Who are the best people to recommend places to go surfing? Probably those who are good enough to compete in a national team. That’s why we spoke to healthy soft drink creators Calypso Soft Drinks who sponsor the Junior Surfing GB team to find out where they recommend visiting for an excellent surfing trip.
Lots of the team actually developed their surfing skills in these places before going back for more as experienced surfers, so they have a good idea of what the places are like for a variety of abilities.
Barbados is a fantastic place to go surfing any time of the year. If you want a chilled out surfing holiday with consistently fun waves and the opportunity to relax on the beach against a gorgeous Caribbean backdrop then this is the destination for you.
Experienced surfers will enjoy the more challenging surfing Barbados can deliver, such as the famous Soup Bowl which Kelly Slater classes as one of his top 3 waves in the world. In the winter months head to the north-east and west coasts to take advantage of the big groundswell that travels down from the North Atlantic and creates some excellent surf spots.
The south of the island also has some excellent surf all year round and is especially suited to beginners. It’s well equipped for tourists and has plenty of cool places to visit when you’re out of the water.
It’s one of Surfing GB Junior team member Emily Williams favourite places to surf. She says,
“The surf was really good. I really improved my surfing there and that’s when I got the bug to surf, when I actually wanted to do it. It was great to experience a different culture and meet new people; I made loads of friends there.”
She recommends a wave called Freights which is perfect for anyone starting out surfing. “It’s very gentle and I fell in love with surfing there!” she says.
She also recommends Maycock and Sandy Lane as excellent places to visit for experienced surfers where you can practice turns over and over again and even get the odd barrel. Her favourite thing about it is that it has a long right hand point break and super fun steep left hander.
The surfing season in the south of the tear-shaped island that is Sri Lanka runs from October to early May so is an ideal destination if you’re looking to take a holiday in the early months of the year. It’s also the off-season for the rest of the island, so it tends to be more chilled than if you were to go to other parts of the island at a different time of year.
That being said, Sri Lanka offers quality surfing all year round, which is why it gets so busy during the summer months.
If you want to catch some fun 3-5 feet waves with the occasional bigger swells on an island full of stunning unspoilt beaches and wildlife (there are lots of elephants to go and visit!) Sri Lanka will satisfy. It’s now firmly lodged itself as a top destination amongst the international surfing community, hosting an annual international surfing competition at the acclaimed Arugam Bay on the east coast.
If you want to go somewhere which offers slightly bigger waves then head to Morocco. Aside from the surf, Morocco is a popular destination for its culture, climate and amazing cuisine. SGB Junior Team member Liam M Strout recommends the mint tea!
As for the surf, Liam says “It’s all right handers and point breaks; perfect if that’s what you’re after”. Ellen Harding another SGB Junior Team member says that Morocco is her favourite place to surf. She loved the variety of waves on offer and says her memories of the place are that “It was really warm with friendly people, perfect waves, amazing food and lots of laughs.”
Surf destinations like Agadir are about a three hour trip from the capital Marrakesh – perfect if you want to take a day away from the water and explore some of the world renowned souks. The city of Agadir itself is equally exciting and lets you mix a surf holiday with a unique city break.
With a 200km coastline swept by two major ocean currents, South Africa has excellent surf during the summer months, but is also an ideal destination in the winter. The team at Surf GB tell us that South Africa is the place to go for consistently good, varied waves, fantastic culture and great people.
Jeffreys Bay in the south is mild and pleasant in the winter months and the town is extremely laidback where most locals don’t wear shoes and you’d be hard pushed to spot a tie. The bay has plenty of safe, shell-filled swimming beaches alongside some of the best waves the country has to offer.
Like Morocco, South Africa is also a hugely interesting country to visit for its culture and developing modern identity. The beaches are beautiful, the weather is great and you might even see a few dolphins whilst you’re out in the swell.
Costa Rica boasts a rich natural habitat brimming with flora and fauna. The volcanic island is covered in dense green jungle which is home to all sorts of interesting wildlife including monkeys, parrots, frogs and an eclectic mix of birds and insects. Much of the island has been designated national parks which are well worth a visit during your stay.
The 755km coastline on two oceans means that all sorts of surfing is on offer here from the more relaxed beach break to coral platforms where the water leaps up and tubes like a miniature Pipeline. Liam M Strout SGB Junior team member says that Costa Rica is his favourite place to surf.
“You can surf every day in good waves and boardies. It’s good for beginner surfers because it’s not mental; it’s kind of mellow. There are too many good things to mention, but the first memories which come to mind from my trip in December 2012 are hot sand, smoothies to die for and waves from dawn ‘til dusk.”
He recommends it to surfers young and old alike. Water temperature is between 28C to 30C even in the winter so you don’t need to pack your wetsuit! Idyllic!
Other places we like
If you’ve already visited some of these places and are looking for your next adventure then the junior team recommend El Salvador, Fuerteventura, Indonesia and Portugal as other great places to head to.