Travelling along Western Australia’s coast is probably the dream of every windsurfer. The German windsurfer Malte Hecht (25) and his friends decided to make their dream come true and spent the European winter in Western Australia. They changed their university life in northern Germany to live the windsurfers dream. Malte and his friends spent 5 months and some Australian Dollars but it was worth each minute and each Dollar. Actually Malte is a very good freestyle windsurfer, but has now discovered wave riding, too.
Malte Hecht: “I will now drive much more often up to Denmark and ride the waves at Hanstholm or Klitmøller. I would say I am kind of addicted to wave riding after my trip to Western Australia.”
Malte released a video, which shows the pictures he captured during the five months in Australia. His freestyle sessions at Coronation inside and his wave riding at Gnaraloo or Margaret River. It was his first experience in wave sailing. At the end of the movie are a few clips from his friends Joanna Marciniak, Raphael Schwinger, Paul Meier, Thorsten and Andreas.
We added a quick interview with Malte below, to give you more background info about his trip.
Malte Hecht in Western Australia – Video
Interview with Malte Hecht about Western Australia
Continentseven: Why did you leave the European winter and spend 5 months in Western Australia? You are normally studying this time of the year, right?
Malte Hecht: Yes, usually I study computer science in Kiel. Wintertime in northern Germany is probably good for sitting in front of a computer but not for windsurfing. That’s one reason I spent most of the wintertime in Western Australia. The other is that it just was the time for a big trip and a lot of my friends where away as well.
Continentseven: Did you plan the trip in advance or did you get any advices from fellow windsurfers?
Malte Hecht: A friend and me had the idea to do the trip while eating together in between some lectures. And a few weeks later I already booked the flight to Perth. So I was quite early, but I wanted to make it fix. We got a lot of advice from friends who had been to Australia already. But actually Australia is not so different to Europe compared to North Africa for example. So you get along well because the culture is very similar.
Continentseven: How did you live in Australia? Australia is not the cheapest, right?
Malte Hecht: We earned as much money as possible before we left. Then we bought a car to sleep in. First we had a 4wd but we didn’t really need it, though it’s not a bad idea to buy one because you can go off road a lot if you want to. The exchange rate from euro to aud is good (for Europeans) at the moment. So food wasn’t that expensive for us. Fuel is cheaper compared to Germany (we payed around 1,05 EUR per liter of petrol) .
Continentseven: Do you know, how much money you approx. spent for this 5 months in Australia?
Malte Hecht: I spent 5000AUD for a car but we had good luck and sold it for 5000 when we left and the car never had any issues. So we got that money back. But that’s probably not always like that. I think we spent 700AUD per month on petrol and 500AUD for food. All the costs were shared. So in the end I think I spent around 4000 Euro plus 1000 Euro flight.
Continentseven: You are known as a freestyle windsurfer, but you have started to windsurfer in waves in Australia, too. Is Western Australia perfect to learn to windsurf in waves?
Malte Hecht: Yes, I think it’s very good for learning if you have a car and the will to drive. It’s good because it’s windy and wavy most of the time. Spots like Coronation are perfect for jumping and you have several world class spots for wave riding as well.
Continentseven: Australia is known for its animals and sharks. Any shark sightings or other animals?
Malte Hecht: I saw snakes, several (reef) sharks, kangaroos, dolphins, spiders, turtles, sea snakes, sting rays etc. So pretty much everything I was scared about before 😉 but in the end it wasn’t as scary as I thought. Unfortunately I did not see a whale.
Continentseven: What are your favourite spots in Western Australia?
Malte Hecht: Coronation because it’s good for jumping and spot where you don’t worry about the wave or a sharp reef etc. The other one is Gnaraloo because it’s just a beautiful wave
and Margaret River, because you have a good wave, a very nice place to be and a lot of good activities when it’s not windy.
Continentseven: Where did you have your best session?
Malte Hecht: Probably in Coronation, because there we were a big bunch of friends windsurfing together.
Continentseven: Most used gear set?
Malte Hecht: Sailloft Quad 4.4m to 4.8m and a Patrik Trailerwave 85.
Continentseven: Would you go for the same trip again?
Malte Hecht: I already thought about booking the next flight.