The key to a great surfing experience is a great surfing location. While this may seem obvious, it can take a good amount of dedication and time to track down the perfect wave and you have to be ready for it when it comes. When you’re confident enough in your skills to put them to the test, check out our list of the top surfing locations in the world.
- Mentawai Islands, Indonesia: While most people will stop at Sumatra, the real action is off the coast in this chain of islands, which block the best waves from ever reaching the Sumatran mainland. The four main islands to check out are Siberut, Sipora, and North and South Pagi. The best times for travel are from March to October, with the biggest waves occurring between June and September.
- Oahu’s North Shore, Hawaii: The Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay are two surfing locations that have been immortalized in popular culture, and they’re both located here on the North Shore. Hawaii is also inextricably tied with surfing’s origins, and even British explorer Captain Cook noted it upon his travels there in the 1770s. The biggest waves come during the winter.
- Lennox Point, Australia: Recognized as a National Surfing Reserve by National Surfing Reserves Australia and the NSW Department of Lands, Lennox Head is a beautiful seaside village regularly sought out by surfers of ever skill level. The most famous spot is Lennox Point, which boasts a spectacular righthand break. Hang-gliders also seek out the spot as a launching point.
- California: California is considered the best choice of the relatively few options in North America. The biggest waves can be found in the winter, especially at Maverick’s, located a half-mill off-shore from the Pillar Point Harbor. Waves here hit an average of 25 feet and have been known to reach 80 feet. Other popular spots include Steamer Lane, Rincon, and Half Moon Bay.
- Bali, Indonesia: Popular surfer Rob Barber called Bali his “personal favorite” spot due to its reef breaks and warm water. The warmth can be attributed to the active volcano (Mount Agung) located in the archipelago. Bali is the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia.