Events & Festivals
World’s best surf spots
Just as you can’t have a good coffee without quality beans, a good surf relies on a decent break. There are 10 beaches in particular which surfers the world over flock to for their epic point breaks and big swells. From Australia to Brazil, here are 10 top spots to ride the waves.
1. Gold Coast, Australia
It’s the 70 kilometres of beaches and four epic point breaks (The Spit, Main Beach, Narrowneck, Palm Beach and Mermaid Beach) that won Queensland’s Gold Coast the nickname, “Surfers’ Paradise”. Other great places to check out are: Snapper Rocks Superbank, Burleigh Heads, Kirra and South Stradbroke Island (Straddie).
2. Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
Located off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia, the Mentawai Islands are one of the most consistent surf destinations in the world. There are four main islands that are noted for their perfect waves: Siberut, Sipora, North Pagi and South Pagi. Access is by ferries and charter boats. Go there from March to October, but keep in mind that the biggest swells are likely to occur from June to September.
3. Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
In the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, about an hour’s drive southwest of Port Elizabeth, Jeffreys Bay is one of the most famous surfing destinations you’re likely to find. Especially great during the winter months of June, July, and August, surfers come here for a great ride on beaches like Super Tubes, Boneyards, Kitchen Windows, Magna Tubes, Point and Albatross. Jeffreys Bay is also renowned for hosting the annual Billabong Pro WCT surfing event at Super Tubes during July.
4. Fuerteventura, Spain
Part of the Canary Islands, and the second biggest of them all, Fuerteventura is known as the mecca of surfers. Aligned with Florida and Mexico on the same latitude, the temperatures here rarely fall below 18 degrees or rise above 24 degrees. Surfers should be happy with the weather conditions no matter what time of the year, but October to March is the best season.
5. El Salvador
Bordering the Pacific Ocean between Guatemala and Honduras, El Salvador is winning the hearts of increasing numbers of surfers. Favourite surf spots are: El Zonte, Sunzal and La Libertad. The main swell season is from March to October and coincides with the rainy season. Experienced surfers should expect the south swells during this time to reach up to 10 ft. Don’t forget to take your booties for getting in and out at the rocky points.
6. Costa Rica
The Republic of Costa Rica in Central America is a legendary surfing location. Mostly ‘hardcore’ surfers come here mainly because of the consistent waves year round. Both coastlines produce great waves with the major swell season starting from April and ending in October. Some of the best waves are at Playa Naranjo and Potrero Grande (Ollies Point). Too bad the road systems aren’t up to scratch
7. California, North America
California is home to North America’s best surf spot. Big wave hunters head to places like the mountains of Maverick’s during the huge winter swells. If you just want to enjoy a good wave but you’re not into big waves then choose a spot between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. Some other great places include: Steamer Lane, Malibu and Rincon. Keep in mind that the water is cold almost all year round (only hits 24 degrees in July and August) and the surfing spots are likely to be crowded with very good surfers.
8. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is renowned for its great surf spots. A few of the best include the area around Bukit Peninsular (directly south from Dempasar), Kuta (Beach), Dreamland, Uluwatu or Padang Padang. With the swells coming from the Southern Ocean, Bali sees consistent waves up to 12 ft high, from April to November. Main drawback is that it’s pretty crowded and you may get hassled (a lot).
9. Santa Catarina, Brazil
Santa Catarina in southern Brazil is colloquially referred to as ‘Florianopolis’ (the capital) and is one of the country’s most-visited places due to its plethora of beach resorts. The island is blessed with the best Brazil has to offer to a surfer, including a great consistency and a huge variety of waves, such as Santinho and Mocambique. Joaquina Beach. Other world-class surf spots in Florianopolis are Praia Mole, Campeche and Lagoinha do Leste.
Warm waters and consistent quality waves make Samoa one of the world’s best surfing destinations. Its winning location in the South Pacific ensures there’s plenty of swell from pretty much every direction, all year round. The best time to roll is from April to October, when waves are created by the big lows down near Antarctica. Some of the renowned surf spots are: the A’ufaga Village, Salani, Boulders, Coconuts (compared to Hollow Trees in the Mentawai Islands), Salamumu and Tiavea, Laulii, Fagaloa Bay or Solosolo.