells are typically over 15 seconds. Higher period swells will generally wrap further into more sheltered locations and lead to increased wave heights.
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