Following on from our "5 of The Best Stand Up Paddle Destinations in the World" posted last week, we didn't want to forget the SUP surfers among us. Whether you are a novice looking for more experience, or a year-round ripper, look no further in choosing the destination of your next trip as we have put together a list of the best SUP surfing spots in the world.
Remember in school when you used to draw perfect peeling waves on your notebooks? Well those waves are exactly what you would find in the Maldives. With an endless array of options for SUP surfing, the warm water and deep water waves entice even the novice among us. Jump on a boat charter and sail toward the sunset on your own search for perfect waves, or relax in your beach or overwater bungalow and surf waves right at your doorstep. Crystal clear waters unmask the abundance of marine life below the surface so don’t be surprised if you find yourself paddling out with a mask and snorkel around your neck!
2. French Polynesia
When you think of this region, Teahupo’o definitely comes to mind and for the adrenaline rushing SUPers out there, it’s the thrill of a lifetime. However you may not know that there are waves to suit every type of SUP surfer throughout the islands from left and right reefs to even beach breaks. Polynesian culture is by far the biggest drawcard to these islands and this shines through with a harmonious way of life, prioritising tradition, living from the land and using the ocean as their provider and playground. The welcoming and inclusive feeling you get mixed with the incredible waves makes French Polynesia a top SUP surfing destination.
3. Costa Rica
The ultimate adventure destination for SUP surfers around the world, Costa Rica holds beauty, natural wonder and some awesome waves. Blessed with swell all year round on the Pacific coast, it’s hard not to miss a day surfing, but the Caribbean side also holds loads of potential. With some degree of tidal dependency, you need to time your surfs and know where to go, but 9 times out of ten you’ll be looking for someone to split a peak with. Coves, bays, point breaks, reef breaks and rock bottom and sand bottom waves give SUP surfers variety and the opportunity to get adventurous. But the adventure doesn’t stop there. Head into the National Parks and volcanic ridges to explore the country’s biodiversity. With a plan to be carbon neutral in 2021, Costa Rica is sure to be on your SUP bucket list for an eco-friendly holiday.
Does this place need an introduction? Deeply rooted in SUP history, Hawaii is the birthplace of the sport and has been at the centre of its evolution. The island chain offers up some of the most exhilarating surf spots such as Pipeline, Waimea Bay, Jaws and Hanalei Bay. But chances are you won’t be visiting to surf those places which is why Hawaii makes the list. There’s simply so many waves around each of the islands and that will have you wondering, ‘why aren’t these spots very well known’? If you even venture just off the beaten track, you’ll find hidden gems of locations and waves that epitomise paradise. With trade winds that blow offshore and consistent swell for different facing shores of each island, you’ll be SUP surfed out after you tick this one off your list.
For the ultimate SUP road trip, Portugal would have to be the pick. From the Algarve and north to the Spanish border you could turn off at any beach road and end up somewhere with waves, and a campsite. Long beaches offer up multiple peaks and coves and bays form long point breaks, perfect for SUP surfing. If you paddle further away from the main peaks, you’ll discover waves all by your lonesome. Tasty seafood, Portuguese wine, ancient towns and medieval fortresses will keep you entertained whilst recovering from your day’s session.
It must be noted that as SUP surfers, we have certain advantages to other surf craft in the water and therefore respect must be given at any break you visit. Some of the best tips we can share with you is to say hello to others, sit down on your board when waiting for waves, keep to the rotation of surfers and let sets go through until it’s your turn, paddle back out slowly, be friendly and hoot other’s waves.
As always we remind you to be safe when SUP surfing. Wear a leash, never go beyond your limits and always try to surf with someone or let someone else know where you are going and when you’ll be back.
If you are looking to plan your next SUP trip, Travel With A Paddle specialise in bringing you the most unforgettable SUP experiences. The trips focus on getting you the best waves and improving your SUP ability through coaching and knowledge, whilst also learning about local and global environmental pressures through eco-education.