By: Jordan Johnson
Getting on the board for the first time in the open sea can be a bit daunting. There are a lot of factors that can affect your first surfing experience. If you don’t choose your surf destination carefully, you may find yourself coming away with a bad first surf experience. We have compiled a list of the top 5 best countries to learn to surf in as a way to help you make the right decision. There is a huge difference between the best places to surf and the best places to learn to surf. There are so many other lists made by people who have several years of experience, forgetting that they once too could not stand on a board themselves. Now it is your turn to pack your gear and get yourself over to one of these 5 countries which are great for learning to surf.
If you like warm sandy beaches and moderate temperatures throughout the year, then transiting from land to sea could not be any easier. Learn to surf in Morocco, and you will be going from beachside to board in no time. The vast array of year-round operators allows for anyone to learn at their own pace. Once you have graduated from level 1 surfing, your instructor can challenge you to several sand bottom points along the coast to elevate your skill level. This making Morocco the perfect place to leave more than just a beginner.
When To Go
While the temperatures of Morocco stay steady throughout the year, the waves are smaller in the fall, making this the best time for beginners. Morocco is a year-round tourist destination, so pick the best time for you to learn to surf.
Wanting a less popular destination for you to learn to surf? Portugal is a secret surfing gem. Since Portugal has a long rigid coastline, the swell ranges depending on where you are. This feature lets beginners be exposed to various ocean conditions all in one country. The uncrowded coastline allows for surf camps to be judgment free zones. The waters are generally around 70 degrees Fahrenheit for those who want a little warmer temperature for their first surf.
When To Go
There are many surf camp offerings year-round. Make sure you shop around for the best time for you to go, as the beaches are never too packed. Summer sometimes has the best deals with various promotions on multiple day camps.
Unlike the other countries on this list, Nicaragua offers beginners various settings to learn to surf. If you want warmer waters where you won’t have to wear a wetsuit, then head down to the southern Pacific coast. Make sure you book early, as Nicaragua’s surf camps are becoming increasingly popular.
When To Go
Nicaragua’s location allows for temperatures to be consistently warm throughout the year. The waves are most conducive to surfing during the spring and fall months. The peak tourism time is November through February.
This European country is not only known for its vibrant culture and delicious cuisine. Spain offers miles and miles of coastline for beginners to learn to surf. The northern coastline has untouched beaches, breathtaking views and small towns sprinkled along the coast. Spain has several surfing lesson operators that can show you the ropes. With just a few lessons, you will soon be saying “caída diez” (hang ten) with the locals.
When To Go
The waters off the coast of Spain are relatively warm throughout the year, with the colder waters hitting the northern beaches during the winter months. If you want to have smaller surf-lesson groups, then plan your trip during the spring months, as there are fewer tourists during that time of year.
Costa Rica is another country where you’ll be welcomed by warmer waters and surfing in boardshorts is the norm. If you are looking for a place to start out your surfing experience with little pressure from the sea, then this Latin American country is the right place for you to learn to surf. Costa Rica is know for its calmer waters on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts and allows for beginners to get their toes wet without the pressures of high waves. Costa Rica has a very central location and allows for tourist to make easy travel plans. This makes surfing schools easy to come by.
When To Go
High tourism times are generally between the months of December and March with the peak month in February. The waves can be surfed year-round in Costa Rica on both coasts.