Warm Water and Gentle Waves: The World’s Best Places to Learn How to Surf

Few sports seem as attractive as surfing. Surfers coast along the surface of breaking waves under golden rays of sun in some of the most exotic places on the planet. Of course, every surfer has to start somewhere, so you may as well learn in warm waters that host gentle waves. Here are the top places to learn surf in the world where you can find warm waters, gentle waves so you can master how to surf.

Photo by: Tim McDonald

World’s Top Spots To Learn How to Surf

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

As far as surfing, Costa Rica’s location and conditions create a perfect storm. Costa Rica attracts swells from the south and the north. Plus, the water is warm all year, so you won’t have to worry about cold conditions ruining your opportunity to learn. Tamarindo is in northwest Costa Rica. It’s a small village that has grown in popularity due to the destination’s attractions and weather. The variety of waves also makes Northern Costa Rica a great destination. Regardless of one’s surfing ability and experience, one can find an optimal break.

San Diego, California

Some envision bleach blond hair, a relaxed temperament, and a California zip code when conjuring the iconic surfer. Locals and surfers around the globe consider Southern California to be the surfing capital of the world. However, unlike Costa Rica and the air temperature, California waters get cold. The summer months may be the best time to go for beginners; the water is warmer and the waves, though a bit more inconsistent, are much smaller compared to winter conditions where a wet suit is needed and waves can get to be double overhead or larger.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali may be an obscure destination for some, but the tiny island of Bali is on every surfer’s bucket list. From April to September, visitors enjoy consistent waves, warm water, and a very affordable cost of living. However, June to September produces some mighty waves in the Indian Ocean. A beginner should visit Bali before that period. Kuta Beach is a well known break yet visitors are not far from other lesser known and less crowded spots.

Waikiki, Hawaii

Of course, Hawaii has to be on the list. However, don’t be intimidated by the mention of Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii is home to some seriously intense waves (Pipeline is one of the most expert and intense waves on the planet.), but Waikiki has plenty of breaks that are suited for beginners. You won’t have any problems renting a board, finding a teacher, or just learning from paddling out and chatting with locals. The North Shore is another well respected and recognized surf location. Check out the Hanalei Surf School for surf and stand up paddle lessons.

Byron Bay, Australia

Byron Bay is on Australia’s east coast. As the name implies, the immediate area juts out into the ocean, creating a bay and attracting a variety of waves. Like many places in Australia, the locals love the water and surf, making it a perfect place to learn how to ride waves. There’s surf all year round there, however, if you’re searching for warmer waves, visit during the summer months of January and February.

Taghazoute, Morocco

Taghazoute is not far from Casablanca in the northern hemisphere or Morocco. It offers very long right-hand breaks. You’ll see some heavier waves coming through the region from November to February. Otherwise, it’s best for beginners to get there in the fall season, where they can enjoy warmer water and smaller waves.

Muizenberg, South Africa

South Africa gets a lot of respect throughout the surfing world for its conditions, weather, and exotic locale. The destination is memorable for surfers as well as those who get involved in social welfare programs that get youth involved in surfing. Specifically, the Muizenberg area enjoys surfing as part of its tradition and the conditions are good for beginners.

Goa, India

Utorda Beach offers clear waters and gentle sands. The spot gets surf all year, making it a magnet for all surfers yet Goa’s waves are gentle enough for a novice. However, monsoon season can feature waves of exceptional height and force, which is to be avoided.

Paige Bruce is a surfer chick! Growing up in a seaside community learning to surf was as normal as learning to ride a bike in Paige’s hometown.

Last Updated on March 27, 2022

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