Top 10 Best Places to Surf in the World in 2020 — Windy.app

Top 10 Best Places to Surf in the World in 2020 — Windy.app

While surfing has been growing increasingly popular worldwide and begun attracting tourists, world’s best surf spots thrive and new are on the way to be discovered. Hence when it comes to choosing a destination for a new surf trip the degree of confusion among surf junkies is getting higher.

Since multiple factors have to align, picking a right surf spot at the right time largely depends on your research and commitment. With the diversity of sources and opinions this job may turn from a lovely routine to frustration. To avoid that and help you to keep focusing on your surfing proficiency we in Windy took this job for you and made up a list of best surf spots in the World, where you may want to go to practice waveriding this year. Let’s start!

1. Batu Bolong – Bali, Indonesia

Batu Bolong

 

Batu Bolong is a wide beach break on the South-Eastern coast of Bali with a rocky seabed and a variety of waves. Fairly considered one of world's best places to surf, physically it consists of more than two surfing spots. When it’s firing, you will see a distinct fat and powerful wave in the middle, which sometimes tubes. There are also a left and right hander, which get connected with the middle break in times of big swell.

Depending on a particular swell all of those best waves give many opportunities to surfers of all levels. Here you are free to challenge big waves or start your journey by learning to surf. Batu Bolong hosts a lot of surf camps. It’s crowded all year round and you need to be always careful. The surroundings offer lots of great options to enjoy a delicious meal and chill after surfing. 

Season: all year

Level: beginner (closer to the beach), intermediate, advanced

Board recommendations: all types

Traffic: very crowded

Best tide: from mid to high tide

Best swell: South-West

Average wave: 3-5 feet

Beach type: sandy and rock

Hazards: crowds and other people’s surfboards

Wind & weather forecast for Batu Bolong

 

2. Balangan – Bali, Indonesia

Balangan beach, Bali, Indonesia

 

Balangan is located on Bukit peninsula, which is the Southmost tip of Bali. The place is surrounded by high green and sandy cliffs, giving you a spectacular view and relaxing atmosphere of a perfect surf getaway. Although Balangan is not an easy spot. A typical wave there is steep and fast, allowing you just a short ride before it closes out. However if you're lucky to catch perfect conditions, you'll definitely appreciate gliding down the whole length of the reef, which is over 300 meters. Although if you’re not that good in keeping speed up, most сonditions are likely to leave you with some 50 meter rides. Still a big shot of excitement too.

Balangan requires a proper tide chosing. Some peaky left-handers are found there when the tide is going down on smaller swells. These steep waves require attention and carefulness. Whereas on a higher tide and small swell it provides more mellow conditions. And only confident surfers challenge the spot on low tides and big swells.

Season: April-October

Level: intermediate, advanced

Board recommendations: Fish or a little wider than a regular shortboard

Traffic: mellow

Best tide: highest and lowest tides

Best swell: West, South-West

Average wave: 4-7 feet

Sea bottom: reef and rocks

Hazards: rocks and shallow reef

Wind & weather forecast for Balangan

 

3. Banana point – Taghazout, Morocco

Taghazout

 

In the pursuit of some of the most perfect breaks on Earth try Taghazout. A village on the Atlantic coast of Morocco is surrounded by a number of tempting surf spots. Banana point is just one of them, offering a stoking experience of surfing on the African continent. 

Banana point is a small beach tucked between Tamrhakht rivermouth and a cape. The landscape provides some protection from northern winds and creates a long righthander, which breaks from the reefs. It offers waves of all levels, which are more consistent at low tide. Often a fast peak and lovely lines are coming all the way down to the beach. The beachbreak leaves enough room for beginner surfers with some decent fun waves. Numerous surf schools on the shore will help you to make your first attempt or improve your surfing skills. 

Season: October-March

Level: beginner, intermediate

Board recommendations: all board types

Traffic: mellow

Best tide: from mid to high

Best swell: South-West, North

Average wave: 3-5 feet

Sea bottom: sand

Hazards: none

Wind & weather forecast for Banana point

 

4. Waimea Bay – Hawaii, USA

Waimea Bay – Hawaii

 

Waimea Bay sits on the northern shore of Oahu and catches a lot of ground swell directly from the Pacific, especially in winter months. Many of those big waves are created by storms in the waters surrounding Russian Kuril islands and the rest of North Pacific. Thus their arrival to Waimea is a subject to a storm forecast several days in advance. In summer water in Waimea is mostly still.

