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When you dedicate your life to surfing or you just want to learn in the best conditions you can’t just be like a rolling stone following the sun and hoping for good waves. I am not writing this article for the happy few who can check the waves from their doorsteps, looking at the sunrise while drinking a freshly grounded coffee or some coconut water, because we aren’t all born with a silver wave in our mouth. I mean, who, nowadays is just boarding a plane to go surfing in Bali without a minimum of research beforehand ? I am asking you : Who? (I guess, my grandma would do that but she is only a sun seeker - not a waves hunter - and has always lived in the French Alps).
A very good trip is all about planning
Plan carefully your trip to avoid ending up snorkelling with your little cousins, kids or even auntie Bridget whose main duty was to babysit them all. No waves and you will be experiencing one of the surfer’s most dreadful nightmare : swimming besides fish. However nice a clown fish is this is not what you are looking for.
Combine the right surfing season with the right destination and you will have a blast. Friends and good local food & drinks will be the cherry on the cake.
You are a beginner, an occasional, experienced or even pro-surfer. You like to spin the globe and ramdomly pick a spot (obviously a controlled ramdom pick because ending up next to the Great Wall of China is not the same as the Great Barrier Reef). Or you prefer doing in-depht research before deciding on your next destination.
The good news is : there is a season and a nice little beach with big / little waves for all !The ultimate surf seasons guide infographic done byBookSurfCamps.comwill show you when and where you need to be !
Now that we have sorted out the «WHEN TO GO» issue. Let’s have a look at these places by surf level (beginner and advanced). Please note that this is a non-exhaustive list and that each spot – especially beach breaks can change according to seasons and swells.
BeginnersThe small village of Taghazout is a centre for the Moroccan surf culture and a great place to learn. Likewise, the nearby Berber village of Tamraght.
BeginnersUmzumbe Beach on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, Durban, Muizenberg.
AdvancedEland’s Bay, Dungeons (Hout Bay, Cape Town), Jeffrey’s Bay, Llandudno
BeginnersBali (Kuta, Canggu)
IntermediateBali (Uluwatu, Padang-Padang, Keramas), G-Land Southeast Java
AdvancedBali (Uluwatu, Padang-Padang, Keramas) Nias Island located North of Sumatra. Mentawai, Siberut and Sipora Islands.
From beginners to advanced
BeginnersKamala, Nai Harn, Bang Tao and Kalim. Phuket is perfect for beginners
IntermediateSurin and Pansea
AdvancedNorth of Phuket
During high season (May-September) the most famous surf spot Hikkaduwa becomes a nice place to hang out with a great surf vibes community.
Pottuvil In the Ampara district is a hidden gem as not so touristy with surf spots not so crowded.
Bells Beach, Margaret River, The Gold Coast’s Superbank, South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula
BeginnersEast Coast (Luzon Island)
IntermediateSouth to North, La Union, Llokos Northe and Zumbales(Luzon Island)
AdvancedBuler and Duet spots(Luzon east coast), Cloud 9 (Siragao Island)
BeginnersBiarritz, Anglet Marinella,
IntermediateLa Torche (Brittany), Lacanau, Hossegor, Les Cavaliers (Anglet)
AdvancedHossegor, Biarritz, Guethary
BeginnersEriceira. Foz do Lizandro, São Julião and Praia do Sul.
BeginnersSaint Ouen’s Bay (Jersey), Belhaven Bay (Scotland), Newgale (Wales)
Beginners San Sebastian in the Basque country
BeginnersManhattan Beach, San Onofre State Beach
IntermediateLa Jolla Shores, Rincon Beach, Del Mar
AdvancedBlacks Beach San Diego, Trestles Beach
BeginnerSanta Catarina, Barra de Lagoa, Itacaré, Engenhoca
IntermediateSanta Catarina, Geriba
AdvancedSanta Catarina, Fernando de Noronha, Engenhoca
BeginnerCerro Azul, Huanchaco
Intermediate: Cerro Azul, Huanchaco
Advanced : Mancora
BeginnersTamarindo, Santa Teresa, Playa Carmen, Playa Hermosa, Playa Cocles
AdvancedWitch’s Rock, Playa Guiones, Pavones, Salsa Brava
BeginnersPlaya Hermosa (Ensenada), Cuyutlán, Sayulita
AdvancedPuerto Escondido, San Miguel, Todos Santos, Playa Olas Altas (Mazatlán), Puerto Escondido, Troncones Point
AdvancedArica, Pichilemu, La Puntilla, Playa Infiernillo, Punta de Lobos