What makes a world class surf spot?
The best surf spots in the world are usually located where four variables meet positively, and consistently, all year round. Several factors impact the quality of surfing waves, but these are the most important:
2. Swell direction
4. Sea floor
Wind is most relevant variable in the creation of quality surf. Its strength, direction, duration and consistency change the surface of the ocean waters and may produce quality waves for surfing.
Waves propagate faster or slower. The wave period means the time between two waves. When waves reach the shores they lose energy as they pass by different sea floor types.
There are good and bad surfing waves in rock, reef, coral and sand bottoms, and there are no beaches with top class waves all 365 days of the year.
The interaction between the wind force and direction, the strength and direction of the swell, the tide in a certain hour, and the type of a sea floor creates a determined wave.
For instance, in full moon days, the high tide is very high and the low tide is extremely low, which means you may find mushy waves or heavy close-outs, respectively.
Simultaneously, you may have land issues influencing the wave - a jetty, a pier, a rivermouth, or a building can transform your local surf spot into a beach break, point break, sand break, reef break or shore break.
Surf reports and surf forecasts analyze this weather interaction, in order to deliver accurate probabilities of having great surf sessions in world most popular peaks.
The best surf spots in the world are the ones with the most number of days with good surfing conditions.
British Virgin Islands
Haiti & Navassa
St Kitts & Nevis Island
US Virgin Islands
Papua New Guinea
Republic of Palau
Wallis and Futuna
United Arabs Emirates
World Surf Spot Guides
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Margaret River and the magical swells of the Indian Ocean
Surfing in Malta: the beauty of the unexpected
Finding surf in the Ukrainian seas
The unexplored surfing treasures of Sochi
Riding the Baltic Sea swell in the coastline of Poland
Discover the roots of surfing in São Tomé and Príncipe
The pink water sailing experience of the Hutt Lagoon
The pristine winds and waves of Trinidad and Tobago
Riding the sand-bottom barrels of Supertubos
Surfing Southwest France: a croissant mix of beach breaks and barrels
Surfing in Japan during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics
Surfing in The Rock of Gibraltar
The surfing sanctuary of Bali
Riding the desert winds of the Masirah Island
The hidden surfing paradise of North Korea
Polish surfers discover the Bobr River wave
Surfing lonely waves in the beaches of Syria
From the Roman ruins to the surfing waves of Libya
The everlasting surfing waves of Portugal
Surfing crystal waters in Papua New Guinea
Surfing in Russia with a sip of vodka
Surfing the ancient and enigmatic waves of Morocco
The best surf spots in the Maldives
The endless barrels of G-Land
Hainan Island is the surf capital of China
Surfing the endless wave of Pororoca
Exploring the tidal bores of Indonesia
The bulls, waves and tapas of Spain
Surfing the mysterious waves of India
The infinite surf spots of Australia
The hidden waves of exotic Sri Lanka
Enjoying the swell of the Azores Islands
Discovering the best waves of Peru
The best surf spots of the Mentawai Islands
The surf trip checklist
Wax, toothbrush, contact lens, passport. What else do you need before a long journey?
Surfers are regular travelers. Whether you're on a surf trip with friends, or touring the world as a pro athlete, it's always important to go through the our surfer's checklist.
Surf Forecasting in your Local Spot
How Waves Are Formed
What is wind? How wind is formed
The importance of swell period in surfing
The difference between ground and wind swells
Tracking waves and swell in surf forecasting
Hurricane waves, swell prediction and storm surf
The effects of shoaling and refraction in wave height
The tidal "Rule of Twelfths" in surfing
The Beaufort Wind Force Scale
The best surf forecasting books
The surf spot directory is in continuous improvement.
Have we missed a surf spot? Suggest a new entry.
Write us an email: editor [at] surfertoday.com