Mavericks, California, United States
About / Location: Mavericks is a surfing location in Northern California, USA. It is located approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) from shore outside Pillar Point Harbor, just north of the town of Half Moon Bay at the village of Princeton-By-The-Sea.
Surf: After a strong winter storm in the northern Pacific Ocean, waves can routinely crest at over 25 feet (7.6 m) and top out at over 80 feet (24 m). The break is caused by an unusually shaped underwater rock formation.
Climate: Mavericks sea temperatures peak in the range 13 to 17°C (55 to 63°F) on around the 23rd of September and are at their lowest on about the 7th of April, in the range 10 to 14°C (50 to 57°F).
Difficulty: Very few riders become big wave surfers; and of those, only a select few are willing to risk the hazardous, sometimes deadly, conditions at Mavericks. An invitation-only contest is held there most winters, when the waves come.
Laniakea, Oahu, Hawaii (Turtle Beach)
About/ Location: Oahu’s North Shore is home to some of the world’s biggest waves, and Laniakea may be the best point break on the coastline.
Surf: flat 0-2 ft in the summer, rough 4-12 ft in winter
Climate: The average day time temperature at sea level in summer is 29.4C / 84.92 and the average winter temperature is 25.6C / 78.08F. Nighttime temperatures are about 5C / 41F lower than during the day. Sun protection is very important, especially for children and young adults.
Difficulty: Strong currents and the nearly exposed reef bottom at low tide make the spot dicey at times.
Supertubes, Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa
About / Location: Sometimes referred to as “the mecca of all waves”, Supertubes is known to offer rides up to 300 meters long. Regarded as one of the best right hand point breaks in the world, J-Bay proudly plays host to the annual Billabong Pro ASP World Tour surfing event each July.
Surf: Starts working at 1.0m-1.5m / 3ft-5ft and holds up to 3m+ / 10ft+. It is very consistent (150 day/year).
Climate: Super Tubes sea water temperatures peak in the range 22 to 25°C (72 to 77°F) on around the 2nd of February and are at their coldest on about the 6th of August, in the range 18 to 20°C (64 to 68°F).
Difficulty: Advanced surfer
Superbanks, Gold Coast, Australia
About / Location: The Superbank is a large man-made sand bank extending around 2km from Snapper Rocks Point, through Rainbow Bay, Greenmount Point, Coolangatta Beach, and ending at Kirra.
This highly regarded right break is one of the longest and hollowest waves in the world, but this stellar reputation has a downside… it draws a crowd! On a good day, up to 200 surfers can be found jostling for a piece of the Superbank’s action.
Surf: Starts working at 1.0m-1.5m / 3ft-5ft and holds up to 2.5m+ / 8ft+
Climate: Kirra sea water temperatures peak in the range 26 to 28°C (79 to 82°F) on around the 5th of February and are at their minimum on about the 16th of August, in the range 19 to 22°C (66 to 72°F).
Difficulty: Advanced surfer. It Rips / undertows you.
About / Location: Located on the Atlantic, this expert surfing spot has been dubbed the “surfing capital of Europe,” so naturally the rich and the famous have mansions and holiday homes near the beach (previous owners include the likes of singer-songwriter Jack Johnson). People come from miles around to watch the pros ride tubes, and heavy walls break on the unnervingly shallow sandbank. Tubes here rival Hawaii, but come minus the coral.
Surf: Tide ranges can reach 14ft/4.5m on spring tides
Climate: Hossegor – Le Nord water temperatures peak in the range 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F) on around the 10th of August and are at their coldest on about the 1st of March, at 12°C.
Difficulty: Moderate depending on the day. Beware when the surf gets big and stormy – rips are common and extremely powerful; many people drown every year. The water is not as dirty as the Basque Coast. During the winter, beaches often get covered in rubbish washed up by big storms. Hossegor is a small town with a large surf community, so respect the locals – they are amazingly tolerant.
Surfrider Beach, Malibu, United States
About / Location: Grab a longboard and surf Beach Boys style on these small perfectly formed crests where Johnny Fain and Miki Dora once surfed in the 1950s. However, expect it to be absolutely rammed for exactly this reason.
Surf: 2-3 ft and fair, knee to waist high.
Climate: WATER TEMP: 57-59° F
Tamarindo Beach, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
About / Location: Perfect for beginners through to experts, this half-kilometer stretch of beach with warm water waves reaches heights of three meters. It’s surrounded by nature and you’ll no doubt see howler monkeys swinging through the trees or parakeets screeching in the background while you’re patiently waiting for the next wave.
Surf: It builds to 2-3 feet overhead a few days a week. It maxes out at double overhead.
Climate: range: 27.8 C / 82.04 F to 29.3 C / 84.74 F
Difficulty: Tends to receive distant groundswells and the ideal swell direction is from the west northwest. Both left and right reef breaks. Sometimes crowded. Hazards include rips and rocks.
Bundoran Beach, County Donegal, Ireland
About / Location: The cold doesn’t deter die-hard fanatics from these shimmering green waters that produce rolling waves from the moody Atlantic, shaped by bouncing off of the headlands and flat rock reefs. Surf here and the charming Irish locals will offer tips and advice.
Surf: The tidal range can reach 12ft and most spots will be stable for two hours at low tide and high tide.
Climate: Bundoran water temperatures peak in the range 13 to 17°C (55 to 63°F) on around the 7th of August and are at their minimum on about the 21st of February, in the range 8 to 10°C (46 to 50°F)
Difficulty: You won’t be leaving Ireland with a suntan, and if you don’t like wind and rain, don’t go. Many of the reefbreaks are treacherous. No lifeguards at most surf spots. Tidal ranges are large. Ireland is a very welcoming land, and hassles in the water are rare. Travel in small groups, respect the locals by waiting your turn.
Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada
About / Location: The surfing capital of Canada offers a fun, picturesque break on the west coast of the island and is surrounded by a looming rainforest. It’s suitable for all abilities and stances, just be sure to bring a thick wetsuit — it can get pretty chilly out there.
Surf: Anywhere from 3ft- 8ft+
Climate: Tofino sea water temperatures peak in the range 13 to 17°C (55 to 63°F) on around the 13th of August and are at their lowest on about the 29th of January, in the range 7 to 9°C (45 to 48°F)
Difficulty: Easy, Only danger is cold water.
Watergate Bay, Cornwall, England
About / Location: It’s less famous than Fistral Bay but has even more English charm, is less crowded and equally as surfable. When you’ve finished there’s a cute bistro on the beach where you can tuck into delicious steaks and locally sourced fish.
Surf: 2ft- 9ft+
Climate: Watergate Bay sea temperatures peak in the range 15 to 18°C (59 to 64°F) on around the 13th of August and are at their minimum on about the 1st of March, in the range 9 to 10°C (48 to 50°F)
Difficulty: Rocks, cold water, strong riptides, sewage and summer crowds. Cornwall suffers from intense traffic jams on holiday weekends, the roads are notoriously thin and traveling times are always longer than expected.