For some when thinking of a beach holiday, they fantasise an oversized umbrella, relaxation and a long drink. For those who would like to get a little more intimate with the waves, we have some great beginner friendly break suggestions for you to incorporate on your next trip. And let’s not forget, just because you grab a board doesn’t mean you can’t relax with a long drink after a fun day surfing the swells. Cowabunga!
Hiriketiya Beach, Sri Lanka
Tucked away off a quiet dirt road lies the beautiful bay of Hiriketiya Beach. Located in the South of Sri Lanka, and about an hour tuk-tuk from the more famous swells of Welligama, you’ll be forever grateful that you made the detour. There’s a couple of surf schools on offer if you’re looking for a few tips, or for those who are keen to ride solo, we highly recommend grabbing a board straight from one of the local hire shops on the beach and diving straight in. This bay is beautiful, and the waves are FUN! Keep an eye out for the locals, the sea turtles that is, as these gentle giants seem to enjoy the beautiful green waters as much as the next surfer.
Byron Bay, Australia
Australia is world famous for its surfing, and Byron Bay is a favourite amongst the East Coast residents of Australia, so we must be on to a good thing! The town itself is an eclectic mixing pot of personalities, just like its beaches. A perfect wave for all levels, this is your chance to surf amongst the locals, the pros, and the newbies alike. We suggest checking out Main Beach, The Wreck, Belongi Beach or Wategos if you happen to find yourself in this part of the world, probably strolling around bare-foot with your new handmade hemp tote in tow. Perhaps the most famous beach in Australia after Bondi Beach, so you’re not short on surf schools, equipment hire, or nearby accommodation.
Dubbed as the Islands first surfing beaches, Kuta is now an iconic landmark for wave-catchers amongst the Balinese sands. Once an empty beach, the arrival of Californian surfer Bob Korke in 1936 helped put Kuta on the surfing trail. With an 8 km long soft sand bar and a smaller swell makes the Kuta wave super fun without the major wipeouts. As with any beach, keep an eye on the currents, we’ve been told that Kuta can get rather strong from time to time.
If you’re keen to sidestep the average surf trail and you’re not afraid of a colder current then why not hit the UK for some great surf breaks. You may not think of Scotland as your first choice for a surfing destination, but it actually has some great waves and is right at the fingertip for the European resident. Thurso, in the Northern part of Scotland, averages a water temperature of about 6 ºC in winter, which is when the best surf arrives. Unfortunately, this means the possibility of snow and an icy wind chill so it might be a wave for the more confident of us beginners. But, hey, who said surfing was just for the tropics? The break is surrounded by lush green farmland, so expect a little detour through some local land. Since it’s exposure on the 2006 ASP (Association of Surfing Professional) World Qualifying Series, Thurso has steadily become a must-see for surfing enthusiast, and we couldn’t agree more.
La Union, Philippines
Having over 7,000 islands (yes, you saw correctly!), it goes without saying that the Philippines have an abundance of beautiful coastlines to explore. On the north island of Luzon lays the beautiful surfing province of La Union. A two-hour drive north of the capital Manilla makes this spot a great and accessible surfing gateway. Boasting 2 surfing seasons from July to October, and November to March, and with a great selection of breaks for first timer surfers such as The Beach Break, Monaliza Point, and San Juan just to recommend a few.
Nestled along the mid-west coast of Mexico between the ocean and the mountains you’ll find the state of Nayarit. With pristine coastlines and a consistent smaller swell than the sort after heavyweights of the south, Nayarit is a tropical haven for surfers of all skill levels. With an average annual temperature of 25 ºC and access to boards, lessons and some top-notch breaks, such as The Cove, El Faro and La Lancha you can truly experience an Endless Summer.
Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach is possibly one of the most recognisable surf spots in the world. Located on the southeast coast of Los Angeles, this world-famous break is easily recognised by the long Huntington Beach Pier protruding its shores, think along the lines of Lords of Dogtown. With an all year round easily accessible wave, the Huntington Pier break is great for all levels. Word down the grapevine is that locals can get a little fed up with the crowds, so know your surf rules before entering the lineup.
It’s almost impossible to write or even think for that matter, about surfing without mentioning the motherland, Hawaii. Renown for its big breaks, longboarders and competition surfing, some might think this isn’t quite the right spot for a beginner surfer, but you don’t become the motherland of surfing without providing a spot or two for the locals to learn. Located in the heart of Waikiki lights the beachless break of Canoes Surf Spot. Travers down some stairs and jump straight into the blue to reach this break, so head in once you’ve had a few lessons on surfboard handling and paddling. But don’t let this deter you, the break is beginner friendly, and for those willing to try out a longboard, what better place to brag and say that you’ve surfed and did a hang ten in Hawaii!