From Blue Crush to The Endless Summer, many of us have only experienced surfing through movies, often leaving us wishing we could be surfing somewhere ourselves. Do you know some of the most popular spots in the world for surfers to flock to?
If you were wanting to see where the heart of surfing began and to see what Hawaii has to offer, check out Kauai during the summer months. However, if you're more experienced, visit South Shore from November to February where you can see ocean swells that are as large as 30 – 40 feet.
- Kalapaki Beach – This beach is great for those who are just learning to surf because of the protective break walls that help create gentle conditions to surf in.
- Kahili Beach – If you’re a beginner and are traveling in the summer months, this will be a good beach for you because the waves are consistent and small. In the winter, the waves become longer and more powerful, making this spot more dangerous. Nevertheless, this would be a great spot for intermediate surfers.
- Hanalei Bay – Similar to Kahili Beach, Hanalei Bay, located on the North Shore of Kauai is going to be calmer in the summer months and more powerful in the winter. So, if you’re a beginner, try coming to this spot during the summer months.
- Kealia Beach – This beach is more open and exposed, so if you’re a beginner this will still be a good spot, you’ll just want to be a little more aware! The surf can get dangerous, so be careful!
- Kekaha Beach – With the strong currents and rough ocean conditions, this beach might not be the best for beginners. For those who are intermediate to advanced, though, the rougher conditions make this location less crowded.
Maybe you want to stay on the mainland and see the sunny state of California; don’t worry, there are plenty of places to surf here!
- Huntington Beach – You might know this beach by its nickname: “Surf City USA.” This is a very popular location because of its consistent surf and is also known because it hosts the Annual Vans US Open of Surfing every year.
- Surfrider Beach – This popular location is best surfed during the summer months. What’s great about this beach is that it accommodates all surfing levels. If you’re a beginner, you can surf closer to the shore where the waves are gentler; the further out you go, the bigger the surf will get which is best for intermediate to advanced surfers.
- San Onofre State Beach, San Clemente – If you’re looking for a beach to spend the day with your family and friends, this is the place to go! With multiple beach areas and parking lots to play games and tailgate, everyone can have fun. If you’re coming to San Onofre to surf, there are two areas you can head to. The first is the Lower Trestles, which is located on the south side. It's known for consistently having the best waves and, because of that, you may spot a pro–surfer hanging out there. Another beach at San Onofre is Old Man’s. This easily accessible location is a great surf spot with gentle waves which is perfect for beginners.
Puerto Escondido, Mexico
- Playa Zicatela – This famous surf spot has big, powerful, and bone–breaking tubular waves. If you’re a beginner, you definitely won’t want to practice out here. Only the advanced surfers should be playing here since this surf spot has been known to break surfboards into pieces, and in some cases, caused some deaths. However, because of these tubular waves, Playa Zicatela has been considered one of the most important surf destinations in Mexico and Central America. However, if you are heading to this area and still want to surf as a beginner or an intermediate surfer, head over to La Punta, Carrizalillo, and Playa Marinero for some tamer waves.
When you think of France, do you immediately think of Paris and the Eiffel tower? Did you that there are places in France recognized for their beaches and surf spots? Fun fact: Biarritz was the birthplace of surfing in Europe and the surf is so good, many well–known surfers visit just to surf there.
Biarritz, France is located in the southwest Aquitaine region where you will find some of the most iconic beaches: La Cote des Basques and Grand Plage.
- La Cote de Basques – This beach is great for beginners, especially from April to October and June and July. If you’re a bit on the intermediate level, you can surf all year, but from May to March and September and November the crowds are quieter and the surf is bigger.
Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa
A town known for how welcoming they are to their guests from all around the world, people love the balance of the small–town feel yet a big city for bringing people together. Jeffrey’s Bay, also known as J–Bay, has multiple beaches that have great surfing conditions for all levels of experience, especially during the months of March through October.
- Point and Kitchen Windows – These are two beaches that will be great for beginners. They offer smaller waves that are still powerful enough to give you a longer ride.
- Subertubes – This beach is best for intermediate to expert levels, in which you will see 12–foot waves to surf.
This is a unique place to visit especially if you’re an experienced surfer. This popular location can get a bit crowded, so it tends to be more competitive.
- Uluwatu – Uluwatu is right under a cliff, which makes for some amazing views and an interesting way to get out to the water. If you are surfing, you have to work your way down to the ocean by climbing down a set of stairs in the Uluwatu cliff, which is essentially a cave. Once you get to the bottom, if the tide is high, you will be welcomed by the ocean within the cave. To get out of the cave into the open cove of the beach, you have to get on your surfboard and paddle out of the cave. When the tide is low and you’ve reached the bottom of the staircase, you’ll be able to just walk out of the cave to the coved beach area where you can start surfing.
No matter if you are a surfer or not, if you want to learn, or are just fascinated by the sport, you can find some neat surf spots while traveling that are worth checking out!