1) Bondi beach, Australia
Iconic for all the right reasons and synonymous with surf culture. Adrenalin junkies have been coming here since 1907 and the area is recognised for its laid-back surfer crowd. It’s situated 7km east of Sydney CBD.
2) Kuta beach, Bali
Kuta’s popularity has been on the rise since the 1970s and tourists continue to flock despite the tragic 2002 bombings. With its palm fringed beaches and white sands it is Bali’s most surfed beach and is perfect for beginners and experts alike.
3) Bells beach, Australia
Located 100km south-west of Melbourne, this beahc is home to the world’s longest-running surfing competition – the Rip Curl Pro Surf and Music Festival. It is recognised as one of the best stretches of Australia’s coastline with large ocean swells.
4) North shore of Oahu, Hawaii
This area is best known for its massive North Pacific waves, attracting surfers from around the globe. Considered by some to be the surfing mecca of the world, it hosts regular world-class competitions.
5) Santa Cruz, California
Nicknamed “surf city”, it is home of the O’Neill brothers and has 11 world-class surf breaks drawing international participants to its annual contests. The area is renowned for its difficult breaks and locals who may not always favour newcomers.
6) Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
This chain of about 70 islands has more recently become a noted destination for surfing as the southern Indian Ocean provides consistent breaks. The rainforest backdrop and warm temperatures have seen more and more surfing fanatics flock here since 1990.
7) Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
An hour’s drive southwest of Port Elizabeth, ‘J-Bay’ was known as a hippie hangout where the now huge surfing community originated. It is fast expanding, boasting chains of surfing shops. The Billabong Pro World Championship occurs annually in July, drawing in the crowds for 10 days.
8) Hossegor, France
This city’s economy is centred around surfing yet its breaks are still under the radar despite being some of the best in the world. Its thriving nightlife complements the surfing crowds who may venture along the coast to Spain in search of more surf.
9) Playa Naranjo, Costa Rica
“Even when it’s bad it’s great” is a way one surfer describes it. The 2-3 mile stretch of beach and hollow surf breaks make Playa Naranjo a regular hotspot for keen surfers. An offshore wind blows from December through to April perfecting the waves but making the water a little chilly so be prepared!
10) Thurso, Scotland
It may not share the hot climbes of Hawaii but the power of the waves has been compared to the American surfing mecca. For those with a penchant for huge reef-breaks, Thurso will not disappoint on a good day. It also has the world record for the coldest waters to have a competition in!