The following is our Top-10 list of spots to go surfing in the world. These are not single surf breaks such as Pipeline or Teahupoo, but not always the whole countries. This is part IV.:
Do you have your favourite region/area of the world that you think should be included? Please let us know in the comments…
A holiday paradise and one of the most beautiful places in the world, Tahiti is famous for its luxurious and most stunning resorts, romantic spots – and one of the heaviest waves on the planet – Teahupoo! While it is rarely as heavy as on the video below, this is a serious wave and attracts world-class surfers from around the planet. However, there are other waves that, while are less famous, offer options for other levels of surfers.
top spots: Stick to Tahiti or Moorea, which have pretty good density and range of surf. You can also find really good spots at Point Venus, Huahine and our favourite – Matavai Point.
best breaks in our opinion: Haapiti (L) in Moorea – a long, barreling wave; Ava Mo’a Pass (R) in Huahine – beautiful, long and hollow; Teahupoo. For beginners or lower intermediate, we recommend smaller waves such as Opunohu (R) in Moorea or the beach breaks along the Tahiti’s north coast.
Tahiti is not cheap – but it is beautiful, has several uncrowded spots and it is one of the most beautiful places you can surf on this planet. Don’t miss amazing diving/snorkelling and unspoilt natural beauty – this is a must-visit destination.
3. Sumatra and West Java (Indonesia)
This is a large region we are covering – and it has LOTS of options and different setups. There are fairly crowded, but really cheap places – or really remote, undiscovered locations. From the distant Banyak Islands, to popular and very consistent South Sumatra, you will enjoy world-class setups and warm, tropical water.
top spots: Banyak Islands (just north of Mentawai) are less crowded and get the same swell as the popular ‘Ments’. Treasure Island and surrounding breaks can be accessed by boat, and a trip there won’t be that expensive if you get a group together or jump on a last-minute special. Nias and Asu are good budget options, but you will have to share waves on the most spots. Down south, South Sumatra is a bit of a mission but the rewards are more than worth it. You can’t expect luxury in these parts of the world, but the locals are really friendly, culture still relatively untouched, nature is pristine and surely you can live without internet for a week or two…
Oh, one more spot to mention is Panaitan Island. If you truly want to get shacked on powerful reef breaks with noone around, jump on a boat and do this trip. Check out this video of surfing in Panaitan Island:
best breaks in our opinion: Our top-5 would be: Treasure Island (R) – Banyaks; Way Jambu (L) – South Sumatra; Walo Hiu (L) – Nias; One Palm Point (L) – Panaitan Island; Cobra (L) – Banyak Islands
You cannot do this area in one trip (at least four would be needed) and these areas would probably all be in the top-10 even if separated – but we wanted to include more than just Indonesia in the rankings. The most consistent time for all these spots would be May to September, but you will be rewarded with less crowds if you opt for early or late season trips – March, April, October. You can also get waves in December and January – if you prefer small size and nobody around.
This country is one of the world’s wonders – it is one of the world’s smallest countries and and the lowest country in the world – with an average ground level of only 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level. The ocean feels like a warm bath, the choice of boat and resorts is plentiful and the diving is out of this world. The waves are more mellow than in Indonesia, but the crowds can be avoided if you go down to Central or Southern Atolls. The strong point is also the great choice of non-surfing activities, if there is no swell for a day or two.
top spots: North Male Atolls have good size in the top season and variety of rights and lefts. If you want to surf with less people and don’t mind losing a foot off the size of waves, then head down to South Male Atolls.
best breaks in our opinion: Lohi’s (L) – North Male; Tucky Joe’s (L) – South Male, F1 (R) – Central Atolls (Meemu); Ying Yang – Central Atolls (Laamu); Beacons (R) – Southern Atolls (Gaafu Dhaalu)
Maldives are now more affordable than ever. If you are into luxury, water sports, good surf and all modern amenities like internet access and international cuisine, you have to experience this beautiful destination. It is perfect for group of guys on a boat, families, hoenymooners… If you look for a resort in this area, make sure there is a surf break out front or a boat that takes you out. If you prefer a surf charter, go with experienced guys and check their reputation so you avoid dramas like broken air-conditioning, average food or unexperienced surf guide.
1. Mentawai Islands (Indonesia)
Who are will going to surprise by putting Mentawai on the top spot? The ‘Ments’ have to be on your must-surf list, even if you already have been there. This area boasts the largest variety and biggest choice of different setups, to go with the best consistency on the planet. You can surf here any time of the year and you will get waves. The prime-time is between June and Septmeber. If you don’t require double-overhead waves, prefer something smaller and want to dodge crowds, go in March, April or October – and you will score!
top spots: Playgrounds area (South Siberut) – the most popular area with the biggest range, but also most surfers around. Most of them will be on boat charters, so the crowds will vary each day. Central Mentawai (South Sipura) – HT’s and Lances Left are world class waves, but if these two are crowded, there aren’t as many alternatives as north. South Mentawai – the further south you go, the less boats and resorts there will be. The waves are a bit more apart and more fickle, but you won’t have to compete for them.
best breaks in our opinion: HT’s (R), Rags Right, Lances Left, Burger World (R), No Kandui (L), Rifles (R), Macaronis (L), The Hole (L)
Mentawai Islands epitomizes perfection and these remote islands are now easily reachable and surfed. The number of boats and resorts in the last few years has gone up, but you can still surf in peace if you go further south or go there early or late in the season. However, to experience the best breaks in their prime, go there in June-August. In any case, you need to rely on an experienced surf guide that will steer you in the best direction considering the wind, tide, swell and crowd factor.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with out TOP-10 or you reckon we left off some of the waves on the planet?
Please let us know in the comments…