Do you love riding huge waves, or not? Well, it really doesn’t matter. The surf culture has influenced many people who have trooped to beaches in the last five decades in one way or another.
If you’ve ever hung out and listened to a beach boys record (some of the guys in the grouped haven’t even surfed their entire lives) or rocked a pair of baggy shorts or dreamily watched the breakers, and dreamed of an endless summer of bonfire and waves with a good looking surfer girl or guy beside you, you can definitely claim a connection to surf culture.
So, whether you’re the adventure seeker who loves riding huge waves or the type who enjoys sitting on the beach with your toes firmly planted in the sand, the world’s best surf destinations are for you.
To get you going in the right direction, we’ve put together some of the most prominent surfing destinations around the globe that you can add to your traveling bucket list. Check them out below, and don’t forget to share with friends as well.
1. Eisbach, Munich
The most unusual and fascinating wave on our list is found in a human-made river at the end of the English Garden (Englischer Garten) in Munich’s central park. This spot is completely land-locked.
The Eisbach’s river has been a tourist attraction for over 40 years and has caught the attention of famous surfers from around the world.
This artificial standing wave, which is about one meter (meaning you’re just surfing in one spot and not moving down the river), is formed as a huge mass of water gets pumped at high velocity against a stone step at the outlet, creating a crest.
The Eishbach waves can be surfed at any time of the year, even in winter. As long as there’s enough water, you can ride the waves as long as you want. However, only experienced surfers are advised to ride the waves, as the river is too narrow and complicated for beginners.
2. Baja Malibu, Baja Norte Mexico
Famed for having some of the thickest waves in the Pacific, this beach resort is another excellent spot for surfers. Since it’s a quick ride from San Diego, Baja Malibu has been a huge tourist spot for Southern California people, and it’s always filled with people during most parts of the year.
Though water cleanliness is an issue, the exposed breaks that rise to five or ten feet and are known to form a barrel when toppling down, are worth the trip. Just don’t swallow the water while you’re there. The best part is, the waves are consistent – you don’t have to wait for the perfect wave.
One of the best times to surf the Baja Malibu breaks is during winter. This is because the crowd would have thinned out a little, and the waves are more frequent and bigger during the winter months.
You may want to pack your wetsuit as the Baja Malibu waters are a bit colder than other breaks in the region.
3. Fulong Beach, Taiwan
Fulong Beach is another spot to catch really sick waves. Located in northeast Taiwan, and known for being one of Taipei’s best beaches, Fulong Beach produces thrilling left and right-peeling waves from a sandbar and ranges from one to two meters.
4. Surin Beach, Phuket, Thailand
This beachfront is home to some of the best waves in the whole of Thailand. Although it is not one of the top destinations on our list, its white sand beach and clean waters, complete with tropical and coral fish is worth the visit.
The beach is known to receive the best swells in the area, and they could rise to 3 feet or more.
The best time to surf the Surin waves is during the rainy season between March and October. During this time, there are fewer tourists on the beach, and the winds can often be onshore, creating left and right-facing swells for weeks.
5. Hossegor, France
The beach at Hossegor is a good destination to visit if you’re looking to surf one of the world’s coolest hollow waves. Hossegor checks out as an ideal surfing spot with its warm water, beautiful beach, consistent swells, and sandbanks that consistently kick up 2 meters turquoise barrels.
Its waves can sometimes rise to six meters.
Thanks to its fair weather, surfers can catch a wave at any time of the year, but there are individual wave variations during different seasons. If you’re looking to find some friendly waves for learning, July and August are the best time to visit.
May and June are great months to catch some great breaks in Hossegor as the big spring tides and hectic winter swells may have calmed down but will still push some good waves to shore.
The best months to visit Hoesseger are arguably September and October as the waves will start to pick in size, and the waters will be warm enough to surf in boardies.
6. Herzliya, Israel
One of Israel’s beautiful cities and just 20 minutes away from the capital Tel Aviv, Herzliya is a popular weekend getaway and a sweet spot to catch some massive waves.
Some of the most breathtaking beaches in Isreal are situated in this city, with a seafront promenade, white sand, and beautiful boats sailing the Mediterranean.
Unlike the beaches in Tel Aviv, Herzliya does not have wall breakers to protect its beaches from aggressive and hefty waves, making its beaches a sweet destination for pro surfers. Dromi’s beach is the latest surfing Hotspot in the city.
The Dromi’s Beach (which means “southern beach” in Hebrew) was formerly used to host motorsports, is now entirely used for surfing.
The best time to visit this beach is during spring, fall, and winter. Plus, the night lighting installed on the beach makes it possible for those who work during the day to enjoy a refreshing surfing session.
7. Hainan Island, China
Known as the surfing capital of China and dubbed the “Chinese Hawaii” due to its tropical climate, Hainan Island is a surfer’s paradise with consistently high-quality, empty waves.
Although surfing is not so popular in China and the surf culture is still emerging, you can find a handful of local surfers in the region who are passionate and welcoming.
