If you’re looking to catch some waves this summer at home or abroad, there are a few locations around the world which offer a surfing experience that extra bit more special than the others. Each of the places we’ve selected in our round-up has the perfect mix of big waves, beach culture, and top-notch hospitality. So get booked up, grab your gear, and brace yourself for the ultimate surf trip.
Kuta Beach, Bali
If you are looking for somewhere that you can find amazing surfing as well as fantastic beach life, Kuta Beach in Bali is the place for you. Located on the western side of the island’s southern tip, the beach is the spiritual home of surfing for the entire island. After an exciting day on the water, you can enjoy the luxuries of Kuta’s wide variety of welcoming hotels, indulge in some fine dining in one of the resort’s many restaurants, or hit the bars for a spot of drinking and dancing.
The beach has spots that are ideal for all skill levels, from novice to expert — if it’s your first time surfing or you just want to brush up on your technique, why not enrol in the world famous Ripcurl School of Surfing for a lesson or two.
North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
We can’t have a list of the top surfing spots without mentioning the undisputed home of surfing. This surf mecca has flawless waves, and it is easy to see why most serious boarders make it a life’s ambition to make the pilgrimage here at least once in a lifetime. The best time to catch the huge waves is between November and February, which is the time of year the professionals descend to participate in the beach’s world-class competitions, including the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aiku — the world’s premier big wave event.
The months between May and September are when the waves calm down a bit and the beach turns into a paradise for the more casual surfer. Head to the North Shore at this time if you are looking for more laid back surfing, swimming, or sunbathing. Take a look at the island’s tourism website for up to date news, travel advice and hotel recommendations.
If you are looking for somewhere closer to home, consider heading to the little Channel Island of Guernsey for a chance to immerse yourself in the island’s relaxed and friendly surf scene. The island may not have the mega-waves of more exotic locations, but it can build up a great swell — especially during the Autumn, when the water is still warm and some amazing wind patterns build up.
The undoubted jewel of the island is its burgeoning surf scene, where you can arrive as a stranger but leave feeling like one of the locals — the heart of the island’s community is the surf shop Yakwax, where you can pick up some friendly advice about the best surf spots as well as any gear extra gear you need. At Vazon Bay, Guernsey’s surf hub, you can enjoy an early morning surf followed by a hearty full English breakfast at the nearby beach café — the perfect combination.
Bondi Beach, Australia
Another world famous spot, and for good reason: Bondi Beach is only 7km away from the heart of Australia’s most populous city Sydney. This makes it ideal if you are looking to combine a chilled beach vibe with the occasional hustle and bustle of a busy urban metropolis. Bondi is one of the most visited tourist locations in the country, and the area has as many visitors just looking to enjoy the lifestyle as it does serious surfers.
That’s not to say Bondi Beach isn’t a worthy surf spot — far from it. The beach’s name comes from an indigenous word meaning the sound of waves breaking over rocks. The surf is always reliable, and the southern end of the beach is exclusively reserved for those looking to catch some swell. Bondi Beach is the premier location for those looking for a mix of surf culture, people watching, and brief intermissions of city life. Whether you are looking for a budget hostel or a five-star palace, TripAdvisor’s list of the best hotels near Bondi is the place to begin looking.
There you have it, our round-up of the best surf spots for your trip this year. Heading to one of these hotspots will guarantee you a great time both on the water and on the beach.