Useful Weather Sites
Seabreeze.com.au is a Perth based website that provides not only weather, but a great forum section to talk all things SUP. The weather section has links to live buoy data and surf cams at selected beaches.
Willyweather.com.au provides a bit more in-depth information relating to moon, tides, rainfall and UV.
Other websites that can be useful include Magicseaweed.com, Surfline.com, windguru.com and Coastalwatch.com. These websites provide forecasts on surf locations around the world, which make them useful for travelling.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is the main source of information for any website or app forecasting in Australia. The various sites just present this data differently.
Understanding Perth Weather
In Perth, we are blessed with a variety of conditions and locations suitable to make paddling possible all year round. A typical summer pattern (November – March) will see an easterly in the morning, making the ocean a great place to start your day. As mid morning rolls around, the wind tends to drop off and provide and hour or two of brilliant warm, glassy conditions. As we head towards lunch time and early afternoon, the beaches will tend to empty as the seabreeze (“Fremantle Doctor”) makes an appearance.
To prolong your paddling day, you have two options
1) head to the river or
2) pull out your race/touring board and head for a down wind paddle.
Great places to paddle away the afternoon on the river include Freshwater Bay, Point Walter and further up the river in places like Maylands. These places all provide protection from the Seabreeze.
Autumn & Spring
The ‘shoulder’ seasons of April/May and August- October provide plenty of opportunities to go paddling all around Perth. Perth has slightly cooler conditions than the peak of summer, which makes longer paddles more enjoyable. The wind – which is our ultimate friend or foe as SUPpers – also tends to back off and not be so extreme throughout the day. This means you can paddle for longer and further without the fear of being caught in a Seabreeze.
Believe it or not winter is the best time to go paddling in Perth. The days are cooler, it’s often sunny, and most importantly, there is generally no wind! Once you have the basic skills on a SUP, it is an ON THE WATER sport, not an IN THE WATER one. Meaning during winter you can paddle for hours without getting more than your feet slightly wet.
During winter, we also start to see more swell roll into our beaches. For the more adventurous or those wanting to take their paddling to the next level, this is your time to ride some waves.
Paddling in an Easterly
Anything with easterly means generally going to the ocean is ideal. Just watch out for it to be too strong or you might end up at Rotto.
Other places to paddle in easterlies include Dalkieth (Mrs Herberts Park provides a great launching place) and the paddle from Point Walter down Blackwall Reach is always relaxing.
Paddling in the Seabreeze
When the Seabreeze arrives from the south west, head to places such as Shelly Rossmoyne, Freshwater Bay or Matilda Bay on the Swan River. For the more adventurous, head to Sandtrax (south of Leighton Beach).
Paddling in Westerlies
When the straight westerlies roll in, a beautiful place to paddle is the Coombe or Deep Water Point down to Canning Bridge.
Paddling in any wind
Other places that are always nice to paddle include Hillaries and/or Mindarie Marinas as they provide protection from the wind from all angles.
So now you know where to get the information and what to do with it, the only thing left is to go paddling. See you out there!