Even though the beach is partly covered from the outside by vast reef beds, when it’s firing Waimea Bay provides 20-25ft (6-8m) swell which not everyone will dare challenge. Sudden deep water swells and jumping sea bottom create a fast and steep wave that violently lurches up and pushes you with tons of water to the channel. 

Shorebreak here is not an easy target too. Lips are crashing heavily and wash you hard with powerful mash. You can get in and out of the water in the northern corner, but mind the timing. 

Season: December-February

Level: advanced, professional

Board recommendations: guns

Traffic: crowded

Best tide: all tides

Best swell: West, North-East

Average wave: 15-30 feet

Sea bottom: reef

Hazards: really big waves, rocks and reefs, strong currents

Note: vests and helmets recommended 

Wind & weather forecast for Waimea Bay

 

5. Jeffrey's Bay – South Africa

Jeffrey's Bay – South Africa

 

Jeffreys Bay (J-Bay) is an area about 75 km southwest of Port Elizabeth. It consists of no less than 10 different sections including Kitchen Windows, Magnatubes, Boneyards, Supertubes, Impossibles, Salad Bowls, Coins, Tubes, The Point and Albatross. This is a very popular surfing spot, which is well known for one of the best righthanders in the world.

Climate in Jeffrey’s Bay is somewhat unstable and mostly dry. Temperatures change drastically. Some days bring good warm weather, which might be easily followed by cold winds. With the exception of summer months when you may even surf in a shorty the rest of the year requires a good full suit.

Different breaks around Jeffrey’s Bay provide waves of different levels. For instance, a renowned spot Supertubes is a fast long big wave, often barreling, which attracts many tough folks. Whereas Point and Albatross offer mellow vibe and fun waves with slower speed, which most of intermediate and longboarders will find comfortable.

Season: May-August

Level: beginner, intermediate, advanced

Board recommendations: all types

Traffic: crowded

Best tide: all tides

Best swell: South-East, South-West

Average wave: 2-12 feet

Sea bottom: boulders and sands

Hazards: there are many shark reports, so avoid on dark surfs and never go surfing alone. Strong currents might be also an issue.

Wind & weather forecast for Jeffrey’s Bay

 

6. Ericeira – Portugal

Ericeira – Portugal

 

A picturesque village Ericeira is frequently named the surf capital of Portugal. Good waves of different origin and levels are found in many surf spots which surround the settlement. You will see beach breaks, reefs with right and left-handed barrels, walling point breaks and many more which will blow your mind. International surfers of all levels have recognized consistency of local waves and the quality of water. Safe for the beautiful scenery. 

Waves in Ericeira are good all year long, but hence different seasons match different surf skills we recommend to fairly estimate your potential. Thus, beginners will feel comfortable in May-September. Intermediates are welcome in June-October, whilst September-January is pros’ time. Surf spots of Ericeira will impress you with variety and consistency of rideable waves.

Season: all year

Level: beginner, intermediate, advanced

Board recommendations: all types

Traffic: crowded

Best tide: from mid to high

Best swell: South-West, North-West

Average wave: 2-8 feet

Sea bottom: sand

Hazards: crowds and other people’s surfboards

Wind & weather forecast for Ericeira

 

7. Khalaktyrsky beach – Kamchatka, Russia

Kamchatka, Russia

 

Kamchatka Peninsula recently has been turning more popular as a surfing destination thanks to efforts of local surf community and surf documentaries. Put aside severe weather conditions, the place offers several remarkable surf spots with the main in Khalaktyrsky Beach. A vast strip of coast line of Avachinskiy Bay is covered with black volcanic sand. Monumental volcanoes in the background and sharp cliffs, which stand out of the water, provide an epic view reminding of something like Game of Thrones. 

Khalaktyrsky Beach is just 30 minutes away from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, local administrative center and the biggest town. Take bus 8 (bound for Dolinovka village) or 24 (bound for Zaozyorny settlement). Considering that you will have to hike around 5 km down to the beach taking a taxi or hiring a car seems a reasonable choice.  

