The Best Beaches for Learning to Surf
Surfing is a popular sport in most countries that have long coastlines and warm weather. Those who have grown up with the sport generally have enough skills to tackle most types of waves. But what about people who want to get into surfing but haven't ever stood up on a board before? Yes, there is a significant learning curve, so a bit of patience is needed for unschooled novices learning to surf. Newbie surfers wouldn't want to learn somewhere like Hawaii's North Shore (a famous surfing destination that features towering twenty-foot-high waves and dangerous surfing conditions). However, Hawaii, like all other major surf destinations around the world, boasts surf conditions that are ideal for novices. Many of these beaches also have surf shops and instructors who can help you overcome the learning curve and start your surfing career off right.
Want to get into surfing? Here are the best beaches in the world for you to get your feet wet in the world of surfing.
Photo: Carl Ottersen / Flickr
Bali has some challenging surf breaks that crash over razor-sharp coral reefs. However, there are also plenty of spots where novices can learn the art of surfing without having to worry about any dangers. Kuta is Bali's main beach. As such, it is filled with surf shops and even small stands where local instructors offer lessons to whoever is interested. Kuta's breaks are generally small (though they can get bigger in the right conditions), so new surfers can gradually ride bigger waves as they get better with their board. Yes, Kuta is often crowded, so you may have to swallow your pride as you wipe out again and again before getting the feel for this difficult sport. But the conditions are always right and lessons can be quite reasonably priced, so Kuta has to be the top choice for would-be surfers looking to learn. And Bali has tons of other attractions, so there will be plenty of distractions once the surfing day is over.
Algarve Region, Portugal
Photo: Jose Carlos Cortizo Perez / Flickr
This is arguably one of mainland Europe's best surfing destinations. It sits in the sunny, warm southern part of Portugal. A number of surf schools are located in the Algarve, many around the tourist city of Lagos. The reasonable conditions and warm waters of this part of Iberia make for some good surfing conditions for novices. Best of all, this is one of the cheaper beach destinations in Europe, so it won't cost much to eat, drink and sleep while you are learning how to ride the waves.
Photo: jdnx / Flickr
Hawaii is the best place to surf in the United States. However, many of the islands' breaks are best left to experienced surfers. This is not the case in the beaches around the state capital of Honolulu. This part of the island of Oahu is perfect for new surfers. The famous Waikiki Beach has gentle breaks that offer good conditions for people just getting used to standing on the board. The waves roll in slowly, providing lengthy rides. Yes, Waikiki is crowded, so lots of beach-goers will witness your wipeouts, but many people here are beginners, so you won't be alone when negotiating the surfer's learning curve. Also, there are numerous surf shops offering lessons and many resorts can hook you up with an in-house instructor.
Huntington Beach, California
Photo: danorth1 / Flickr
This spot near the city of San Diego is a popular destination for surfing in the US. Surfing competitions are often held here. Yes, the waves can big at Huntington, but usually they are quite gentle, and there are surf shops where you can get instructions on how to stand up and ride. Yes, this beach has its share of novices, but also plenty of good surfers. This can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you'll have plenty of chances to see how it's done properly, while on the other hand, you'll need to swallow your pride and not be afraid to wipe out in front of an audience.