The best places to surf in the world are going to be the perfect combination of glorious scenery and brilliant waves. Whilst undoubtedly some tropical destinations are going to have beautiful weather to throw into the mix, it isn’t sunshine that makes the best places to surf in the world. To surfers, the crux of the matter is the quality of the waves. Surfers are on an endless quest for the perfect wave. It does help though, if the location is the perfect picture postcard. Here’s 8 Best Places to Surf in the World:
1. Hawaii, USA
Let’s start with the archetypal and iconic surfing location. Garish shirts, Luaus and surf just about sums up Hawaii. It has also enjoyed longevity and remains one of the world’s best surfing locations. The options are plentiful for novices and professional boarders and the islands are a friendly place. January is the best time to go where the water has a temp of 24 degrees C and the waves rise in huge swells. Best spots are Hanalei Point, Banzai Pipeline, Off the Wall, Waimea Bay and North Shore. To be really challenged (if you don’t mind sharks), head to Pier One.
2. Cornwall, UK
Some raised eyebrows? Although you might catch some waves on some Scottish and Welsh beaches, there really is only one place to surf in the UK and that’s the south western county of Cornwall. It fully deserves its inclusion as one of the best places to surf in the world even if it is a small area compared to the others. On a concentrated stretch of unspoilt coast from Newquay to Bude, the surf beaches are set among stunning wild rugged scenery. Newquay is very definitely a surf town and boarders will find plenty of reefs and point breaks. Check out Barrets Zawn for a challenge.
3. Perth, Australia
If there is ever a nationality that totally understands beach life it is the Australians. Most people think of Sydney when it comes to Aussie surf beaches but the cognoscenti know Perth in Western Australia, is one of the world’s best surf destinations. If you don’t mind sharing the water with lots of other surfers, Trigg Point is the best beach close to the city center. Bunbury, Avalon Point, Margaret River and Surfer’s Point are ideal locations south of the CBD and if you go north, you’ll find the bigger swells. July and August are the best months for the best waves but it’s also winter so you’ll need a wetsuit.
4. California, USA
If everyone had an ocean, across the USA, then everybody’d be surfin’, surfing Californ-I-A. So sang the Beach Boys. Did you know there are nearly 500 surf spots along the coast of California? The reason the Sunshine State is one of the best places to surf in the world is because you can take your pick from quiet secluded beaches with the waves practically to yourself or a real hard –core party beach. Spots around LA are for ‘social’ surfers but serious boarders head upstate. Some of the best spots are Surfrider Beach, Old Man’s, Fort Point, San Onofre and Ocean Beach.
There’s probably around 100 surf spots along Spain’s Mediterranean coastline. Spanish surf spots are very much geared to the average surfer and, there really isn’t anywhere with extreme surf. Tarifa on the very southern tip can get some blustery days but the swell is hit and miss. What makes Spain one of the best places in the world to surf is its accessibility to all and the consistently good weather Beginners will find Majorca hospitable whilst hard heads will find Galicia appealing, especially in January and February at Seijo Branco and Rinlo.
6. Cape Town, South Africa
Sublime beaches with the backdrop of the magnificent Table Mountain – what more can a surfer want? You’re spoilt with 150 great surf spots in Cape Town, easily making it one of the world’s best surfing locations. Surf’s up all year round here but the largest swells are to be experienced between June/August. There’s a huge expanse of sea where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, giving plenty of open water for those waves to build. You also have the bonus of being in Cape Town, one of the world’s great tourist destinations.
7. The Maldives
The breathtakingly, stunningly beautiful 1190 islands of The Maldives are probably primarily considered a premier diving destination but it is also one of the best places to surf in the world. The water is a translucent aquamarine and the beaches are flat and silky soft. The weather is typically tropical. The swells are good all year round peaking in July/August. Extreme surfers should head for Meeru, beginners will enjoy Ninjas, whereas Pasta Point, Yin Yang, Five Islands and Tombstones are good for everyone.
8. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Surf to the Samba beat in Brazil’s beach capital. Head to Rio in July/August for the best swells and water of a pleasant 20 degrees C. Even though it’s one of the world’s best surf destinations, it’s relatively cheap staying in Rio so it’s surf by day, party by night. The best beginner’s beach is Canal de Camboinhas and off the scale for the surfing ego is Laje Cartao Postal. Those without a deathwish will find an adrenaline rush at Reserva or Baixio Tropical.
Riding the waves on a board is a thrilling way to enjoy the ocean and doing it on the world’s beat surf beaches has the added bonus of traveling to some great countries and cities.
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