During the summer, the best place to catch some of the China Sea waves is in the south of Hainan island, while the winter waves can be found in the eastern part of the island.
8. Macaronis, Indonesia
There are over 18,000 islands that make up the archipelago of Indonesia, and so far, only 8,000 have been named. Out of these many islands, one, in particular, stands out as a must-visit surfer’s destination.
Surfers of all levels can look to catch the right wave for their skill level and are claimed to be the most famous waves in the region. Unfortunately, this also makes it the most crowded wave in the area, and it is not uncommon to see more than forty people in the water, with the same amount of onlookers eagerly watching from ashore.
Its powerful left-peeling Breaks could rise to a height of between two and eight feet.
9. Cornwall, England
Cornwall earned the title of UK’s surfing capital, thanks to its strategic location and tropical weather. With nearly 200 beaches in the land strip that makes up Cornwall, there is no way you won’t find a wave for your skill level.
Fistral Beach, located on the north coast of the peninsula, is one of the most popular and overcrowded beaches because it boasts some quality waves with swells of up to 8ft.
So if you don’t mind sharing its consistent swells with 300 other eager surfers, Fistral is the place to be. If you do care and want a more private and less crowded place to enjoy your trip, you can check out other beaches in the region.
There are surf spots that aren’t even on beaches that you can catch some class waves. The best time to catch the best Cornwall swells is between September and February.
10. Bells Beach, Australia
Australia is regarded in the surfing world as one of the premium surfing spots in the globe. With a coastline that stretches almost 50,000 kilometers and connected by over 10,000 beaches, there is no way you won’t catch a wave for your skill level.
Bells Beach is one of the most popular beaches and the home of the well-known surf competition, The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
The competition has been running since the early ’60s and is now held every Easter. It’s perfect right-hand waves which range between three to five meters on average, are a result of the refraction of clean waves around the Otways, and particularly a gently sloping Reef located at the southern edge of the strip.
The best time to surf Bells Beach is between November and March for smaller waves and warmer weather or from April to October for colder weather/water and bigger swells.
11. Jeffreys Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Found at the heart of the Sunshine Coast on SA’s Eastern Cape, Jeffreys Bay is made up of several beaches that stretch along the Indian Ocean coast and is home to be the best right peeling point swells in the world.
J-bay, as locals like to call it, provides a wide variety of options for all surfers, with thick barrels that can measure up to 12 feet and up to 10 different spots to choose from.
This subtropical convergence zone is also home to some wildlife, particularly Great Whites, so you may want to be on the lookout when surfing this break.
Surely, you’ll find rideable waves in Jeffreys all year round, but the best time to catch impressive barrels is during winter around May to August when the offshore winds create more consistent swells.
12. Cloudbreak, Tavarua, Fiji
Home to the Fiji Pro and known to handle waves of up to 20 feet, Cloudbreak is one of the best waves and a surfing mecca for surfers from across the globe. Cloudbreak provides consistent surf all year round, thanks to its shallow waters.
However, it’s shallow reef also makes it unsuitable for beginners and best for seasoned professionals, as the waves break across several angles on the reef, making it tricky to figure out.
You can ride the best of Cloudbreak’s left point break anytime between February and October.
13. Trestles San Clemente, California
Just off the California coast, San Clemente is home to some of the most consistent and rich waves in the region and is a must-visit surf destination for surfers of all skill levels.
Its location is so strategically placed that it is exposed to and equally receives the winter northwest facing swells and the summertime south.
One of its outstanding beaches is the Trestles – host to the only ASP World Tour Event in North America – with premium swells that are worth the challenge. However, it’s intense crowds make it challenging to enjoy its world-class waves.
Trestles comprise of five different breaks moving from north to south and are named Cottons, Uppers, Lowers, Middles, and Church.
Lowers is regarded as the best zone in all the five. The five zones tend to be crowded during the summer days, so it’s best to go early in the morning before the crowds start trooping in.
14. Pavones Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Welcome to the home of the second-longest left point waves in the world. Although surfing wannabes can find small swells that they can ride, this point break is recommended only for intermediate and professional surfers.
On big days, especially when the waves hit its six-to-eight-foot mark, the three-section wave is usually crowded, but with little patience, you might just catch a swell of your dreams.
The best time to visit this point break is between March and November.
15. Banzai Pipeline Sunset Beach, Hawaii
Banzai is the most famous wave in the world, and arguably one of the most dangerous. The north shore of O’ahu (the meeting place) where this monster wave is located is considered a holy land to surfers everywhere, and despite the risks involved, seasoned vets still make the trip to test their skills at Pipeline every year.
When winter swells from the west or northwest collide with the three reefs at Pipeline, a perfect hollow barrel is formed, giving wave lovers the ride of their lives while going right (backdoor) or left (Pipeline).
The high performance swells at Pipeline is host to a number of surf competitions, including Pipe Masters and Vans Triple Crowns.