In surfing, the best spot is often the new find. With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of unexpected surf spots that will get you out of the Florida-Hawaii-California routine and still give you all the waves, scenery and atmosphere you need to ride the waters.
From June and all throughout October, typhoon season makes the waters swell beautifully around the 3,304 islands of Japan (4 big islands and another 3300 small islands). Such an underrated but amazing destination for surfers!
Okinawa is a place where you go for the reef breaks, while Shikoku shines for its river mouths.
If you’re looking for hard spots with big waves, Aha-Yoko and Ekie Island are good places to start, while the general audience is welcome to try Five Rocks, Suicide Cliffs (it’s only a name!) or Tengan Pier. From November to February you’ll get mild weather, while the rest of the year is hot and suitable for board shorts and nothing else.
Shikoku surfing spots:
With its cold winters and hot summers, Shikoku is a good surfing destinations from June to November during typhoon season. Experienced surfers will appreciate Kaifu Rivermouth and Monobegawakakou (Monobe), while newbies can ride the humble waves at Hirano, Irinomatsubara or Tanoura. There are many of beaches for intermediate boarding, like Ozaki and Shishikui.
The British Isles don’t usually come to mind when picking surfing locations but Cornwall is the exception to the rule. Situated on the southwestern shore of England, Cornwall is an historic county, famous for its beaches and the endless surfing opportunities it provides. The town of Newquay has become regarded as the surf capital of the U.K.!
The coastal path along the shore is well maintained and it is widely considered one of the most dramatic in the U.K. Boardmasters, an August music and surfing festival happening on Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay in Newquay, is a young event that makes Cornwall even more legit as a surfing spot. The town boasts some great night activities as well so you can find great nightclubs and bars to chill out after a day tackling waves. The area has become popular for stag and hen parties thanks to the great surf and lively nightlife. You can easily find packaged holidays to the town, like the Red7 weekend getaways that can plan out a whole vacation of surf and partying for you.
Cornwall surfing spots:
Newquay provides great beaches like Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay that you should definitely consider picking when you’re planning your surfing trip. Constantine Bay and Porthleven are your best choices if you’re an experienced surfer looking for tubing waves and intense reef breaks. Widemouth, Whitsan and Watergate Bay are perfect for beginners and intermediates looking for some constant conditions.
Swells coming in from every direction possible, big waves and cold breezes – this is Iceland in a nutshell. And it’s only reserved for the hardcore surfer who can invest in the best wet suit and can tackle the freezing waters with a steady and determined mind.
Iceland surfing spots:
Evan’s Reef, situated about 1 mile south of Hafnir village, is a small cove that is good for the experienced boarder, while novices can try to access Grotta Lighthouse, on the western end of Reykjavik. Another spot close to the capital is Porlackshöfn, but options are endless, with the coast adding up to 5000 kilometers of beaches, shores and surfing spots.
This South-Asian country might be known for its endless paddy fields and its splendid national animal, the bengal tiger, but its beaches are remarkable as well. In fact, Bangladesh is home to the longest beach in the world
which goes on for 140 kilometers and offers many spots for surfing, especially during winter and the start of spring.
Head for Cox’s Bazar on Laboni Beach for a unique surfing experience which could be summed up as the exact opposite of an Australian day boarding. There is no surfing community in Bangladesh, so the ocean is yours. The waters are warm, the sand is perfect and you can get direct advice from the country’s first (and only) pro surfer, Jafar, that can guide you through the long stretch of shore to the best spots.
Whether you’re looking for a tropical scenery or the harsh climate of mysterious Iceland, there’s more to surfing than California and Hawaii, so get your board and see where the road less travel takes you. You might like it.
Amber Kingsley is a freelance writer and wannabe surfer who has contributed to several travel sites and blogs. As an avid traveler she is always looking for her next adventure and loves sharing her stories with others.