10 Most Dangerous Surf Destiations

Here are the 10 most dangerous surf destinations. Some of the world’s most dangerous surf destinations have deadly waves, others are in a dangerous area, and a select few are dangerous for both reasons. Surfers have a longstanding tradition of doing reckless things to score perfect waves, and as long as the ride is good enough, there is no likely amount of danger that will keep surfers away.

  1. Pipeline: Hawaii is a nice place to visit. The landscape is beautiful and the culture oozes aloha spirit. However the waves  are far less accommodating. The wave at Pipe has claimed more lives than any other wave, making it one of the world’s most dangerous surf destinations.
  2. Dungeons: This big wave reef in Cape Town, South Africa is one of the most dangerous surf destinations in the world for several reasons. First, it’s a scary wave, comparable to Mavericks in both size and power. Secondly, this area of the Atlantic holds one of the highest concentration great whites in the world. Finally, despite massive improvements in recent years, Cape Town is notorious for crime.
  3. Namibia: The Namibian desert happens to be home to some of the most perfect, consistent, and uncrowded left hand pointbreaks around. Too bad these dream waves are  impossible to access. Surfing most of these waves means sneaking into diamond mines. In case  further clarification is needed, African diamond miners won’t have much of a problem mowing you down with an AK.  The waters of Namibia are also notoriously sharky.
  4. Punta Roca: El Salvador used to be a nice place to visit, and then the 1979 revolution happened. Punta Roca, located in La Libertad is one of the most violent areas in one of the most violent regions in the world. Hardcore ex-pats love to tell stories about stepping around corpses before a dawn-patrol surf session. Things have cleaned up quite a bit, but you still might consider a bulletproof rash-guard.
  5. Baja: Once the best place to escape SoCal congestion, Baja has become a hotbed for drug violence and kidnapping.  While not quite as dangerous as other spots on the list, Baja can still be considered one of the most dangerous surf destinations in the world. The recent drug war between competing cartels has spun out of control. Lots of American’s go to Baja to surf. Cartels and petty thieves are purposefully targeting gringo travelers.
  6. Colombia: A quick look at the map shows that Colombia should be able to pick up a good deal of Pacific juice. Why don’t we ever hear about surfing in Colombia? Because most of the coastal land is controlled by cocaine plantations. Enough said.
  7. Teahupo'o: Tahiti would be a great place to go for a honeymoon. It has clear water, beautiful beaches, and a relaxing atmosphere. It’s almost hard to imagine that at the end of the road lies one of the most psychotic reef waves known to man. Thicker than it is tall, this backless beast will rip your face off. The wave alone makes Teahupo'o one of the most dangerous surf destinations.
  8. Indonesia: There are other more dangerous surf destinations, but few are frequented as often as Indonesia. Depending on which part of this archipelago you visit, the traveling surfer risks disease, petty theft, and terrorist attack. Just stay smart out there kids.
  9. Recife. This is not one of the best waves in Brazil, so it’s not exactly clear why surfers would flock to it. However, if you do plan on trying to impress a scantily-clad Brazilian babe by shredding copious amounts of gnar on the beaches of Recife, you may want to reconsider. Racife has the more fatal shark attacks than any other beach in the world, making surfing Racife about as smart as raw-dogging in Rio.
  10. Mozambique: Warm water, no crowds, and mile long sand-bottom pointbreaks make Mozambique seem ideal, but consider this: Mozambique has the highest concentration of both unexploded land mines and tiger sharks on the planet. The government is notoriously unstable and the country is absolutely crippled by poverty and AIDS. Still not convinced? There is an AK-47 on the national flag. The waves can get epic, but Mozambique is without doubt one of the world's most dangerous surf destinations.
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