In this article, you will discover the best places to go surfing in the winter! Surfing may seem like strictly a summer sport, but die-hard surfers paddle out year-round. This is simply because no matter how cold the air temperature might get, the waves don’t lose any of their sparkle! However, most people do prefer warmer waters in order to jump onto their board. Luckily, there are still plenty of places to go surfing where the weather is nice even during winter!
That’s why we have curated the list of places to catch some nice waves even when the weather might be cold where you live. It’s always sunny somewhere in the world, so you don’t need a full wet suit, or to turn into an ice cube after all! You can enjoy longboarding, bodyboarding, bodysurfing or anything else during the winter.
Surfing in Mexico
The first destination on the best places to go surfing in the winter is you guessed it- Mexico! South of the American border is the gorgeous Latin American country where the sun is almost always shining.
Puerto Escondido’s famous waves draw experienced surfers from driving from thousands of miles away. There are many spots for beginners as well, such as Zicatela, Todos Santos, Oaxaca, Sayulita and Salina Cruz. These spots are easy to catch and aren’t often very crowded. Just one tip- be wary of the strength of these waves. The Pacific Ocean is a powerful force of nature and the beach breaks are quite steep and fast. Waves aside, this destination has a lot of culture to discover and amazing food to eat as well!
Surfing in Morocco
Next up on the list of the best places to go surfing in the winter is the North African country of Morocco. The locals in Morocco are incredibly friendly and the desert landscapes are breathtaking. With a coastline of over 3,600 kilometres long, Morocco is one of the most popular destinations for surfing as well as kitesurfing.
Safi, Morocco is a break known worldwide as one of the best rights in the world. Surfing lessons in Taghazout, Agadir are very popular, and there are many more spots just like it! This includes La Pointe des Ancres, Killer Point, Mysteries, La Source and La Bouilloire.
As you can tell, there are many places in Morocco to have fun. Another great spot is in the Essaouira area. Sidi Kaouki or Tafedna have many surprises to offer and the locals will give you a warm welcome. In winter, water is around 17 ° c so a 3 / 2mm wetsuit is perfect, and sometimes you’ll even have the beach all to yourself.
Surfing in Australia
When it’s cold in Europe, it’s summertime down under. Obviously, Australia had to make the list of best places to go surfing in the winter. No need to remind anyone how amazing the weather is on this side of the world.
The Gold Coast, in particular, is definitely on a must-visit region in Western Australia. There are so many places wo surf, with beautiful clear blue warm waters to enjoy. Some of these spots include Bondi Beach, Bells Beach, Superbank, Byron Bay, Noosa Heads and more.
Surfing and water sports, in general, are part of the lifestyle in Australia. If you are lucky enough you might be able to catch the World Championship Surf Tour with the best surfers in the world while you’re there! check out this video of surfing at Byron Bay for some Aussie inspo.
Surfing in Tahiti
Coming in next on the list of the best places to go surfing in the winter is Tahiti, French Polynesia. With good weather year-round, Tahiti is like a daydream. You can find clear blue water, breathtaking scenery and mythical waves.
One of the most famous breaks in Tahiti is Teahupoo. but it’s not recommended to try this one unless you’re a really really, REALLY good surfer. It is quite fun to watch here, however.
Papenoo and Papara are also famous beach breaks because Michel Bourez apparently caught his first waves there. Heading south to Papeete, you can surf Puna’auai. If you’re going up north, you can visit Papenoo beach, a nice spot for booking beginner surfing activities in Tahiti, French Polynesia. Moorea’s lagoons, Haapiti and Temae, are definitely spots you will want to check out. This heaven on earth is guaranteed to leave you with surf memories to last a lifetime.
Surfing in Indonesia
South Asian country of Indonesia is next on the list of best places to go surfing in the winter. With the near-constant tropical weather bestowed upon Indonesia, it’s an endless summer to visit when the weather gets cold in Europe.
Within the past few years, Indonesia has become one of the most coveted ‘ places in the world to surf. For one, it boasts the biggest archipelago in the world, consisting of approximately 13,000 islands and thousands of perfect surf spots. It is renowned for the quality and consistency of its nearly perfect waves all year long.
While the waves are indeed consistent, they are also gigantic! The Mentawai Islands are a must-surf if you’re heading to Indonesia and of course, Bali is famous for waves too. But places like Lombok, Java, Nias, Keramas, and Padang Padang are also epic breaks. Surfers can also be found paddling out at G Land, Uluwatu, Macaronis, Desert point or Sumba.
A great spot to check out is Kuta if you’re a beginner. Plus, you can book a surfing lesson in Kuta, Indonesia to work on your skills. Your level of surfing doesn’t matter- a professional will guide you from your first popup to your first barrel. You can always hear the call of the ocean in Indonesia.
