Catch a wave at 10 top surfing spots around the world
When it comes to beaches, in Australia we’re blessed with waves and beauty (and a climate hard to top). There’s the wild, rugged coastline of Margaret River, the famous peaks of Bells Beach and the longboarder dreamscape that is The Pass in Byron Bay.
Manly in Sydney, Burleigh to Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast, and Noosa have even been recognised for their perfect peelers and outstanding beauty, endorsed as World Surfing Reserves (there are only 10 in total).
But there may just be other places in the world as good, and a surf trip to seek them out is no longer only the domain of Kombi-driving surf rats.
“The art of riding a wave is the most effective way of giving your mind a rest so I think surfing’s very rejuvenating for people,” says Tropicsurf founder Ross Philips.
“I’m also a big believer in the value of travel, so I think when you combine travelling to cool places and experiencing new sights and cultures and food and people with
the love of surfing, the mental holiday and the freedom that comes with that is unbeatable.”
With surf clinics set up in luxury resorts around the world – from the Maldives to Fiji – Ross says a huge part of the appeal of a surf holiday these days is being able to combine family time with the chance to surf pristine, uncrowded waves. Twenty years ago, this idea of “luxury surfing” didn’t exist.
“We feel like we’ve had to invent the concept because back then most surf accommodation was quite basic – from a jungle hut where you might catch malaria through to something where if you had an airconditioned room then that was luxury. But today it’s certainly five-star,” he says.
Summer is here so make it your New Year’s resolution to surf one of these 10 beaches around the world.
THAA ATOLL, MALDIVES
Why it’s worth it: The Maldives is good for everyone, no matter your surfing skill level. Consistent swells travel uninterrupted from Antarctica and waves peel around the 1200 islands giving them a predictable
shape and you a beautiful long ride. Staying on the Thaa Atoll provides the chance to surf five pristine breaks within a 30-minute speedboat ride from your resort, like the consistent right-hand reef break known as “Farms”. Tropicsurf is based at COMO Maalifushi (comohotels.com), one of the northernmost resorts in the Maldives archipelago with unicorn-like waves on tap.
What else is there: Diving,
dolphin spotting, beach picnics, yoga and an overwater spa.
How to get there: You’ll need to factor in a seaplane transfer from Male International Airport – money pays when it comes to exclusivity.
When to go: Tropicsurf ’s surf program runs between April and October, though the resort is a yearround destination.
Why it’s worth it: Whether you stay at dedicated surf resort, Komune (komuneresorts.com), or at one of the more low-key shacks along Bali’s east coast, here, the surf is king. The volcanic black sand may challenge your idea of beauty at first but the jungle backdrop and sight of Mount Agung in the distance gives this beach a spiritual feeling. Be warned: this powerful right-hander is popular. But you can book night surfing under floodlights at Komune to share the waves with just five others.
What else is there: Yoga in Komune’s Health Club, beachfront dining in Sanur, and easy day trips to Nusa Lembongan to swim with manta rays.
How to get there: Komune is about an hour’s drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
When to go: The WSL pro surfing competition is held at Keramas in May 2019, which means the surf break will be closed during event times. For the biggest swells, head over between May and August.
PUERTO ESCONDIDO, MEXICO
Why it’s worth it: Whether you’re here to face off against the pounding beach break of Zicatela – aka Mexico’s “Pipeline” – or want to sign up for lessons at beginnerfriendly La Punta (the point) or Carrizalillo, Puerto Escondido is a beach bum’s dream.
What else is there: Release baby turtles at Playa Bacocho, watch movies on the beach, and glide in a kayak over the phosphorescent La Laguna de Manialtepec.
How to get there: Fly to Puerto Escondido on a local carrier like VivaAerobus or Interjet from Mexico City (unless you want to catch a 12-hour bus). When to go: The biggest swells hit between May and September but
THE JUNGLE BACKDROP AND SIGHT OF MOUNT AGUNG IN THE DISTANCE GIVES THIS BEACH A SPIRITUAL FEELING