The best big wave surf spots in the world

Big wave surf spots: these breaks are for experienced riders only

The best big wave surf spots in the world have a few things in common. They're only suited for experienced surfers, they only break once in a while, and they can kill a rider in seconds.

Let's put things in perspective. A 50-foot wave (15 meters) carries about 1.7 MW of power across each meter of wave front, in a 15-second period scenario.

If you've decided to surf the biggest wave of your life, there are few things you should know. Get the right surf gear, book a jet ski and get boat support. And pray. Then, decide if you're paddling into the wave or if being towed-in is the best option.

The biggest waves in the world are located in all continents. With the right swell and wind conditions, you'll be lucky if you ride four or five monstrous waves.

The best big wave spots are dangerous and in some cases, almost inaccessible without a boat or even helicopter. Carefully selecting which wave will open its face and the right moment for the take-off is compulsory. A mistake will probably cost you your life.

In the Pacific Ocean, big waves are often surfed in Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay, Peahi/Jaws, Ghost Tree, Mavericks, Cortes Bank and Nelscott Reef (USA), Puerto Escondido and Todos Santos (Mexico), Punta de Lobos and Arica (Chile), Pico Alto (Peru), Teahupoo (Tahiti), Tavarua (Fiji), Cloud 9 (Philippines). Size and perfection are guaranteed, especially in XXL swell days.

The Atlantic Ocean, the saltiest major ocean, offers the power of its currents and winds. Fear the deadly force of Nazaré, Peniche, Madeira and Azores (Portugal), Belharra (France), The Cribbar (England), El Bocal (Spain) Mullaghmore Head and the Cliffs of Moher (Ireland), Dungeons (South Africa). Warn your family, grab a good wetsuit and pray everything goes well.

In the Tasman Sea, the name of one wave speaks for the rest. At Shipsterns Bluff (Australia), the chances of getting out of there alive are lower than the chances of losing your life.

In the Indian Ocean, meet a few famous big wave surf spot that has made the cover of the surf magazines, in XXL style. Padang Padang, in Bali (Indonesia) is the most incredible big wave spot of the Asian region. Are they big enough for you?

Discover the biggest waves ever surfed. Learn the 10 commandments of the big wave surfer.

The Surfing Christmas Gift Guide for 2019 | Explore our Christmas gift ideas for surfers