Our Favorite Summer Surf Trip Destinations
When spring turns to summer, the last of the large north swells hit the Seven Mile Miracle on the North Shore, we begin to catch the travel bug. While there’s still plenty of Oahu surf during the summer, Pipeline and the other flagship North Shore waves go dormant. During the summer, we sail, paddle, hike, climb, dive, fish, and do just about everything under the sun that Oahu offers. Occasionally, the voice in the back of our heads that yearns for world-class waves gets too loud to bear, and we board a plane in search of summer south swells. While spring is very much still in the air in Hawaii, and we’re enjoying plenty of late-season swell, it’s never too early to start thinking about the next surf trip. If you’re planning a surf trip this year beyond visiting us on the North Shore, continue reading below for Our Favorite Summer Surf Trip Destinations.
Mainland Mexico’s lengthy Pacific coastline is as wave-rich as they come. South of the border a traveling surfer can find gargantuan barrels at the Mexican Pipeline, Puerto Escondido. Unlike Pipe, Puerto Escondido detonates over sand, but that doesn’t make the wave any less ferocious. Further south in Oaxaca, nearly every coastal bend contains a seemingly endless right-hand point break. While the acclaimed breaks like Bara de La Cruz and Salina Cruz draw quite the crowd these days, there’s plenty of coastline to explore for the surfer willing to go the extra mile.
Further south in the Polynesian island chain, French Polynesia climbs out of the South Pacific. Like Hawaii, the Tahitian island chain is comprised largely of volcanic topography with dense, tropical jungle surrounded by electric blue water, lively coral reefs, and world-class waves. The jewel of the Tahitian crown is Teahupoo, a slabby left-hander that produces one of the world’s most recognizable and feared barrels on the planet. As the site of the millennial wave that put tow surfing on the map, Teahupoo is recognized as one of the world’s premier big wave spots. Teahupoo breaks over a shallow reef shelf, so it’s dangerous at any size. Despite the risk, when an XXL swell heads to Tahiti, the best surfers in the world charge Teahupoo.
The countries linking North and South America contain some of the most sought waves on the planet. Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica each have world-class waves that are more than worth the price of admission. Central America has something for every traveler, yoga and wellness resorts with access to perfect waves, beachfront surf hostels for budget travelers, surf camps that offer family-friendly surf lessons, and so much more. In Central America, it’s travelers’ choice when it comes to waves, there are the rocky right-hand points in El Salvador, the thunderous beach breaks in Nicaragua, the famed beaches in Costa Rica, and more.
Indonesia is Mecca for surf travelers. While Bali and the Bukit Peninsula may receive the bulk of traveler attention for the picturesque waves at Uluwatu’s, Impossibles, and Padang Padang, the country is home to over 17,000 islands, each with untapped surf potential. Scoot around Bali and explore the Island of the Gods while surfing some of the planet’s most iconic waves or charter a boat and venture into the unknown towards famed reef passes pioneered by early surf explorers. Beyond surfing, Indonesia possesses a fascinating culture and cuisine that varies island by island. Each island has its own traditions, values, and religious practices that date back thousands of years. While Indo may be a bit of trek to get to, it’s well worth the long flights, layovers, and overall travel effort.
Summer is travel season. If you’re adventuring this summer, visit Oahu and learn to surf at Turtle Bay, where the waves are beginner-friendly, and the stoke is high. Book your stay at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore and explore the island with JOB Experience.