The late American entrepreneur, philanthropist and philosopher Jim Rohn once remarked “Reasons come first, answers second”. And this quote leads me to a very big question – why do we surf? Maybe because of the adrenaline rush? Or is it the escape from the daily grind? Pursuit for inner peace? Whatever the reason may be, most people have surfing on their bucket lists, and it’s quite rare to find someone who quits it after a few months. This brings us to an even more complicated matter – why is surfing so addictive?
Of course, it’s no secret that surfing is a lot of fun, it makes everyone feel young and free, but honestly, that’s not why we are hooked on it. No, as marketing professional and surfing enthusiast, Jenna Goldberg explains it, the true reason why it’s so addictive is because surfing is based on an “unexpected rewards system”. See, unexpected rewards have more power than the ones that are regular in driving behavior. You can’t get the perfect wave any time you want, you have to wait for it. While waiting, your brain releases dopamine in anticipation of the next wave. As you know dopamine is highly addictive, and this causes you to obsessively think about when the next reward (in a form of a wave) will be delivered.
Unlike other addictions, surfing is actually healthy for you, in order to help you feed your habit, let’s get to the real subject of our today’s post – best surfing spots around the globe.
1. Gold Coast, Australia
The Gold Coast is known for its 50 miles of beaches, and some of the most epic point breaks in the world, which brings us to Superbank – the finest break on the coast and of the best in the world. It produces great walls and tubes, so it’s guaranteed to give you a ride of your life. But the coast isn’t just known for its waves, it’s also famous for the expensive area that can accommodate all the people that flock there every year.
2. Riyuewan, Sanya, Hainan, China
China is probably not so well-known for surfing, but this is an exception, the gigantic island on the southern tip of the country offers untouched and unsullied beaches with consistent waves. For the most part, the beaches are un-crowded, and if you’re a first-time visitor, the locals will guide you and show you the best spots. You can always grab something to eat from some Hainan-style fish from the nearby café.
3. Lima, Peru
Despite the pebble beaches and gray waters, the capital of Peru is still one of the most visited surfing destinations in the last twenty years. It offers the best waves in South America, and they are great for surfers of all abilities and experiences. Lima’s waves are comparable to those in Hawaii, but you have significantly less crowds on the beach, and competition for the actual waves.
4. Hossegor, France
They don’t call this place “the surfing capital of Europe” for nothing. Located on the Atlantic, Hossegor is known for its rich mansions and famous homeowners who live near the beach. Once you finish with surfing, you can always sit on the beach, grab a drink and watch a bunch of famous surfers ride heavy waves that break on the shallow sandbank.
5. Siargao Island, Philippines
Here is something for all the folks who only want to experience the powerful ref break that crashes on to shallow (and really, really sharp) coral with left and right rides. With Cloud Nine, you’ll feel like you’re in heaven. But be warned, if you slip, you can say goodbye to at least a few bones in your body – basically, Cloud Nine is reserved for professionals and no one else.
6. Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
The Islands are made up of more than seventy wave rich chains of the cost of Sumatra, and if you want to see some of the most beautiful waves on the planet. Pagi and Siberut are probably your best choices. If you’re looking for the biggest swells, then you should visit Mentawai sometime between June and September.
7. Tavarua Island, Fiji
The heart-shaped Tavarua Island offers something for both the hardcore and the most inexperienced surfers out there. But only if fall into the first category, you should go and try out the Cloudbreak. The wave is practically reserved for people who are surfing for more than a decade, as it can form up to mile off the coast, it can hold up to half-a-mile and reaches 70 feet in size.
8. Cornwall, UK
Who can resist the old-fashioned English charm, almost-empty beaches and waves that range from 10 inches to 15 feet. The best thing – you have amazing food options everywhere, where you can unwind, drink a few glasses of wine and dine on delicious locally-sourced fish.
9. Okinawa, Japan
Okinawa’s White Beach has the only sandbars in the whole region, and is the perfect spot if you’re still in the early learning stages, and you want to train how to surf before you start visiting some more challenging places. Because the world is chalk full of new surfers, the place is usually packed during the weekend. After you learn a few tricks and perfect your technique, you can easily move on to nearby reef breaks like Suicide Cliffs.
10. Vancouver Island, Canada
We’ve talked about the surfing capital of Europe, so let’s close things down with the picturesque breaks of Canada’s wave capital. Again, this is a place suitable for all ability levels, the only problem may be the chilly weather, and if you plan to visit any time soon, bring a couple of wet suits – just in case.
Seeing how a vast majority of surfers spend less than 10% of their time riding waves, you definitely need great weather, a nice, picturesque view to surround you and good spot to relax in between surfing sessions. So if you’re dreaming or planning your next surfing adventure right now, put these ten places on your list immediately.