Every surfer has their favorite spot to play around the world. While there are places that feature on most people’s ‘to-do’ list, any top ten list will inevitably be incomplete. Here are just a few of the more famous surfing spots in the world:
Pleasure Point: One of the most famous surfing spots in the world, Pleasure Point has a great surfing culture that is slowly being replaced by a residential community. Pleasure Point is located in Santa Cruz County, California. Famous surfers Jack O’Neill and Fred Van Dyke spent a lot of time here, and Pleasure Point was the beginning of many great surfing careers.
Waimea: The bay that attracts the world’s big wave surfers is also home to one of the world’s most elite surfing events – the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau. The contest is held only when waves of exceptional height can be found. In the winter, waves at Waimea reach a minimum six metres and can reach over 15 metres. Eddie Aikau was a big wave pioneer, a life guard and a pro surfer who died in the waters of the Molokai Channel in 1978.
Maverick’s: The wild and powerful Northern Californian surf here became famous after many years of being an underground favorite. The waves here can top out at 15 metres and conditions can be extremely dangerous, as was shown with the death of famed Hawaiian surfer Mark Foo here in 1994. The waves here are often compared to Waimea Bay, but the water, which is 30 degrees colder, is infinitely more treacherous.
Jaws: On Maui in Hawaii, Pe’ahi, known as Jaws, is a famed big wave surf area. The surf break here is a deep water reef which causes the huge, ferocious waves that give the area its nickname. The waves here can reach over 21 metres and have been recorded as moving as fast as 48.3 km/h.
Jaws is considered the home of surfing via tow-in, and much filming has been done of tow-in surfers here.
G-Land: On the Bay of Grajagan in East Java, G-Land was first surfed in 1972 by Bill Boyum and Bob Laverty. This surfing spot is well off the tourist track, about half a day’s travel from nearby tourist areas. Laverty had spotted the break from the plane and the pair wheeled up on motorbikes to see if it was surfable. It was. Boyum went on to found one of the world’s first surf camps at G-Land, where surfers can take advantage of world-class left-hand waves.
Bells Beach: On the coast of Victoria, Australia, Bells Beach is another world-famous surfing spot. Surfers have visited here since as early as 1939. The trek to the beach was difficult until, in 1960, local surfer and Olympic wrestler Joe Sweeney bulldozed a track for convenience. The surf here is very reliable, and is home to the world’s longest-running surfing championship, the Rip Curl Pro. The championship is part of a surf and music festival and has taken place since 1961. Nearby breaks provide good surf if the Bells Bowl, as the Bells Beach break is known, isn’t up to scratch.