Byron Bay, Australia – no country loves surfing as much as Australia. It’s national sport, and everyone from young kids to seniors takes part. Located about 450 miles north of Sydney, Byron Bay tops many lists as a great place to learn to surf. Multiple beginner friendly point breaks dot the coast, and you’ll find no shortage of surf schools, shops, and post-surf snacks. Friendly locals and a wide range of accommodations make Byron Bay an easy and fun place to hone your surfing skills.
Sayulita, Mexico – For those on the West Coast of the US like us, it’s hard to pass up surfing in Mexico. Hundreds of miles of coastline mean a variety of breaks for all, but Sayulita is especially ideal for beginners. Just 30 minutes outside of Puerta Vallarta, Sayulita is a sleepy fishing village with friendly locals and good food. If you’re looking for large all-inclusive resorts, Sayulita is not the town for you. But with many small surf resorts, schools and camps you’ll have no problem navigating the towns beginner friendly surf breaks.
Tamarindo, Costa Rica – If you’re looking for a more exotic surf trip with warm waters and lush jungles, look no further than Costa Rica. With miles of shoreline and nearly countless surf breaks, it’s hard to go wrong with a planning a surf trip to this Central American paradise. The small town of Tamarindo has long been a favorite surf destination with affordable accommodations and beginner friendly surf. Further down the Costa Rican Coast, Nosara is also known for its surf breaks, but the small size of Tamarindo means you may run into fewer crowds and have a better time in the water.
Tavarua, Fiji – As far as surfing destinations go, it doesn’t get much more revered than Tavarua. The entire island is dedicated to surfing and watersports, and the surf breaks surrounding Tavarua are legendary. Though the conditions can be beginner friendly, generally this is territory for experienced surfers only. Razor sharp reefs and shallow breaks, combined with large swell patterns can make for dangerous conditions. But if you’re looking for an absolute paradise and a chance to test your surfing skill, then Tavarua is the place to be.
Santa Cruz, CA – Santa Cruz claims the title of the original Surf Town USA. With cold water that requires a wetsuit nearly year round and rocky surf breaks, Santa Cruz is for hearty surfers only. Breaks like Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point can offer small waves and even flat conditions, but when the swell arrives, it can be massive. Fierce localism in the water combined with unpredictable surfing conditions means you better really know your stuff before you paddle out in Santa Cruz.
Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa – Another surfing destination known for rugged conditions, Jeffery’s Bay, J-Bay for short, is one of the most famous surf destinations in the world. Visit in July and you may find yourself amongst many top surfing pros as the ASP World Tour rolls through town. Known for large, heavy waves and some of the most shark-filled waters on earth, surfing J-Bay is a commitment best left to those with many years of wave riding experience.
San Diego, CA – Some surf destinations offer so much wave riding variety, we couldn’t classify them as suitable for just one type of surfer. San Diego is one of these towns. With beginner-friendly La Jolla Shores less than a mile from the world class surf break at Blacks Beach, there’s something for everyone on the San Diego coastline. In our home of Pacific Beach, you can find waves for beginners, short-boarders, and long-boarders all along one stretch of sand. Also, since San Diego beaches vary slightly in the direction they face geographically, there’s bound to be surf somewhere no matter the direction the swell.
Oahu, Hawaii – Largely credited as the birthplace of surfing, it’s no surprise that Hawaii offers a wide range of surf spots for beginners and experts alike. The island of Oahu is a particularly versatile destination with two of the world’s most famous surf spots: Waikiki for beginners and the Bonzai Pipeline for the pros. Situated on opposite coasts of the island, Waikiki and Pipeline offer completely different beaches and surfing experiences that are just a short drive apart. However, when the waves are big, expect to hit traffic near the Pipeline. With so many pro surfers calling Oahu home, and only one road in and out, everyone flocks to the coast to catch a glimpse of the world famous large waves and the people who surf them.
Taghazout, Morocco – When you think of surfing, Morocco may not be the first country that comes to mind, but that’s what makes Morocco such an exciting surf destination. Located on the Northern Atlantic coast of Africa, the city of Taghazout is on Morocco’s southern coastline. Rich culture combined with miles of coastline make this city one of the best-kept secrets in surf travel. Much like San Diego, the beaches of Taghazout face various directions, creating a variety of sizes of surf on any given day. From beginners to experts, there’s surf for everyone in Morocco.
Of course, this list barely scratches the surface of surf travel destinations, so get out there and explore! Be safe, use common sense and we’ll be looking forward to your stories when you return.