- Surfing

Popular Surfing Areas – Plan Your Next Holiday So You’re Sure to Get Good Swell

Surfing is a global sport and one can find a surfer in almost every coastal nation in the world. Here’s a breakdown of popular surfing areas around the world, so no matter where you are there is sure to be a suitable area close at hand.

France (particularly the Atlantic coast south of the Gironde)


  • Newcastle, where Surfest is held annually.
  • Gold Coast, Snapper Rocks and Burleigh Heads where many surf comps are held anually.
  • Ocean beaches of Sydney, in particular Bondi Beach.
  • Victorian beaches Jan Juc and Bells Beach where the annual Rip Curl Pro is held every year.
  • Western Australia beaches Margaret River.



  • Cabo Blanco
  • Pico Alto (home to the Mavericks of South America)
  • Cerro Azul
  • San Gallan
  • Chicama (home of the longest left in the world)


  • Baja States of Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur; Several great breaks, the island of Todos Santos being the most famous.
  • Mainland – States of Sinaloa, Jalisco, Colima (home to Boca de Pascuales and its massive beachbreak), Michoacán (where rural surf towns abound), Guerrero, Oaxaca (where Puerto Escondido, the “Mexican Pipeline”, is located), and Chiapas.
  • Gulf Coast



  • The Maharees – South West Ireland County Kerry
  • Easkey North West coast near Sligo

New Zealand

  • Manu Bay and Whale Bay, Raglan
  • Bay of Plenty and East Coast, Mount Maunganui

South Africa

  • Amanzimtoti
  • Cape St. Francis (Seal Point)
  • Durban
  • Elandsbay
  • Jeffreys Bay
  • Mossel Bay
  • Scottburgh
  • Port Alfred
  • Port Elizabeth

United Kingdom

  • Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall
  • Croyde Bay in North Devon
  • The Mumbles near Swansea, Wales

United States

  • Northern California, while it has its moments at times, is a far less consistent place to surf than Southern California, with consistently poorer wind and wave conditions. The main problem is that most spots are too exposed to wind and swell, often resulting in “stormy” surf. Northern California is home to one of the most revered and dangerous spots in the world, Mavericks, for which there is no comparison in Southern California.
  • Southern California, from San Diego to above Santa Barbara, features outstanding beaches such as Windansea, Tourmaline Park, Ponto, Lunada Bay, Huntington Beach, San Onofre, and Rincon, and is where American surfing music and culture began to evolve. This stretch of coastline is remarkable for the sheer number of consistently pleasant and surfable breaks.
  • Most of Hawaii, especially the North Shore of Oahu. The North Shore is home to perhaps the best stretch of surfing waves in the world, including Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay, and the world’s most renowned and revered wave, “Pipeline” (or “Banzai Pipeline”), so named for the yawning chasms it regularly hurls over the heads of awe-struck surfers.
  • The eastern central coast of Florida, particularly Brevard County, is renowned as the “small wave surfing capital of the world,” and is home to such surfing luminaries as Kelly Slater, Todd Holland, and Matt Kechele.
  • The Mid-Atlantic region includes popular spots such as North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Long Island, Virginia Beach, Ocean City (Md.), and the Jersey Shore.
  • There are decent breaks all up the east coast, notably on Cape Cod Massachusetts
  • Even areas along the Great Lakes get local windswells with fresh-water barrels.

The west coast of the Americas tends to have better surfing areas than the east coast. While the continental shelf of the west coast drops off quickly, on the east it extends a great distance, creating drag and making smaller and less powerful waves.