Surfing is a lot about the ocean wind, the size of the waves and tides. But it doesn’t stop there. Chatting up fellow surfers at a cool bar, relaxing at an alluring beach and taking in the natural beauty of the area is part of the surfing experience. Not all beaches are ideal to enjoy all these aspects. So check out this list of the top surf spots that have it all:
1. Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
Indonesia is slowly establishing itself as a stunning snorkeling and diving destination. Besides the utterly enamoring white-sand beaches, the Mentawai islands of the Indonesian archipelago have surprisingly wonderful surf spots. From June to September, the points at Siberut, Siparo and Pagi have consistent waves that do not disappoint.
2. Tofino, Canada
Tofino, on Vancouver Island, is Canada’s best known surf town. The lovely bay here is ringed by a lush forest and the waves are stunning. This is a popular getaway destination for beach goers, whale watchers and anyone in general looking for a scenic escape. The only downside is that the weather can get unexpectedly chilly, so come prepared accordingly.
3. Riyuewan, China
If you are looking for a relatively undiscovered surfing spot, then Riyuewan in China’s Hainan province is the place to be. No one goes to China to surf. So you’ll find the tempting waves here crowd-free and unspoiled. After a hard day navigating the crashing barrels, you can reward yourself to some delicious Hainan-style seafood.
4. Gold Coast, Australia
The Gold Coast is the hallowed temple grounds for all hardcore surf fans. There’s hardly any other place on Earth that’s as attuned to surfing as this famed shoreline. The Superbank here is hailed as probably the best point break in the world. This is a great place to start learning to surf and to get accustomed to the surfing counterculture.
5. P-pass, Micronesia
Venture here for the waves that you see on surf magazine covers. It has a renowned right-hand break and unforgettably enthralling blue water. These 6-feet waves are said to be suitable for all levels, but beginners in general will not be able to handle the swell without serious training.
6. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Britain and France may have managed to exclusively lure in European surfers throughout the last decade, but not anymore. The ethereal Cliffs of Moher in southwestern Ireland is steadily becoming known for excellent barrels in a spot known as Aileen’s. As the surfing personality Rusty Long put it, “Aileen’s is definitely one of the most surreal and dramatic settings I’ve ever surfed, and the wave itself is big and mean and perfect.”
7. Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu is practically synonymous with surfing in the United States. The beaches here are simply heaven and the overall energy is intoxicating. You cannot call yourself a surfer until you’ve tackled Oahu’s “mother of all waves”—the Pipeline—which is actually one of the biggest and heaviest waves found anywhere. There’s no other place on Earth where you can enjoy a unique blend of surfing, partying and adventuring as in Oahu, Hawaii.
Ready to go on a surfing holiday already? Remember, the key is to relax and let go.