Active Vacations: Top 6 Surfing Spots In The World
Surfing is probably one of the best 'active' vacation sports to try. The “surfer” and surfing culture is world renowned for its awe-inspiring athletes seen riding waves as tall as buildings. Working together with a force of nature to create something so dynamic and beautiful is an experience everyone should have.
Surfing has long been a part of popular culture, ingrained into the fabric of places like California, Hawaii and Bali. Though the sport is world famous now, surfing is actually an ancient tradition of Polynesian culture and was brought to California as early as 1907 by Baron Henry Huntington, after he witnessed some Hawaiian boys riding some waves. Professional contests started in 1975 and the sport has only grown since.
For those who have never tried it before, you can only imagine the feeling of working together with an explosive force of nature capable of destruction, in a calm state as you ride the waves to the shoreline, maneuvering with dynamic moves along the way.
Whether you fantasize about it, or you are already an intermediate or "pro" surfer, these are some 'must surf' spots around the world (in no particular order), each with something different to offer.
1. Superbank, Gold Coast, Australia
The Gold Coast is one of the most well-known surfing destinations in the world. It has Australia's most consistent waves and has been the location for many international surfing competitions such as the 'Quick Silver Pro Gold Coast' competition.
Snapper Rocks Superbank or ‘Superbank' for short, is world famous for its breaks as they can swell massively. The area is also home to the longest ride-able waves in the world. It is also one of the most crowded beaches in Australia and at times you may be able to spot some world champions like Kelly Slater (11 time world surf champion) or Jordy Smith, riding the waves.
This is not a spot for the beginner, though it is something one can aspire to. The level of ability needed for this spot is advanced! However, you can always watch and enjoy the beach and the crowd.
2. Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii
You know those movies with the huge wave that engulfs the surfer in its barrel, before he emerges victorious from riding the massive wave? Welcome to Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii. It could be said the island is where surfing was created. So you know, this is the spot to visit! Or dream of at least. Even advanced surfers have a difficult time dealing with the power of mother-nature here.
With the shallow 'razor blade table reef' and one of the heaviest waves in the world flaring overhead as high 6 meters (19.6 feet), this is surely not for everyone. However, if you do get the chance to be around the area, stop by to witness the powerful creation of nature.
3. Cowell's Beach, Santa Cruz, California
This beach may not be known as the best in California, but it's surely one of the best for beginner surfers. We had to have a few of these on the list. The surf report here is easy-going with waist high breaks at 200 yard from the shore, you won't be intimidated to try the sport.
The beach is packed with locals that are all very welcoming. As Cowell's beach is listed here for beginners, you would want to know that you can rent surfing equipment and get lesson from the Cowell's Surf Shop. The lessons are $90 for a board and wet-suit for the day and include 2 hours or instructions.
4. Hossegor, France
This spot is dubbed the “surfing capital of Europe” and is a spot that amateur surfers can aspire to. The cool part about Hossegor is that there are homes that belong to famous people nearby, like Jack Johnson, a former pro surfer and currently world famous musician. Who knows, maybe if you're lucky you might get to watch Mr. Johnson catch some waves!
The waves here are heavy with tubes that rival Hawaii, but it's a great spot for more advanced surfers and for others to cheer them on.
5. Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada
Tofino is the picturesque surf capital of Canada and offers fun breaks for all surfing skill levels. Yes, that means the newbies to the sport, can try it out! The island itself is beautiful and surrounded by a looming forest.
There are several spots to check in Tofino such as Chesterman Beach (the most popular among learners), Cox Bay, Makenzie Beach and Rosie's Bay. If you are planning to take a trip to this beautiful surf destination be sure to check them out.
It can get pretty chilly at Tofino, so bring a thick wetsuit. Pacific Surf Co. offers surf rentals and lessons for families, groups, and even private. All of this makes Tofino a great family surf destination!
6. Bali, Indonesia
Image: Kuta Beach
Image: Surfing Uluwatu Beach
Bali, Indonesia is one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world. Thought it doesn't have the biggest waves, the island is a little paradise with a few awesome surfing locations. Uluwatu beach is one that is very popular, especially since you can surf as the sun sets in the background towards the evenings. However, the waves at Uluwatu are meant for more intermediate to advanced surfers as there are dangers to navigate close by such as shallow water, reefs and lots of other people trying to catch a wave.
Kuta beach is more beginner friendly and a favorite among fellow learners. Blessed with 3 kilometers of beautiful sandy beach, the waves at Kuta beach average 1 to 3 feet high, just nice to learn and have some fun. Odessey Surf School offers rentals and lessons and their HQ is located only 50 meters from Kuta beach.
7. Manu Bay, Raglan, New Zealand
Manu Bay was made famous by the surfer cult movie “Endless Summer” back in the 1960s. The atmosphere of the area is very relaxed with the waves following the laid-back vibe, at 1 to 3 meters (3 to 10 feet) high on average, with the occasional barrel if you're lucky. Though due to the dangers of rocks close to the bay, it's best to leave this beach to the seasoned surfers.
However, anyone can enjoy the beautiful and relaxing surroundings of Manu Bay. They do have the Bryant Reserve close by if you would like to go for a stroll and enjoy the surroundings.
Share with us your favorite surfing spots, in the comments below.