Ann’s Cottage Travel Guide: Top 5 Obscure Surf Spots
Hungry for adventure? Well, we've got the best new surf spots for you to get shredding... and they aren't just any surf spots... no these are the top 5 obscure places to go surfing! The weird & wonderful start here...
Image courtesy of Surfline
We believe that surfing isn't just an activity... it's a way of life! The world is full of incredible breaks just waiting to be surfed but with so many to choose from, how do you know where to start? You can easily head to the delights that Europe has to offer or go further afield to live the Aussie surfing dream... BUT if you are looking for something a bit different then we have just the places for you.
We have scoured the globe to find our Top 5 obscure places that you just NEED to surf. These are places you would have never thought of surfing and we won't lie to you they aren't necessarily the easiest places to get to, but boy are they worth it! This travel guide is for the adventurers, the dreamers... and well the down right crazy.
So what are you waiting for? Get planning the most memorable adventure, where the waves are brand new, quiet and simply all round amazing...it's guaranteed to be a trip like no other!
Image courtesy of The Active Times
Oman is a pretty new spot to be added to the international surfing map but don't be fooled there are plenty of gems along the extensive coastline just waiting to be uncovered. The water is warm all year round and you are bound to catch a few good waves (to say the least)... but remember surfers round here need to be self-sufficient! You won't find a lot of facilities... and there may even be the odd shark. The best time to head out to Oman is monsoon season which is between June-September, you'll be guaranteed to grab those constant south-west swells! Fly into the capital of Muscat, then grab a van and start your adventure from there...
Image courtesy of Oman Tourist Board
For the Beginners... Joe's Spot is the best-known spot in Oman, making it suitable for beginners and those with a bit more experience. It's a sandbar to the right and a rock bottom to the left with rides that can last up to 40 seconds.
For the Intermediates... Bandar As Saqlah works from late June through to September with large swells and strong winds creating a rip that will carry you from the peak right down to the beach in a matter of minutes.
The Secluded Spot... You certainly won't find many of the surf spots in Oman that are crowded but at Mugshayl it's possible to surf here for a whole year without ever seeing another surfer! The wave gets hollow over the sandbanks and has two peaks with one being a wedge but head to the right side for the better take off. It can be a tricky wave and it may even snap your board, but your *almost guaranteed the place to yourself...
Image courtesy of Surfing Nation Magazine
Israel might not be the first place that comes to mind when you start planning a surf trip BUT the place has a lot more surfing history than you may first think. In fact, surfing hit Israel before it had even hit Europe... There is a thriving beach culture and a community of surfers that ensure no swell goes unridden. The Mediterranean may not be as powerful as other regions but there are still plenty of setups here for you to get your fins into. Israel isn't the usual place for a surf trip don't get us wrong, but part of its' charm is the true essence of surfing in a place you wouldn't normally expect it. Plus with warm Mediteranean waters, you can surf here ALL year round, we would suggest you fly into Tel Aviv and start your adventure from here!
Image courtesy of Roi Kopler
For the Beginners... Kontiki beach isn't a high-performance wave due to the ever-changing sandbar but it can still offer some decent waves! The breaks are both right and left, plus if you get them when they are really pumping they break in the perfect tube.
For the Intermediates... Sokolov Beach is for those that really know what they are doing! The waves are high and if you get the winds right there can be some monstrous tubes. It's an open strip with no breakwaters and it's infamous waves have even led to an annual comp here!
The Best Wave... You can find the best wave in the centre of Tel Aviv right outside the Hilton hotel (which makes the spot aptly named 'The Hilton'). On a small swell, the peak breaks on a sharp reef but on a clean swell A-frames appear with long hollow lefts.
Image courtesy of Alan Van Gysen
Surfing still hasn't quite taken off in Madagascar making it one of the best-kept secrets hidden right near South Africa (but we're about to break that secret...) Madagascar gets the same swells that hit South Africa and Indonesia, pair that with 4,828km of coastline and you will find some incredible surfing spots. The best time for surfing is between March and September as this is when most of the swell comes in, although you can still surf at other times in the year as swell gets generated by tropical cyclones. The cheapest place to fly into is Antananarivo, from there you can get transfers to Ifaty or plan your own adventure!
For the Beginners... Lavanono has waves that just HAVE to be experienced! The waves are better the bigger they get but it's still a spot for all surfers. Plus the water is warm... and what better bonus is there!?
For the Intermediates... The south-west is surfers paradise, head to Ifaty beach for an array of incredible breaks around. You can find high-quality waves in the coral reef, but you'll need to hire a pirogue and a skipper to surf these (it's worth it though!)
For the Adventurous... Ankaninoof is a spot best left to the experienced... it's only accessible via boat from Tamatave but with powerful and consistent breaks it's certainly worth the trip! There's a few rights and lefts... as well as the odd shark so make sure to keep an eye out.
* Things to note: Surfing in Madagascar without a motorboat is pretty tricky, as there are no roads travelling overland on the southwest and waves tend to break 4km from the mainland. Plus bring extra kit, as surf shops are pretty much non-existent out here! (Hey, we never said these trips were meant to be easy...)
Image courtesy of Surf Holidays
Namibia is one of the final frontiers in the surfing world, it receives consistent swell but for the most part is untouched by surfers. This could be due to the tricky terrain, extreme isolation, difficult access along with some cold waters and strong currents BUT... that is no reason to stop you surfing those epic swells! The Skeleton Coast is one of the most barren and inaccessible surf spots in the world and if that challenge alone doesn't make you want to surf it then we don't know what will! The best swell can be found between March and October but remember to pack a 3/2mm wettie as the waters aren't very warm. You can fly into Windhoek and hit the coast, although you may find it cheaper to fly into Cape Town and head on a wave hunt up the coast and through Namibia.
Image courtesy of Alan Van Gysen
For the Beginners... Okay, we aren't going to lie to you, there isn't really a best spot for beginners. If you're a beginner Namibia probably isn't the place for you! Strong currents and heavy swells make this a place best left to the experts.
For the Intermediates... Wreck is a great spot that can be found in Swakopmund near a sewage pipe on Strandstreet... it's the home to a nice reef break that is best to surf after high tide.
The Ultimate... It may not be the easiest place to get to, but Skeletons Bay is legendary! It is considered the longest left-hand sand-bottomed wave in the world... so paddle in, jump up, pull in and get ready for the longest wave of your life!
Image courtesy of Red Bull
Now if you're looking for a spot that isn't going to get too crowded then this is definitely the one... Head to Antarctica and surf the waves less travelled! Back in 2013 Ramon Navarro set out to the South Shetland Islands and became the first person to ever surf Antarctica! This truly is one of the riskiest places in the world to surf... and is best left to the dedicated die hard (and slightly crazy) surfer. Protective gear is extremely important, it is estimated that without it Navarro would have died within two minutes of being in the water. The potential is all there with stunning points and an abundance of swell but weather conditions and a limited time window between November and March make an Antarctica adventure one that can't be planned lightly!
Image courtesy of Red Bell
Where to surf... Elephant Island offers quality right-hand breaks, along with the Shetlands breaks but with prevailing weather from the westerly direction be careful at all times when surfing in exposed locations.
Okay... so maybe surfing in Antarctica isn't completely possible without a lot of money, a crew and some heavy duty equipment... but it makes for a pretty cool fantasy!
If you're hungry for adventure... then get exploring now and discover new waves that are just waiting to be surfed!
Or... if this sounds a bit too risky for you, then why not plan a trip where you know the waves are world class? That's right, live the Aussie dream and get surfing some epic waves... find out more here.