Stand Up Paddle Guide to Gold Coast, Australia by Kane Degrauw

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is located on the East coast of Australia and is known for its long sandy beaches and surf spots. Kane Degrauw, a coach and surf addict, moved to the Gold Coast 2 years ago. Since then, he regularly practices Stand Up Paddle boarding, and can’t do without it. He tells us about the conditions, the life there, the SUP spots, and many interesting things to know about the Gold Coast.

Hello Kane, can you tell us what is your history/relationship with the Gold Coast? 

I have been a Goldy local for 2 years now, after growing up in the remote North West of Western Australia for 21 years, I always dreamt of living in Queensland one day. In the start of 2019, I was given the opportunity for a position to relocate my business and coach out of a new Strength & Conditioning facility opening on the Gold Coast. I jumped at it, packed up shop, squeezed all my belongings into my little Outlander, and one week later I set course for the solo 6 day drive to move to the other side of Australia. Best decision I have ever made! Growing up as a surfer and spending a lot of time in the ocean with my dad working on his fishing boat, I soon gravitated towards SUP once I was on the Gold Coast. Since then, I haven’t looked back. I’ve been hooked!

What are the weather conditions throughout the year? 

Summer is our cyclone season which brings along big winds and big surf. Winter is the perfect time for paddling and to get out on the shortboard. Warm weather, offshore days with clean easterly swells is your indicator to look out for. As a wise man once told me, when the wind blows from the south, head south and when it blows from the north, head north.

Between the variety of water canals, downwind runs from Coolangatta to Burleigh, or technical courses along the Broadbeach/Surfers Paradise stretch, it is the perfect spot for paddling all year round. 

What are the best spots in the Gold Coast for SUP race training, SUP surfing, and Downwinding? 

Tallebudgera Creek is a play ground for all SUP disciplines, with the creek offering up crystal clear flat water and the inlet to paddle out and around the Burleigh headland, you can not go wrong. Just be prepared to dodge and weave a few stray swimmers and the odd dragon boat. Troy Pease runs his team of Pirates each Wednesday and Friday morning down at Talle, with a specialized program to prepare and equip the local SUP frothers into the next upcoming competition. Peasey captains a very tight ship on the Coast.

What and when are the main watersports events of the Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast community lives and breathes all things saltwater. Each Sunday morning the clubbies come flocking from the hills and fairly fill the ocean with a sea of fluro caps of all ages. The Gold Coast holds a string of Iron Man events over the calendar. The WSL holds the Quiksilver Pro around the beginning of autumn which is always the talk of the town leading up to the waiting period and on the SUP racing calendar everyone has their sights set towards 12 Towers weekend which never disappoints.

Can you tell us what’s the local SUP/watersports community like? 

The beauty of the Gold Coast is the variety of waterways on offer for paddling. This can sometimes be a gift and a curse. Anyone who has competed on the Gold Coast knows how tight the community is, each competition is like a huge catch-up.

There are so many paddle groups on the coast that unite together as one at races. However, it would be cool to have these opportunities where the Gold Coast paddle community comes together more often. This would be powerful as we can share ideas, help each grow on and off the water and ultimately one day lead all nations in the world of SUP racing.

I believe good things come to those who consistently show up. Day in day out putting in the hard yards, keeping focused, and take every opportunity with both hands is all we can control right now. I may be biased but Gold Coast locals like John John Hagan and Chloe Walkerdene consistently day after day back that hard-working mentality up and I can not wait to watch it all unfold come competition day. The Gold Coast is quickly becoming fiercely competitive and everyone is pretty fired up about the announcement of SUP entering the Olympics in the near future. 

Where would you rent your Stand Up Paddle and Foil gear or take classes? 

Go Vertical SUP is the go-to spot to hire a board or take a SUP lesson and tour. Linda runs the show down in Surfers Paradise, which it is hard to find anyone as energetic and welcoming to take anyone out for a laugh and a shred on the SUP to make your first experience a memorable one.

For any pro gear, foil, clubbies, or SUP equipment, Waterman Store in Burleigh Heads stock everything you can ask for.

And as a tourist, what things to do and places to see in and around the Gold Coast would you recommend?

It is nature’s playground. We have the most beautiful beaches in Australia so the options are endless. We regularly head to Poke Poke for the best Acai bowl on the coast, take away or dine in at Metro Coffee Broadbeach, just give Benny a holla (best ‘coffee boy’ on the Coast). The Gold Coast is jam-packed for night time street food, Miami Marketta is a fan favorite with live music and 10+ food trucks (recommend the texas beef brisket) or do the family road trip north and bounce between the theme parks and then to cap the night off head 45min south out of the Gold Coast to Byron Bay and catch the night time street buskers. Or just stay on the coast and surf all day long which is our go-to. You can’t go wrong!


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Une publication partagée par K A N E – D E G R A U W (@kanedegrauw_)

About the Author


I am a student in an engineering school and also passionate about water sports. I'm a swimmer first, but I discovered Stand Up Paddle in 2019, I was hooked. Today I mix boardsports (surfing, SUP, canoe) with my passion for swimming by doing SwimRun.

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