Surfing is one of the most adrenaline-pumping activities that anyone can enjoy on holiday. While many of the best locations for a surf trip take place along an idyllic coastline, you’re not always told what skill level you need to be to take on the waves at each location.
If you haven’t got the experience or skill to take on some of the more demanding surfing hotspots in the world, you’ll quickly find yourself submerged, possibly with a broken board, and possibly with an injury. So, it’s important to surf to your level and be at the beach that suits your abilities.
In this article, we’re breaking down three ideal surf trip destinations for those looking to learn to surf or are beginners, those who deem themselves to be intermediate level surfers, and finally, a true test of surfing skill at the highest level for experts on the board.
Beginners: Taghazout, Morocco
When novices picture top surfing locations, the mind often wanders to the likes of Australia, the Hawaiian Islands, and sometimes even Indonesia, with the North-Western African coastline of Morocco being an afterthought if acknowledged at all. But, the sand-laden nation’s beaches offer the prime opportunity for beginners and complete novices to learn to surf in favourable conditions.
One such location which has garnered a reputation as being a great place to learn to ride the waves is Taghazout, situated along one of the nation’s southernmost stretches of beach to face the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the popularity of surfing in the region, many surf camps and surf-orientated accommodations have popped up in the area, offering a very authentic, friendly surfing atmosphere when away from the ocean as well as right-hand point breaks when on the waves.
For beginners, and even those who are more experienced, Dfrost Almugar Surf and Yoga presents itself as one of the prime offerings in the region. With accommodation, surfing classes, food, and yoga, you can experience a full and relaxing surf trip to Morocco. Dfrost Almugar have many package deals that include surf lessons and accommodation, such as the Surf & Coaching package which includes accommodation, five surf lessons, food, and loads of other amenities for €518 (£459) per person, per week.
To make the most of the packages with surf lessons, you’ll want to immerse yourself in the area and the tutor’s teachings for a week. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to practice and discuss surfing in an ideal location. As for the best time to go: in Morocco, surfing season spans late September through to April, with the peak period being December to March.
Video Source: Mosak Marcin, via YouTube
Intermediates: Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
The sandy beaches of Costa Rica are far more familiar among those looking to enjoy some surfing, with the surf vibe spreading from north to south along either coastline of the Central American nation. With warm weather all year-round and your choice of the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Costa Rica has become a surf trip hotspot.
Of the many great places to surf in Costa Rica, the Pacific-facing Playa Santa Teresa (Santa Teresa Beach) has emerged as a great place for intermediate surfers to enhance their skills with more challenging waves, as well as for seasoned beginners to step up into the intermediate skill level. A lot of the accommodation in Santa Teresa is but a few minutes away from the ocean, where the sandy but steep incline delivers strong waves and plenty of barrels.
All over the world, including Indonesia, Morocco, Portugal, and Norway, Lapoint have set up surf camps to help surfers learn the sport and enhance their skills. In Costa Rica, the Lapoint surf camp is a mere two-minute drive from the beach, or 800 metres if you walk the path. While they cater to many different levels of surfer, the conditions at Santa Teresa are perfect for intermediates, making the one week Level 2 course for €599 to €699 (£532 to £621) the ideal way to enhance your skill.
While beginners are advised, somewhat, to avoid the summer and autumn months, and expert surfers may find the winter months a bit too tame, April through to October is the perfect time for intermediates to hit the waves. You’ll want to stick around for a week to make the most of the courses on offer as well as have plenty of chances to enjoy the incredible early morning surfing.
Video Source: Thomas Vitali, via YouTube
Experts: Teahupo’o, French Polynesia
When people discuss one of the most challenging surfing experiences in the world, the island of Tahiti within French Polynesia often comes up. The tropical paradise offers a calm and relaxing experience on land, but gargantuan, heavy waves just offshore.
The specific area that’s become famous for ‘the heaviest wave in the world’ is the small village of Teahupo’o, with its coastline witnessing gargantuan waves that challenge the very best in the world. Just the name of the village strikes fear and excitement into adrenaline-seeking surfers as it roughly translates to ‘place of skulls’ or ‘sever the head’ with the shallows, reef break, and heavy waves presenting a challenge that only those in peak physical condition with top surfing prowess can attempt to contend with.
In Teahupo’o, you can find accommodation that’s located close enough for you to venture down to see the majesty of the waves on offer, with Villa Bo and Vanira Lodge charging around €113 (£100) per night, but both are often in high demand. You can also make your way to the prime surfing location as well as many other great locations around Tahiti with the tailored Teahupoo Tahiti Surfari.
On the expedition, you’ll be taken out into the South Pacific to experience the tubes first hand, being shown great locations to hop on your board and tackle the world-renowned waves. The group’s Tahiti Iti Surfari costs about €500 (£444) and is a private surf expedition to their favourite spots, allowing you to hop on your board and experience a grand Tahitian surfing experience.
The waves at Teahupo’o are for expert surfers at the pinnacle of their fitness, as the super heavy waves will expose any weakness. If you’re up for the challenge, the best time of year to venture over is from April to October. But, be warned, while the expedition groups can show you to more forgiving swells, the famed Teahupo’o wave is not for faint of heart.
Source: Network A, via YouTube
Regardless of your surfing expertise, there’s a great location out there for you to base your surf trip around. If you want to learn, consider Morocco; step up your skills by taking a trip to the west coast of Costa Rica; or, if you’re ready, tackle the beast in Tahiti.