Giant Australian Ocean Waves Batter These Boats Like Toys in a Bathtub

Bondi Icebergs rock pool with salty ocean water and people swimming there on a bright sunny summer day.

Giant Australian Ocean Waves Batter These Boats Like Toys in a Bathtub

While many Australian men went to fight in World War II, the Australian people’s spirit never broke. In this video, lifeguards who have not yet gone to fight in the war stage one of the country’s famous Australian Surf Carnivals at Bondi Beach. With the crowd’s cheers in the background, the video shows how well Australian lifeguards handle tough waves and water around the famous Bondi Beach.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Australia.

Bondi Beach is one of the country’s most visited sites. Located in a suburb of Sydney, Australia, it is only half a mile long but receives hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly. As seen in the full video, Bondi Beach has held a surf carnival every year for decades, though it’s now known as the “Ocean Lovers Festival,” and it goes well beyond just surfing these days.

Surf Carnival

Australian Surf Carnival
The Australian Surf Carnival was a hugely popular distraction during the war.

In this first image, you can see the size of the crowd and the number of lifeguards participating in the event when it was still known as the Surf Carnival. Thousands of onlookers watched the lifeguards march in unison and participate in water activities.

Marching in Unison

Lifeguards marching
Lifeguards marched in front of happy onlookers.

With this close-up view, you get a better sense of the lifeguards marching in unison and holding flags to help celebrate the day. Notice the older-style swimsuits and water caps these men wore as part of the fashion and style of the time.

Boat in Water

Lifeguards in boats
Lifeguards in multiple boats all went into the water at the same time.

One of the most watched activities of the day is when the lifeguards enter the water in boats carrying four to five men. During this event, the men will showcase how well they can navigate the choppy waves Bondi Beach is famous for.

Surf Boats

Giant surf boats
You can see lifeguards rowing in the boats before hitting the waves.

Known as “Surf Boats,” these men are paddling in what look like large-size kayaks designed to help them stay afloat in Australian waters. As soon as these boats meet the waves, the crowd is having fun.

Rolling Waves

Rolling waves

The first boat hits the waves and begins the struggle to stay afloat.


Bondi Beach is well known for its rolling waves, and this is exactly what you see in the video. Though it’s difficult to tell the height of the waves, the water level is undoubtedly well above the height of the men sitting in the boats.

Giant Early Waves

Giant early waves
The giant early waves hit the boats hard and fast.

With this view, you get a sense of how high the front of the boat can be thrown into the air as it meets the first wave. Even this first meeting of the wave requires plenty of skill to stay afloat as the boat hits an odd angle before falling back into the water.

Swallowed by Water

Swallowed by water
This photo shows a small glimpse of one of the lifeguard boats being swallowed by water.

In this still image, you can see the very end of one of the surf boats toward the bottom right of the frame. It is a sight to see how easily these rolling waves can swallow up these boats.

Before Water Strikes

Right before water strikes
You get a glimpse in this picture of one of the boats about to tackle a wave.

This slightly different view shows another surf boat right before the waves strike the front of the boat. It’s a wondrous sight to see the courage of the men as they battle the water, which requires both strength and skill to stay upright successfully.

Lots of Boats

Boats in water
It’s hard to believe, but there are three boats in this picture.

If you’re sitting in the crowd, you have several boats to watch as each boat and its lifeguard crew look to battle the waves differently. In this photo, you have three boats, two prominently shown and one barely in view on the right-hand side, with only one crew member’s head barely above water.

Staying Afloat

Head above water
There is one head above the water in this picture.

This still image from the video leaves little to the imagination. It’s hard to tell with absolute certainty if this boat stayed upright or toppled over from the powerful Bondi Beach wave. However, this crew didn’t appear to have luck today as the wave was too strong.

Watch the Full Video

Watch the full video
The full video shows all of the surf boat action as it happened.

Watch the full video to see the surf boat action and decide if the last boat successfully stayed afloat or toppled over. No matter what happened, it looks like a fun event to watch and maybe even participate in.

To top