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The very best surfing destinations around the world

By Natasha Bazika on 2nd March 2020

From South Africa to California, the world is full of incredible beaches waiting for you to explore. For thrill-seekers, surfing is a great option to feel the rush of water, the saltwater on your skin and the electrifying feeling of gliding on water. Whether you’re a novice surfer or an expert wave rider we scoured the world to bring you the best surfing destinations around the world.

When considering a surfing spot, many factors play a part in which is suitable for you. Some cities are better than others for surfing due to wind patterns, tide schedules, and terrain. This list includes the best-surfing destinations that are perfect for all kinds of experiences. So, zip up your wetsuit, grab your board and get ready for the ride of your life. If you don’t have the right gear Coast Water Sports offers some of the best surfing gear from wetsuits to surfboard travel bags. 

Oahu, Hawaii

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Image credit: Madrabothair/Bigstock.com

Think of Hawaii and surfing is sure to be an image to follow. The picture-perfect U.S. state is brimming with miles of coastline and plays host to some of the world’s top surfing competitions. Oahu is definitely the proverbial heartbeat of surfing in Hawaii and the perfect place for beginners and experts. The winter waves are much more difficult then the tamer summer waves, however, if you’re unsure of your ability, a surfing lesson is a great way to test the waters. There are many great places to surf including Puaena Point – located next to Haleiwa Beach Park—a great spot to catch your first wave. Another popular spot is Diamond Head Cliffs, a sublime example of Hawaii’s finest scenes. However, this spot isn’t ideal for first-timers, but for beginners and advanced surfers, it’s a great place. For the reef surfers, head to Chun’s Reef, for a small shore break and long rides. It’s also a hotspot for surf schools. 

Surfer’s Paradise, Australia

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Image credit: crbellette/Bigstock.com

This 70km stretch of beaches, also known as Surfers Paradise is aptly named for its epic point breaks and reputation for attracting surfers from all over the world. Located on Australia’s Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise is a great place to catch a wave or two, eat great food and experience Australia’s laid-back beachside culture. One of the best spots for experienced surfers is Burleigh Heads, where you can hope to catch a “Burleigh Barrel”. Here, you can expect fast, hollow barrels that break over-sand. For beginners, stick to Main Beach, Broadbeach, Miami Beach, and Surfers Paradise Beach, where there are several surf schools available to choose from. Although this destination is known for its waves, it is also has a popular nightlife scene and hosts major international music events. Choose from a plethora of five-star hotels and resorts, or rent a luxe vacation home and make a trip of it. 

Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa

Jeffrey’s Bay, also known as J-Bay, offers surfer’s the ultimate ride. Sitting between where the Indian Ocean’s warm current collides with the Atlantic’s cold waters, J-Bay’s waves are unique and suitable for experienced surfers. The conditions are dangerous for beginners. But if you’ve had a few rides and are confident in your ability than this will be a memorable experience. The waves are long and fast with intense point breaks and plenty of wave choices. These include Boneyards, Kitchen Windows, Magna Tubes and the infamous Supertubes. Supertubes is a fast full on down the line speed section and the reason you go to J-Bay. The annual Billabong Pro WCT competition is held in July is also a great way to see how the pros conquer the eight-foot waves. 

Trestles, California

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Surfing is big in California, to say the least. For many it’s a way of life, for others it’s a summer thrill. In San Clemente, Trestles offers a series of point breaks named for the railroad bridge over San Mateo Creek. However, those who wish to fulfill a lifelong dream of reaching this world-class spot will have to endure a little hike from the San Onofre State Beach parking lot, but once you reach Trestle, it’s all worth it. The waves are some of the most gorgeous you will ever find and reserved for advanced surfers as the prime breaks are difficult to handle without the proper experience. However, newbies will find more gentle stretches along the coast that are equally as beautiful. 

Watergate Bay, England

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Watergate Bay Beach has 3km of golden sand and enormous waves that attract everyone from beginners to the world’s best including the UK Pro Surf Tour. The best waves are at mid to high tide, but unlike other beaches, this unique spot works on most tides, which is why it’s great for all levels of experiences. Most of the surf here comes from groundswells and the best swell direction is from the west-northwest. The beach break also offers both left and right-hand waves. It’s the ultimate all-round surf destination. It’s also less crowded than the nearby Fistral Bay, giving surfers more room and more rides. After surfing, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to indulge in and all come with a side of breathtaking views.

Image credit at the very top of the article: photojohn830/Bigstock.com