Surfing in South Africa
Since the weather in South Africa is always beautiful, it definitely makes this list of the best places to go surfing in the winter. This beautiful country has plenty to discover in the sunshine.
Durban and Cape Town are the most renown places to visit. J-Bay is also famous, and is located in the hometown of Jordy Smith, one of the top surfers in the world!
Located in the eastern cape province, Jeffrey’s Bay is also a hot spot for surfers, and you can even book a surfing excursion with a professional at Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa.
Supertubes and Boneyards are great breaks to check out. Just be careful here, as there are sharks and other more friendly wildlife.
Surfing in Peru
The beautiful country of Peru is up next on the list of the best places to go surfing in the winter. With over 2500km of coastline, Peru offers quite a few good breaks to explore in sunny Latin America. Just near the ancient city of Inca, you can find Chicama Beach. These waves are considered some of the longest lefts in the world- and they’re waiting for you!
When all the conditions are right, this wave rolls on for up to 2km! It is definitely a bucket list surf spot. There’s also Mancora, which is it’s a little bit up farther north. This is a great spot to surf in winter because of the swells that hit from the north pacific. During a swell, the waves break between 1 to 3m in the winter, a little bit bigger the rest of the year. When you need a rest from surfing, make sure to check out the famous Machu Picchu.
Surfing in Hawaii
Stunning Hawaii makes this list of the best places to go surfing in the winter because this beautiful island is sunny all year round. It wouldn’t make sense to write an article about surfing and not mention Hawaii. After all, it’s the birthplace of surfing.
There are many many places to surf on Hawaii, some great for beginners and some are only suitable for the pros.
One such place is called Jaws. The name speaks for itself, as the wave looks like a mountain of water pouring into a shark’s jaws! For a long time, Jaws was considered impossible to surf. But since the development of tow-in surfing, pioneers like Laird Hamilton can now ride this break.
Pipeline, located on the North Shore of Oahu is a massive break that is sure to get you barrelled. It may actually be the most famous wave in the world. The second a swell hits, hundreds of surfers turn up, and it’s competitive, to say the least! Locals rule this break, so if you are set on getting a ride here, prepare for a battle!
Waimea is for big wave riding. This spot is absolutely legendary because it’s where it all started for surf legend Greg Noll or Pat Curren in the late 1950s. Located on the North end of Honolulu, Waimea is a challenge for surfers of every skill level. From the moment you step in the water, you have to paddle past multiple breaking waves for over a hundred metres. When you finally do reach the peak, the ocean breaks violently onto rocks.
Surfing in California
When you think of California, sunny skies, palm trees and surfing come to mind – and for good reason. Many surf breaks, in southern California in particular, offer warm waters and excellent conditions all year round. The hot air current from the Pacific Ocean keeps the air temperature 20°c even in winter.
Further, these surf breaks have inspired countless surf films for many years- some of which have helped to define surf culture in the golden state. Check out Best Surfing Movies of All Time to Watch Now to get inspired.
Huntington Beach, Malibu, San Diego, Newport Beach, Santa Monica, and La Jolla are some of the best breaks in SoCal. Besides the surf, you will find, the colloquial bikini-clad girls playing beach volleyball nearby. In Venice, you will no doubt see the bodybuilders training on the beachfront. But ultimately, the waves are the main draw. One note of caution to be careful with is the rocky sea floors and long piers near the break.
After the obligatory drive through LA and Hollywood, head to Orange County and hit up surfer, Trestles. If you like bodyboarding, The Wedge is a great spot.
Surfing in the Canary Islands
This last location on the list of the best places to go surfing in the winter is the Canary Islands. When the temperatures drop throughout most of Europe, the Canary Islands remain a perfect spot for a surf getaway in winter. The islands are only 2-3 hour flight from Paris, and you can walk around wearing a T-shirt in January!
The Canary Islands are well-known for kiteboarding and windsurfing because the winds get strong here. But surfing is great too if you know where to go. Here you can expect volcanic soil and desert landscape, empty beaches and surf spots for everyone. If you are a beginner, surfing excursions in Fuerteventura, near Corralejo are idyllic! Surfing activities in Lanzarote are also a good option if you want to get out of your comfort zone.
The locals are nice, but make sure you’re respectful. Also, be careful with the reef and volcanic rocks under the surf break! (oh and watch out for the sea urchins too). It’s a good idea to wear wetsuit booties to protect your feet.
Whether you choose to book a surfing activity in Tenerife, Canary Islands or another one of the seven main islands of the Canaries, there are plenty of places to party and have some fun!
If you want to discover more places to surf, be sure to check out all of our surfing activities on our website. You can also read out article on the 10 Best Surf Spots in the World for Beginners, or the Top 10 Surf Spots in Basque Country!