How the locals like it

Ian ‘Wooly’ MacPherson,
Owner Star Surf + Skate

There’s nothing more relaxing than getting out on the ocean and in Mandurah being relaxed by nature is what it’s all about.

Ian Wooly MacPherson
Photo: Dylan O'Brien

Local surfer Ian ‘Wooly’ Macpherson wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s been surfing in Mandurah since he was a little tacker.

If he’s not chasing the best break, he’s teaching others how to surf, coaching aspiring pro surfers and sharing tips on land at his surf shop – Star Surf + Skate.

Sure, the South West is known for its surf, but Mandurah has loads of popular surfing spots to rival, making it a perfect day trip for Perth surfers.

And the best time to hit the surf is now!

Wooly says ideal surf conditions occur between autumn and spring, with winter the best time due to large storms bringing swells to the WA coast.

We checked in with the local surfing legend to discover more about the Mandurah surfing scene and why we should all pick up a board and learn to surf.

I started surfing when I was around 9 or 10 years old at Avalon Bay. My parents’ property was a small stroll from Avalon and my mum was a swimmer, so we spent a lot of time at the beach during the 70s and 80s.

I started off on a ‘foamie’ – a small coolite surfboard made of polystyrene beaded-foam. I remember painting it with house paint so I wouldn’t get a rash. I soon progressed to a second-hand fibreglass ‘single fin’ board and found myself learning at the little rolling lefts of Falcon Bay.

Ian MacPherson

When I was 12 years old, I joined the Mandurah Board Riders Club and I’ve been a member pretty much ever since.

Surfing has made up a massive part of my life and has moulded me into the person I am today.

All the places I have travelled evolve around the surf and most of my work has been in and around the surf industry since I was a teen. The feeling of being submerged in the ocean, riding waves is unmatched anywhere in any other sport.

Mandurah has been good to me growing up and having the beach on my doorstep. The local community has been very supportive of my surf school and surf shop since we started.

Surfing is all about fun. Surfing increases your fitness, strength, balance and flexibility (we stretch before every class). Spending time in and around the ocean positively impacts your health and the more you do it, the more your confidence in the ocean increases.

Ready to hit the surf? Give it a go in Mandurah!

WOOLY’S FAVOURITE SURFING SPOT IN MANDURAH

My favourite spot is Geary’s – named after a City Beach surfer, Ray Geary. He built a shack there and at 80 years of age he still lives there today!

Geary’s a wave that doesn’t break very often and needs a big swell to start to work properly. It gets very crowded with keen surfers these days, but I have very fond memories of days out there as a teenager surfing with just a few mates.

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