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The Top 10 Surfing Destinations on the Planet

Young surfers on the beach.

The Top 10 Surfing Destinations on the Planet

Googling the “best surfing spots in the world” or “the top 10 surfing destinations” is sure to bring a wide variety of results. We know it’s almost impossible to choose the 10 best surfing spots in the world, but as surf enthusiasts, we have scoured the globe and discovered some of the most amazing surfing destinations of all time.

Using our expertise and passion for surfing, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite surf spots in the world.

Whether you have just fallen in love with surfing and are still learning the basics or are an advanced rider, there is something for everyone on our list.

Here’s our list of the top 10 surfing destinations in the world, in no certain order, in the world.


1. Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa

Supertubes beach, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa

Jeffrey’s Bay often referred to as “J-Bay”, provides 10 different sections to choose from. This destination is popular with surfers from intermediate to high-level riding and has enough variety to appeal to all riders.

Along with the Supertubes, a pro-level favourite, other sections include:

  • Salad Bowls
  • Boneyards
  • Coins
  • Tubes
  • Kitchen Windows
  • Impossibles
  • Albatross
  • Magnatubes
  • The Point

Tips for surfing here: have a strong board, wear booties, and be aware of currents.


2. Gold Coast, Australia

Surfer's Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia

Queensland’s surf Mecca boasts a mild subtropical climate, long beach breaks, right-hand point breaks, and even a new artificial reef at Narrowneck.

Surfing here is typically best from January to July. Be sure to check out these notable breaks:

  • Kirra
  • The Spit
  • Main Beach
  • Miami
  • Broadbeach
  • Mermaid Beach
  • Palm Beach
  • Tugan
  • Greenmount
  • Snapper (Superbank, a large, man-made sandbank)
  • Bilinga


3. Oahu, Hawaii, United States

Bonzai Pipleline, Oahu, Hawaii

Forget a general area, Oahu is an entire island deserving recognition on our list.

Oahu’s Pipeline is considered the number one surf spot in the world by many. Although only experts can tackle Oahu’s notorious 6-metre waves, beginners can find excellent breaks in other areas such as Waikiki (particularly during the spring months).


4. Hossegor, France

Culs Nuls Beach, Hossegor, France

A centre for European surfing, Hossegor is a beloved European surfing destination. Located on France’s southwestern coast, you’ll find miles of gorgeous beach breaks and pro-level tubes that rival Hawaii (but without coral to worry about).

Surfers flock here from all over the world to ride tubes and brave the shallow sandbank. Every September, pro surfers compete here at the Quicksilver Pro competition.

The surfing difficulty here is moderate to difficult. Be aware of rip currents during big and stormy surfs and prepare yourself for washed-up rubbish during winter storms.


5. Bukit Peninsula, Bali, Indonesia

Balangan beach, Bali, Indonesia

Bukit’s northwest coast boasts an awesome cluster of breaks, with suitable waves for absolute beginners (Padang Padang rights) to expert riders (Uluwatu).

On the Bukit Peninsula, you’ll also find other world-famous surfing destinations including Balangan, Bingin, Impossibles, and Dreamland.


6. Bundoran Beach, County Donegal, Ireland

Bundoran beach, County Donegal, Ireland

Do you like the extra challenge and rush of adrenaline from cold water surfing? Then Bundoran Beach is a must-ride spot. Although surfing newbies can find some two-foot, beginner-friendly waves, we generally recommend this destination to more experienced riders due to the cold water temps, large tidal ranges, and treacherous reef breaks.

With water temperatures topping out at 13 to 17°C (55 to 63°F) around August and dropping to a downright chilly 8 to 10°C (46 to 50°F) in February, this location is not for the faint-of-heart.

The shimmering green waters here are certainly cold, but the rolling waves can reach up to 12 feet and be stable for a good two hours at low and high tide.

Irish locals are welcoming and charming, often offering advice and tips. However, as with any surfing location, always respect the locals by waiting for your turn.


7. Ericeira, Portugal

Ericeira, Portugal

As host of the ASP World Tour Surf Championship, Ericeira is a must-ride surfing destination. With its dedication to environmental standards, fishing village charm, and top surfing beaches, riders of all levels will want to check out this top surfing spot.

Ericeira’s coastline stretches for 8 miles (5 km) and offers a variety of breaks.

Beginners will enjoy Praia do Sul, Foz do Lizandro, and São Julião, while advanced riders will want to check out Coxos, Cave, Ribeira, and São Lorenzo.


8. Santa Cruz, California, United States

Lighthouse Point, Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz, California is yet another amazing surfing destination that offers a variety of breaks for everyone from novice riders to experts.

For beginners, check out Cowell’s mellow waves. Experts will want to challenge themselves with the crashing swells at Steamer Lane. Intermediate riders will find themselves at home at The Hook and Pleasure Point.

With its coastal community, amazing surf history, and a wide variety of waves, Santa Cruz is a surfer’s dream.


9. Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Playa Zicaleta, Puerto Escondido, Mexico.

Top-quality barrels? Check. Excellent waves for beginners? Check. Breathtaking scenery? Check. Budget-friendly? Check. Yes, Puerto Escondido, Mexico offers just about everything a rider could hope for. Known as the “Mexican Pipeline”, this area on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca State offers some of the best beach breaks in the world.

Although Puerto Escondido has a laid-back, coastal vibe, it is home to one of the most dangerous waves in the world at Playa Zicatela. This beach break produces pounding, temperamental tubular waves that are only suitable for the most adventurous, expert riders.

With a surfing season that lasts from March to December, there is a wide range of excellent times to plan a trip here. Other notable breaks include Kiddie Break, Zicatela Beach, and The Point.


10. Tamarindo Beach, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo Bay, Costa Rica

If you want a surfing destination with picturesque surroundings, Tamarindo Beach in Costa Rica is hard to beat. With a half-kilometre stretch of beach, warm water, and wave heights up to three metres, surfers of all abilities adore Tamarindo Beach.

When you’re waiting for a wave or done riding for the day, keep an eye on the trees. You may just see parakeets chattering away or howling monkeys swinging by!


Ready to Take on the Best Surf Trip Ever? Leave It to Earth Riders

We have spent years searching out the perfect waves and exploring breathtaking surfing destinations. If you are looking for a hassle-free trip of a lifetime, let our passionate, experienced team design the best surf adventure for you.

Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you enjoy a seamless, memorable surfing adventure.