Khalaktyrsky Beach is an exposed beach break that has excellent quality waves with stable conditions. It offers both right and lefthanders. However due to its landscape preliminary forecast check is highly recommended whenever you plan a surf trip there. 

The open beach area leaves no places to hide from offshore winds, which might get really strong and relentless. Especially so in winter. Whilst summer time offers relatively mellow conditions for surfing, when board riders of all levels can get what they want. 

Season: all year

Level: beginner, intermediate, advanced

Board recommendations: all types

Traffic: empty even when it’s working

Best tide: from mid to high

Best swell: South

Average wave: 3-6 feet

Sea bottom: volcanic lava rocks

Hazards: bonechilling cold

Note: needless to say, you need a full suit to surf there.

Wind & weather forecast for Khalaktyrsky beach

 

8. El Hierro – Canary Islands, Spain

Canary Islands, Spain

 

Another super popular place to surf, this time situated in the Atlantic on Fuerteventura island which is between the main island of Canary and African coast. El Hierro is located on the northern shore next to Majanicho beach. It is an exposed reef break that has good waves from groundswell to offer. Works perfectly in winter while summer tends to be mostly flat. No beach break there.

El Hierro includes two main take off points, which break over a lava reef a few metres below. The left side provides a long speedy ride in fast hollows. The right section is shorter, but still may bring you lots of joy with its decent tubes. Consistency and quality of waves in El Hierro attract many surfers, so at times it gets crowded there. If you seek opportunities to learn to surf and enjoy recreational comfort Fuerteventura is a good destination

Season: December-March

Level: beginner, intermediate, advanced

Board recommendations: all types

Traffic: crowded

Best tide: all tides

Best swell: North, North-West

Average wave: 3-10 feet

Sea bottom: lava reef and rocks

Hazards: shallow reef and rocks

Wind & weather forecast for El Hierro

 

9. Cloud 9 – Siargao, Philippines

Siargao, Philippines

 

The world-famous surfing spot, which becomes a stage for annual WSL Surfing Cup, is located on the eastern coast of Siargao. It is an exposed reef break with right and left sections that has quite reliable surf. When conditions match it creates a perfect tube with a speedy run, which is short but intense. Autumn and winter are recommended to surf some of the best waves there. They are mostly coming from typhoons in South Pacific and winds. 

Cloud 9 is a quite difficult spot, but confident and experienced surfers will love it. Intermediates and beginners may take advantage of Jacking Horse and Quicksilver – two adjacent surf breaks with much easier and mellow conditions. All three places require attention and good paddling skills as strong currents take you away down the beach. Probably due to sharp rocky sea bottom, which may leave you with painful cuts unless you wear surf boots, Cloud 9 and the neighboring spots are not so crowded. But many locals surf there too, so be polite and respectful. 

Season: September-January

Level: beginner, intermediate, advanced

Board recommendations: all types

Traffic: mellow

Best tide: from mid to high

Best swell: North, East

Average wave: 2-12 feet

Sea bottom: lava reef, rocks and corals

Hazards: shallow reef, sharp rocks and corals, sea urchins

Wind & weather forecast for Cloud 9

 

10. Punta Sayulita – Mexico

Punta Sayulita – Mexico

 

Punta Sayulita is located on a small peninsula nearby authentic Sayulita town, the State of Nayarit. Although known as the best beachside raves destination among hippies, now Sayulita turns a real surf-town with all necessary infrastructure with surf rentals, lessons and gear.

Punta Sayulita as an exposed surf spot provides good quality left-handed waves. Facing the Pacific, it catches distant groundswells from all over the ocean. Summer is the best time to surf there. With the eastern wind and appropriate swell a good 5ft wave may take you for a long ride down to the beach. Longboarders of all levels will love these vibes. 

Punta Sayulita is renowned for its perfect conditions for first-timers. It offers nice fun waves which are designed by elements exactly for learning. Except submerged rocks the place is quite safe.

 

Season: May-August

Level: beginner, intermediate

Board recommendations: longboards, all types

Traffic: crowded

Best tide: all tides

Best swell: West, South-West

Average wave: 2-8 feet

Sea bottom: reef and sand

Hazards: rocks 

Wind & weather forecast for Punta Sayulita