Surf travel has long been one of my passions and I have done many surf trips to exotic locations as well. I have done extensive travel outside of surfing, but the surf trip has always been my favorite way to see the world. Why is this? On a surf trip, you typically end up at some exotic location. Typically this exotic location you end up in is somewhere many only see in postcards of some perfect island paradise. Also, surfing a few hours in the morning and evening leaves you plenty of time for relaxation and to get out and see the sites and meet the locals.
Many new surfers will take their first surf trip with the purpose of learning to surf by finding a good surf camp. A simple search online will reveal hundreds of surf camps around the world. There are many surf camps in places like Costa Rica, Mexico, and Hawaii that specialize in teaching people how to surf. These surf camps are often a week long and are staffed with skilled surf instructors. By the time you leave, you will be catching waves on your own. Not a bad way to spend a vacation. Other surf camps are geared towards expert surfers and offer guiding to surf spots only known by locals. Some of these camps are setup to cater to women surfers as well with week long women only sessions.
Some of my favorite places to visit for a surf trip include the Hawaiian Islands, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Peru, and Indonesia. I lived in Maui and think it is a great destination in the summer months with its many south facing waves as well as Honolua Bay. Any of the Central or South American places also get great summer swells and if you speak Spanish, it is easy to meet people and learn about the cultures. If you don’t speak Spanish, it is a great way to learn the language. Take a few language lessons in the afternoons between surf sessions. Of course, places in Indonesia like the Telos or Mentawai islands offer the exotic surf trip and waves that are as good as it gets for the expert surfer. In winter months, the obvious and best place to visit is the North Shore of Oahu with large, excellent surf and a great surf culture.
I try and get out of the country to travel at least a few times a year on a surf trip. It is always great to see new locations and experience new cultures. It is also great to get back to my favorite surf spots outside of California.