The big wide world is home to adventure, opportunity and a wealth of experiences; but none are as exhilarating and breathtaking as rolling along the crest of the perfect wave. It doesn’t cost anything to jump in and take on one of the oceans greatest creations but with almost 75% of the earth’s surface covered by water, picking a destination can be a big decision.
10 – Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Unlike its sister beach, Fistral which you’ll find a bit further along the coast, Watergate doesn’t suffer as much from overcrowding. Its fantastic 1.5 mile stretch of beach welcomes its rolling beachbreaks that are not only fun but safe. A great beginner’s beach with lots of facilities nearby.
9 – Bundoran Beach, County Donegal, Ireland
Budoran hit the headlines in recent years as the local surf community fought to save the wave from Marina developers – and won. It seems that locals are now making the most of what’s on their front door with rolling waves coming in from the surrounding headlands. It’s busy but its cold water surfing at its best.
8 – Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Thousands flock to Bali’s warm shores for sun, sand and fantastic cuisine; but it’s the Bali surf that’s the real winner and popular spots such as Uluwatu reveal just why its regarded as one of the world’s best surf destinations. Its consistent, the waves are near enough perfect and it’s in paradise – what more could you want.
7 – Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
It wouldn’t be right not to include Australia in a top 10 surf spots but with so many world class breaks it’s hard to choose just one. Byron Bay comes up tops for us due to its variety and a choice of numerous beaches in the area. Its shark-free surf is safe, warm and beautiful. And onshore facilities make for a great day out too.
6 – Cloudbreak, Tavarua Island, Fiji
Cloudbreak used to be accessible to only those rich enough to pay for a stay on Tavarua Island Resort, but since the government changed that, the wave is open to everyone. This isn’t for the faint-hearted and if you think you’re anything less than experienced then you’re better off waiting until you’re ready to handle this stunning left barrel that goes on and on and on…
5 – Backdoor, Oahu, Hawaii
One of two entries from Hawaii, Backdoor is the not-so-extreme sister wave to Pipeline but that’s not to say it’s a tame alternative. Backdoor is an experts dream with fast and hollow tubes which beginners are best experiencing closer to the shore. Backdoor is easy to find and accessible from the roadside so you don’t need to worry about getting your board there.
4 – Supertubes, Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa
Long and fast, Supertubes is an epic ride that surfers from all over the world come to enjoy as much as 300 meters of big wave riding. Jeffrey’s Bay hosts a few other waves so if Supers is packed – which is likely – then there’s other opportunities to get close to what’s widely recognised as the world’s best right hander.
3 – Hossegor, France
‘A bit like Hawaii but without the rocky coral’ is how Hossegor’s surf fans describe the spot which has been dubbed Europe’s surf capital. Holiday homes of the rich and famous line the coast in a huge contrast to the natural and free wave riding opportunities on the beach. A favourite with pros, if you’re not in the surf there’s always someone good to watch.
2 – Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii
Pipeline is the number one wave on most surfers bucket list and with good reason too. Curling over razor-sharp reef and with speed and height that most will never be experienced enough to ride, Pipeline is the big one. Most pros have taken it on in a bid to prove their worth and succeeded, so if you can tackle this monster you’re up there with the best.
1 – Teahupo’o, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Most surfers would say that Pipeline is the world’s best wave but we think that something more fearful should top the list. Teahupo’o is a heavy barrel that can’t be paddled out to; a paddling surfer wouldn’t survive so don’t even attempt this wave unless you’re ready and prepared to face its reef base. Its demonic, it curves and it’ll catch you out; but it’s euphoric.