10 of the Best Surfing Destinations You Need to Visit (When you Can)

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 40d ago

The world is slightly off kilter at the moment. Being amidst the grips of a pandemic has, of course, stalled our global quest for surfable waves amidst those remote setups that we all dream of. But oh, we can all live vicariously through images though, can't we?

This thing will end, one day, and when it does – where are you heading? Hopping a flight to somewhere that's a veritable playground sounds idyllic right about now. Pointbreak perfection, maybe there's a secret sand bar you've been thinking about -- or even just to somewhere you've never surfed before that's right on your doorstep, wanderlust can be a powerful tool. Which is why we tapped up lensman Alan Van Gysen, who has been garnering the attention of ocean enthusiasts for quite some time, to walk us through 10 places to visit when it is safe to do so.

AVG knows the drill, knows where to score and has (probably) explored more than anyone out there within our collective surfing community. Here's some of his incredible imagery to get you pumped for when life spins back to normality.

Captions by AVG

Angola

© 2020 - Alan Van Gysen

The land of cheap petrol, lefts and lots of sand. Explored as early as 1967 by the likes of Randy Rarrick and company, Angola isn't new discovered, but over the last ten years travellers have realised its true potential with incredibly long, left points scattered all along it's 1600km, Atlantic-exposed coastline.

Related content: Is Angola the Key to Surfing's Future?

Cave Rock, South Africa

© 2020 - Alan Van Gysen

In the 1990's leading surf photographers like Chris van Lennep put Cave Rock on the global map and on more than a handful of surfing magazine covers with their mesmerising images as seen from the water of renowned surfers like Martin Potter, Shaun Tompson and company in thick, dredging tubes behind the high-tide pool at Cave Rock, Durban, South Africa. Although it has slipped off the radar a bit, the wave continues to do its thing every winter.

India

© 2020 - Alan Van Gysen

Famous for its spices, Bollywood and the head bobble, India offers a diversity of experiences like nowhere else, not to mention waves of every shape, size and colour, both on the mainland and around the outlying islands. We have a region guide for India too, all you need to make the call is HERE.

Indonesia

© 2020 - Alan Van Gysen

There aren’t many destinations that rattle a surfer’s heart like Indonesia. The mere mention of the archipelago has beginners and pros and every surfer between picturing themselves riding the perfect surf or reminiscing on unforgettable video parts or surreal photography, then making plans of going there for the first time, or returning very soon.

When to go to Mentawais? See HERE.

Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa

© 2020 - Alan Van Gysen

Ever since the mesmerising walls of Jeffreys Bay were spotted at a distance by South African surfing godfather John Whitmore, the spot has stirred fantasy and wanderlust like few other places on Earth had ever done. Keep an eye on the JBay forecast, HERE.

Mexico

© 2020 - Alan Van Gysen

Offering one of the most consistent swell seasons in the world, how could any surfer not have Mexico on their surf travel wish lists? Add intense sunshine and good food and drink, and Mexico is a no-brainer.

Namibia

© 2020 - Alan Van Gysen

It’s difficult to imagine that a little more than 15 years ago this wave didn’t even exist. Before it became the perfect sandbar we see today, this was nothing but a deeply eroded inlet. No one knows how long this current cycle will last, but as long as waves like this churn out and over the hallowed sand at Skeleton Bay, surfers will put their belief in the unbelievable.

Related: Heaviest Skeleton Bay: 'Like Teahupoo on Sand!'

Philippines

© 2020 - Alan Van Gysen

Since waves like Cloud 9 was made famous in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the Philippines have been relatively out of view for quite some time. Although the islands need typhoon swells for their waves to really get going, there are just as many setups as Indonesia strewn along the Philippines’ 36 289km of coastline.

Read more: Exploring the Philippines, 30-Years-Ago

Portugal

© 2020 - Alan Van Gysen

With more setups than most countries on Earth and an enviable Old World lifestyle, Portugal is a must-visit for any traveling surfer.

West Africa

© 2020 - Alan Van Gysen

If there is one continent that is synonymous with exotic surf travel, it’s Africa. With more undiscovered waves than any other region on Earth, and more adventure than you could ever handle, places like this West African wavescape pictured here promise an experience like no other.