Here’s my list of the best temperate (non tropical) surf locations.
2/ South Africa
Peru and Chile are sick, but lack variety. Right hand point breaks and clear water beach breaks are thin on the ground there. Same with France. Spain lacks a consistent world class spot. Ireland is cold and pretty inconsistent during summer.
Not sure if it's posisble to have lists like this at a country level, as there's so much variation (fine for smaller countries, not great for bigger countries). Parts of each bigger country are great, other parts terrible.
Right now I like the countries without COVID myself.
Portugal easily leapfrogs the US.
Especially when you take out the tropical parts.
Could probably fit Japan in there as well.. Maybe after NZ?
Isn’t Morocco North of the Tropic of Cancer?
I’d rate that pretty high up.
Baja, but not the mainland.
Yeah, Fark, how the hell did I overlook Morocco? Mind you it is another place that has sick waves but doesn’t have a lot of variety. That’s why NZ is up there, there’s just so many different types of waves. Then there’s Japan, but I’m not sure where it would fit into the top 10. (I’ve lived in Japan so I have some insight there) USA was probably a bit high also. Mexico is mostly in the tropics.
The revised top 12
2/ South Africa
I don't consider variety that important in a surf destination.
Quality, consistency, crowd density.
I only travel for backlit lefthand tubes.
Kandui afternoons for you, then!
Can't have a Top 12, Spud. That's bullshit. Top 10 or nothing.
Top ten with two honourable mentions?
2/ South Africa
Duly noted Stu. Japan and Spain can drop off the list then.
Island Bay, in a lot of ways I reckon NZ trumps Morocco. It was a tough call that one. I’ll have to sleep on it.
FWIW. Australia should given the top five positions. It's that good.
West coast Gnarly smashers.
South Oz Sublime beefy perfection.
Vicco Endless oceanic walls.
NSW Reefs. beaches and points galore.
QLD Sand bottom points the envy of the world.
And there is variety to burn.
How good have we got it?
Nothing to see in Tas ;-)
Morocco sucks for crowds and consistency. The main spots anyway.
and it sucks that you and your crew will probably get the shits on the trip.
Canary Islands have so much variety ,pumping swells, reefs, plus mild water temps.
Not to mention great cheap food and grog (better than Oz in many cases)- although does it come under Spain?
On further consideration, I might move Spain up a bit and Morocco down.
Now rank the varying Australian coasts . Inclusive of surfer numbers on enjoyment.
The Canary Islands should probably be included with Spain, although they’re almost in the tropics. Move Spain up and Morocco down I reckon.
Ha ha Spuddups.
I am biased and I got skunked in NZ.
I got two weeks of awesome waves in NZ.
Best trip ever- waves, people, food, scenery.
Yes Zen. I had good time visiting NZ as well. Awesome place. Got unlucky with the waves though. Had a few sessions but nothing to write home about. The potential is amazing.
Australia (combined rating of quality, variety, consistency and crowds)
1. South coast NSW
2. SW WA
3. North Coast NSW
=4. West coast SA
=4. NW WA
Assuming no crowds and six months surfing daily in peak season :
1/ NW WA
2/ SE QLD
3 / Nth Coast NSW
4/ SW WA
5/ West SA
6/ Sth coast NSW
7/ Surf coast , Vic
8/ Sth coast WA
9/ NW Tassie
10/ Illawarra , NSW
If there was no such thing as crowds
1. Gold Coast
2. North Coast NSW
3. South Coast NSW
With crowds taken into consideration id spin that around.
Ive never been past Adelaide but SW WA looks good as does areas of SA
Tassie is pretty good for variety and consistency if you are willing to drive you have four coast to explore, but its just way too cold other than in Summer
Victoria is a bit of hoax quality wise but what we lack in quality we get in consistency.
Lived Vic, Tas, NSW, QLD and surfed every region between Vic & Fraser island (bar Sydney too crowded for me)
Gold, silver, and bronze*.
1st - Queensland
2nd - Sydney
3rd - Northern NSW
well if theres no crowds ...hehe
indo.....no crowds why not
nsw n coast..etc
sth coast nsw
Great question re: best surfing coastline in Aus!
I think it's horses for courses. As an intermediate battler originally from the east coast I love the consistency and variety on offer on the vic surf coast as well as the lack of crowds (relative to where I'm from). I wouldnt pretend that at it's best it's as as good as the gold coast on its day for instance, but for me and my ability, it suits me alot better.
Assuming no crowds, Newcastle-Sydney-Gong, possibly the best 300km stretch in the world
Do you live above a meth lab tylerdurden?
If you had to pick one stretch of temperate coastline it’d be hard to go past NSW. The state has it all really. I’ve never surfed in Victoria mind you.
I lived in SW WA for six months back in 97. The place pumps but they do get a lot of onshores which is a minus. Howling Sea breeze in summer, howling SW winds in winter.
I don’t think NZ is actually that great a place for an overseas surf trip. As some have pointed out it’s easy to get skunked here if you don’t know where to go. It’s a good place to live as a surfer though. Dunedin for example has waves 365 days a year if you can handle the relatively cold water.
One legit world class wave and 10 more just behind it and 100’s of beachies, all can be awesome on their day.
8ft Queenscliff-North Steyne last night for example
I agree,minus crowds NSW stretch best in Oz& probably contender for worlds best. 180' swell window, excellent coastal geology&offshore winds regularly coincide with swell its a no brainer&can't be denied
Dedicated to "the greatest little country in the world, no risk"...
I think it's cute people from NSW think their state has the best non-tropical surf on the planet.
With the exception of England, virtually every single non tropical coastline that faces west and south on the planet has significantly better waves than beaches that face east.
I agree with that West and Polar* facing sentiment, however....
I live somewhere in NSW. I just did a rough count, and I have 65 different waves on offer within a 35 minute drive in either direction, with a beach making just one count. Heres a photo of about the 50th best one, that’s why it’s empty. Pretty shite all summer though because we face east..william lisle bowles poems
I think you’ll find that if you give it a bit of consideration you’ll find that he’s on the money. NSW does have the greatest amount of great waves in Australia. They are unfortunately compromised by heavy crowds.
Even accounting for generally weak swells , the NSW coastline is very hard to beat if you were free to cherry pick sets at any spot. Probably twice as many really good waves as any other state once you’ve factored every point , reef , beachie and rivermouth.
Couple this with incredible beauty , welcoming climate and a decent amount of undeveloped coastline and it’s quite hard to compare when viewed as a single zone.
I can catch a marlin , have an incredibly scenic beach to myself, enjoy the silence of a rainforest , hand feed a kangaroo or get a 10 second tube all within a few hundred metres of my house. Where else can claim the same ?
And it’s still not my favourite spot in Australia !
William Lisle Bowles, Shoredump?
I thought including Bazza was a bit 'strike me pink'?!
Shorey, had me guessing for a sec there.. then I realised. Making that wave look way better than it is huh. Though I have had it really fun on a fun board.
Don't get me wrong folks. There's some great waves up in NSW but it's got absolutely nothing compared to WA, The E,W and S coasts in South Africa, Mexico, France, Chile, Nambia, Peru, Spain Portugal, Morocco, and Northern California upwards.
Victoria is shit though, never go there.
"Tassie is pretty good for variety and consistency" - ha ha Indo ya reckon
"if you are willing to drive you have four coast" - that's all you'll be doing.