If you want to learn to surf, then these top 10 beginner surf spots are ones you’ll want to put on your to-do list. Take a lesson from a local surfer and you can start out on a forgiving foam surf board. You’ll be riding a wave in no time.
- Byron Bay, Australia. This small-town-turned-surfer’s-haven almost always has a wave available, since the town is fortunate to have south, east and north facing beaches. The main bay is the best of the surf spots for beginners with five breaks: Main Beach, Clarks, the Wreck , the Pass and Belongil. The best time to go is late summer and autumn.
- Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. This beach has a long history of surfing. In fact the father of modern surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, grew up there. There are several beginner surf spots in Waikiki, but Canoes, in front of his statue, has a gentle rolling peak that is a just right for a first lesson. Calm waters make things easy for a novice surfer. There are waves here all year.
- Cowell’s Beach, Santa Cruz, California. This beach has lots of beginners, so you won’t feel too conspicuous. The waves are long and gentle and work well on a longboard. The beach can be very crowded, especially if there are only a few swells that everyone is waiting for, so check the reports and be prepared to look out for other surfers.
- Cocoa Beach, Florida. Experience the surf culture in this popular beach area. Cocoa Beach is located on Florida's eastern coast and offers a number of recreational opportunities in case you get tired of surfing!
- Tamarindo, Costa Rica. This is one of the best beginner surf spots in Central or South America. The break at Playa Negra lies to the south, and the Witches Rock to the north. Tamarindo is situated between two national parks and attracts nature lovers of all kinds.
- Kuta and Legian, Bali. Bali has plenty of breaks for die-hard surfers. But the beach between Kuta and Legian has small swells for surfers still learning to ride a wave. The surfing is best in the morning, so you have time in the afternoons to enjoy the surf party vibe.
- Huntington Beach, California. You have to think the Beach Boys must have visited here when writing their surfing tunes. It’s known as the Surf Capitol of the U.S. The north side of the pier is one of the best surf spots in the area to test your skills. You may have to ride a few waves before attempting the bigger breaks on the south side of the pier, but it’s a good place to watch more advanced surfers.
- Miami Beach, Florida. Miles of sandy beaches with waist-high surf and warm water makes this a great choice when looking for beginner surf spots. These beaches aren’t too crowded with surfers like other surf spots, making it easier to catch the right wave. When you need to tank up you’ll find that some of the best Latin food is just off of the beach.
- Florianopolis, Brazil. Barra da Lagoa is a 700-foot-long beach and is only five minutes out of the city. It is situated to consistently catch the wind and create waves that are easy for a beginner to ride. This is one of those laid-back surf spots also popular with kite surfers and hang gliders. You are never far from the famous Brazilian nightlife.
- Saladita, Mexico. This is one of the secret surf spots in Mexico. This town on the Mexican Riviera has some of Mexico’s best waves for beginners and some of the largest waves for the more experienced surfers. A bungalow on the beach is a bargain compared to other resort areas, and the beaches are less crowded.
The great thing about surfing is going to new places. Beginner surf spots are found all over the world. The surfers you meet will have plenty of hot tips on where you should go next.