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 by BookSurfCamps.com will 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.
Beginners The 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.
Beginners Umzumbe Beach on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, Durban, Muizenberg.
Advanced Eland’s Bay, Dungeons (Hout Bay, Cape Town), Jeffrey’s Bay, Llandudno
Beginners Bali (Kuta, Canggu)
Intermediate Bali (Uluwatu, Padang-Padang, Keramas), G-Land Southeast Java
Advanced Bali (Uluwatu, Padang-Padang, Keramas) Nias Island located North of Sumatra. Mentawai, Siberut and Sipora Islands.
From beginners to advanced
Beginners Kamala, Nai Harn, Bang Tao and Kalim. Phuket is perfect for beginners
Intermediate Surin and Pansea
Advanced North of Phuket
From beginners to advanced
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
Beginners East Coast (Luzon Island)
Intermediate South to North, La Union, Llokos Northe and Zumbales(Luzon Island)
Advanced Buler and Duet spots(Luzon east coast), Cloud 9 (Siragao Island)
Beginners Biarritz, Anglet Marinella,
Intermediate La Torche (Brittany), Lacanau, Hossegor, Les Cavaliers (Anglet)
Advanced Hossegor, Biarritz, Guethary
Beginners Ericeira. Foz do Lizandro, São Julião and Praia do Sul.
Beginners Saint Ouen’s Bay (Jersey), Belhaven Bay (Scotland), Newgale (Wales)
Beginners San Sebastian in the Basque country
Beginners Manhattan Beach, San Onofre State Beach
Intermediate La Jolla Shores, Rincon Beach, Del Mar
Advanced Blacks Beach San Diego, Trestles Beach
Beginner Santa Catarina, Barra de Lagoa, Itacaré, Engenhoca
Intermediate Santa Catarina, Geriba
Advanced Santa Catarina, Fernando de Noronha, Engenhoca
Beginner Cerro Azul, Huanchaco
Intermediate: Cerro Azul, Huanchaco
Advanced : Mancora
Beginners Tamarindo, Santa Teresa, Playa Carmen, Playa Hermosa, Playa Cocles
Intermediate Playa Guiones
Advanced Witch’s Rock, Playa Guiones, Pavones, Salsa Brava
Beginners Playa Hermosa (Ensenada), Cuyutlán, Sayulita
Advanced Puerto Escondido, San Miguel, Todos Santos, Playa Olas Altas (Mazatlán), Puerto Escondido, Troncones Point
Advanced Arica, Pichilemu, La Puntilla, Playa Infiernillo, Punta de Lobos
Saint Jacques co-founder Stan picked France as his best surf destination for two reasons
« The first reason is the diversity of waves that can be found on our territory. From the isolated Landes beach break, to the perfection of the Basque reef, through the britanny wild coast, not to mention the ephemeral sessions that the Med can offer. Our country is the ideal playground for any surfer looking for versatility. The second reason is 'Home sweet home'. I often realize how lucky we are in France when I come back from trips to exotic destinations such as Indonesia or Costa Rica. Nothing beats a nice session in front of the house with friends! » (drinking a good roasted coffee afterwards)
Did I miss a surf spot you would like to add? Feel free to drop me a line at
email@example.com with your favorite surfing destination and why it is special for you!