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You Know You're in Broome When There is a Cyclone Warning and the Locals go Surfing

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Cyclones are no laughing matter, as they pose a serious risk to life and property. However as they build in intensity from tropical lows to full blown cyclones they also pose a serious opportunity for Broome's Cylcone Surfers.

Cable Beach is one of the best beaches in the world with its 22km of pristine white sand. Named after the telegraph cable layed between Broome and Java in 1889, its won several "best beach" awards, but never a best surf beach award. Its just not famed for surf. That is of course for most of the year, but during the wet season when cyclones develop, a small but dedicated community of surfers take advantage of the increasing  swell generated by the low pressure systems. When a cyclone is forecast DFES (Department of Fire and Emergency Services) issue community alerts to keep people safe and informed. The community alerts are as follows;

Blue Alert: means prepare for dangerous weather and keep up to date with the development of the cyclone through radio, television or internet. 
Yellow Alert: means take action and get ready to go to shelter and monitor radio, television or internet for information on the cyclone’s progress, particularly any storm surge advice.
Red Alert: means go to shelter immediately and keep listening to your portable radio for information on the cyclone's progress.
All Clear: means that wind and storm surge dangers have passed but you need to take care to avoid the dangers caused by damage

DFES advice is important to the Cyclone Surfers who have their own twist on the warning system.

Tropical Low Approaching: Wax your board and prepare for some serious surf. Keep your eye on Cable Beach web cam. Be carefull on the roads as all cyclone surfers will be regulary driving to Cable Beach to check if the swell has arrived, causing congestion.
Blue Alert: Head to Cable Beach and get out amongst it. There is going to be some serous swell for a day or so.
Yellow Alert: Keep surfing cause we're not on red yet but make sure you're out and home before it goes to red.
Red Alert: Secure the board safely but keep it readily accessible and re wax, there will be some post cyclcone surf to enjoy.  
All Clear:  Get down to Cable Beach and check out the swell. 


Broome's Cyclone Surfers even have their own Facebook Page and have some local celebrities amongst them. On any blue alert day you could see Kitty and Joe, owners of the Good Cartel, Wil Smith, local artisan, musican and operator of Broome Historical Walking Tours and Greg Quicke (aka Space Gandalf) from Astro Tours, all out tearing up the surf. 

One Cylcone Surfers who didn't want to be named told #SoBroome "The perfect cyclone swell is like a pipeline, and often arrives a day or two before the hell, long before the wind, then gradually intensifies till its big and dangerous. The window is relatively brief of course. This is Broome's best kept secret, so you didn't hear it from me....,(anonomous source)"

You know you're in Broome when the cyclone surfers are on Cable Beach. 

#SoBroome doesn't advocate surfing during tropical lows or cyclones.

If you're a cyclone surfer please share your experiences in the comments below. Click here to find more posts in the You-Know-You're-in-Broome-When series.







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Comments
Anonymous commented on 26-Jan-2019 04:23 PM
Thanks Cyclone Riley, its been a long time between pipelines!

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