Photo Credit: Hawaii Business Magazine
Catch These Waves: 7 Great Destinations For Surfers Of Any Level
Surf’s Up! But where? Of all the water sports, surfing provides some heart pounding thrills, and people sometimes wait years to encounter that perfect wave. And once you’ve found it, it’s an adrenaline rush you won’t soon forget, even if it only lasts a few seconds. The monster waves you’ve probably seen on YouTube would intimidate average surfers, but there are daredevils among us who embrace the challenge, knowing the risks.
On a physical level, surfing demands a strong core, which is crucial to keeping you upright on the board. There are ways to build that strength that go beyond sit ups and planks, but that’s for another article.
It’s worth noting that thanks to organizations like Black Girls Surf, there are more Black surfers, which wasn’t always the case. Its founder, long time surf enthusiast Rhonda Harper, identified a pain point- the glaring lack of diversity, specifically related to color and gender. She established Black Girls Surf to help Black women and girls learn a cool new skill, or enhance their existing skills, by working alongside instructors who look like them. We love to see it.
Seasoned water glider or newbie, here are seven spots to catch your next wave.
1. Oahu, Hawaii
If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii and are a fan of barrel waves, head over to Banazi Pipeline in Ehukai Beach Park on the north shore of Oahu.
Barrel waves are caused when the water creates a tube or barrel shape, and the conditions have to be just right for them to occur.
According to The Best of Oahu, “the winter swells that roll into this part of Oahu’s north shore push up onto an extremely shallow reef, thus creating some of the best picture-perfect waves that pro surfers dream about.”
Pro is the operative word here. If you’re new, it’s advised that you proceed with caution, as this particular wave type can cause grievous bodily harm if you don’t know what you’re doing.
2. Brittany, France
This region in northwest France is popular for, as Culture Trip explains, “its beautifully wild and rugged coastline, exposed stretches (of beach) and sheltered coves.”
Some of the best beaches here to get your surf on is La Torche, Le Petit Minou, La Palue and Plage du Kérou.
If you’re a newbie, there’s a surfing school at Plage du Kérou, and the wind conditions tend to consistently be ideal.
Even if you aren’t interested in surfing, Kérou Beach is aesthetically pleasing, with its vibrant blue waters, honey-colored sand, and rock formations.
3. Puerto Rico
Photo by Laker
Puerto Rico offers beaches for surfers of all levels.
Middles Beach in the town of Isabela offers some of the best surfing on the island, and it hosts the Corona Pro Surf Competition. But if you aren’t quite on that level, not to worry, you can still find a home here.
As Red Bull explains, Middles Beach offers “jaw-dropping sea caverns, lush jungle-furred mountains, and water shifting from dark sapphire to bright jade green.”
A good spot for catching barrel waves is an oddly named beach in Aguadilla called Gas Chamber Beach. According to Red Bull, its name stems from the “low-cresting, tubular shore break waves that appear in the shallow waters.”
Looking for big waves? Rincón’s Playa Domes is known for them, especially during winter.
4. San Diego, California
If you’re in California, head to Windandsea Beach (the words are deliberately jammed together) in San Diego.
The name reveals all you need to know about the conditions (windy!) and in addition to that, the waves can be rough and the shore rocky.
If you’re new to surfing, you might want to take a spectator role, and watch the experienced folks do their thing.
Some people go here during low tide for long walks and photography sessions.
5. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is popular with experienced surfers, unfazed by the undercurrents and slight (but always present) risk of tsunamis.
Then again, a truly experienced surfer would know to check the conditions before getting in the water. Be aware that the mood of the water can change on a dime, so keep an eye on it.
Barefoot Surf Travel suggests the following beaches in Bali for folks just starting their surf journey:
Kuta Beach: This sandy bottom beach offers surf lessons and boogie board rentals on site.
Batubolong Beach: This beach has a “fairly flat, reef bottom contour, and medium-sized waves that tend to break and reform several times.”
Bingin Beach: The water here consists of a rich variety of blues, but it’s important to be mindful of the tide. Only when it is low should beginners venture out, as high tide is best suited for surfers with more experience.
6. Taghazout, Morocco
Taghazout, a charming fishing village in Morocco, transformed into a haven for artists, writers, and other creatives in the 60s, and it hasn’t gone back.
According to Best Surf Destinations, you’ll know you’re in a surfing spot by the folks walking around with surfboards, and the shops selling surf gear along the main roads.
If you’re a beginner, head to Anchor Point Beach in the summer, which is a good time to get your feet wet.
For something more daring, check out Dracula’s Beach, named for its jagged rocks shaped like vampire teeth, and sea urchins.
According to Surf Maroc, if you can get past that and the riptides, you’ll have a blast here.
7. Port Antonio, Jamaica
Boston Bay Beach in Port Antonio is widely considered to be the only beach in Jamaica with waves sufficient for surfing.
These waves are usually gentle, so you can practice the few surf skills you have safely. Check out some surf schools on site if you need professional guidance.
When you’ve tired yourself out, support the local businesses by grabbing some Jerk chicken and a Ting from one of the food stands nearby.