The 7 Best Destinations for January Surf
Few months spark a yearning for somewhere brighter and warmer than the European take on January. With the Christmas tree shedding its last needles, our need of swaying palm trees and perfect surf is never more potent. Happily, there are some great destinations waiting to help. From the shores of Fuerteventura to the tropical edge of Barbados: The 7 Best Destinations for January Surf.
Fuerteventura is often called the “European Hawaii”. This comparison is especially justified in the winter, in this time heavy storms in the North Atlantic send powerful swells south. These hit, after a few thousand kilometres, the lava reefs of the north shore and produce excellent waves. It’s not just the winter that has some excellent conditions to offer. All year long you will find surfable waves, making the island also attractive in summer time. This period is especially suitable for beginners as during the summertime the beach breaks start to work on the west and east coasts.
2. Los Angeles
The west coast north and south of Los Angeles offers hundrets of kilometres of coast and countless surf spots like Malibu, further north Santa Cruz, or Huntington Beach and San Digo further south. While waves are not as constant on the east coast, you can find some wonderful surf spots on a good wave day. You can surf year-round depending on which state you visit, but best surfing season for beginner is September – May.
3. Costa Rica
A country that boasts warm weather and soft beaches will always be alluring. One of the jigsaw pieces that make up Central America, Costa Rica is lapped by both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. You can gaze at both bodies of waves simultaneously from the top of the Irazú volcano – but also enjoy cosmopolitan afternoons in the national capital San José.
Australia’s most iconic city needs little introduction as an option for escapes from the European winter. True, the journey to reach the capital of New South Wales is not short, but a surf session on Bondi Beach – the temperature gauge nestled effortlessly in the upper 20s Celsius – is one of the best possible cures for jet lag. And even if the sands are crowded, those twin icons the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are essential sights.
So tied to the UK in terms of history and flight connections that, at times, a holiday here can feel like a trip to the British seaside – albeit with temperatures that occupy the upper 20s Celsius throughout the year – Barbados is a stalwart of Caribbean tourism. For many, it revolves around the luxury resorts on the west coast, but venture to the capital Bridgetown for heritage and excellent food.
The popularity of the Maldives as a surfing destination has increased massively over the last few years. Surfers therefore overrun many formerly unknown spots. This is no wonder as the constant warm water makes surfing all year long without a wetsuit possible. The biggest waves can be found in July and August. In the other months the waves are rather small and therefore also suitable for beginners.
7. Sri Lanka
The southwest of Sri Lanka is best suited for surfing as these areas receive constant swells that also reach the Indonesian coast. In the seventies, Arugam Bay was one of the most popular surf spots worldwide; however, after 1983, the area became dangerous due to outbreaks of civil war. Many surfers turned to other destinations on the southwest coast where numerous reef breaks hit the coast close to Hikkaduwa. The most famous spot in this region is called Main Reef. Thanks to warm water, only body shorts or Lycra is necessary. Best surfing season for beginner: September – May