BEST OF THE CRESTS

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - WELCOME WAIKIKI, HAWAII -

Sum­mer is of­fi­cially here, though in the past week or two there have been cu­ri­ous weather pat­terns across the coun­try suggest­ing all man­ner of sea­sons. Wild winds and dust storms, con­cen­trated down­falls of rain in some places and a big dry in oth­ers, and cold when it should be hot.

Same goes for our cover story where ev­ery­thing you thought about top surf spots is turned on its head. I could’ve con­fi­dently pre­dicted the in­clu­sion of the Mal­dives, Bali, Hawaii and Cal­i­for­nia. I pos­si­bly would’ve come up with Mex­ico too. But France? No way! Ire­land? Not a chance I’d even en­ter­tain the no­tion of the Emer­ald Isle coast lur­ing surfers from around the world.

Such is the in­trigu­ing na­ture of a travel “best” list. Some places de­servedly main­tain their po­si­tion from year to year, con­stantly de­liv­er­ing the goods. Oth­ers – like the Irish and French surf breaks – seem like curve­balls but com­pletely jus­ti­fied when you dig a lit­tle deeper into the writer’s ra­tio­nale. Then there are the ex­clu­sions that leave us won­der­ing what’s hap­pened to lead to the fall from favour.

When you read Es­cape’s 10 amaz­ing places to catch a wave, it’s il­lu­mi­nat­ing to know that its writer, Ce­leste Mitchell, spent six months last year roam­ing the world with her other half, and look­ing for the best waves. Both are ded­i­cated and ex­pe­ri­enced surfers, so you can be sure you’re get­ting the opin­ion not just of an ex­cel­lent travel writer but one who can de­fend her opin­ion with her surf­board.

I’ve no doubt many Es­cape read­ers will have ad­di­tions to or thoughts on the list, so please share them.

JANA FRAWLEY, NA­TIONAL TRAVEL ED­I­TOR

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