When people think of surfing, many people think of destinations like Hawaii, California, Fiji, and Bali. In other words, they think of warm, sunny beaches in the middle of the Pacific. While these are absolutely world class surf spots, there are many lesser-known surf spots around the world have a lot to offer in terms of perfect waves. If you aren’t afraid of a little chilly water or if you’ve ever dreamed of surfing under an Aurora Borealis, consider adding these five global surf breaks to your bucket list.
Aileen’s, County Clare, Ireland
Most visitors to Ireland have heard of the Cliff’s of Moher, the 700 foot cliffs off the Ireland’s Western Shores. A lot less people, however, have surfed what Irish scientists call nearly perfect waves at the surf break below the cliffs, known as Aileen’s. Gaelic legend says these waves come from Irish gods who were angry at St. Patrick for bringing Christianity to Ireland. The story says these gods transformed into horses and galloped off the cliff’s edge, creating the giant surf at the base of the cliffs.
Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada
Known as Canada’s surfing capital, this 21 mile stretch of beach and waves is a surfer’s paradise. While some people think surfing in Canada would just be too cold, water at Tofino is typically around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it a popular surf spot year-round. Known as a go-to summer destinations for Canadians and for Canada’s only all-female surfing competition, Tofino is a must-visit surf spot on the west coast.
Papatowai, New Zealand
Known for its consistent waves and strong, hollow barrels, Papatowai is a favorite for big wave riders in New Zealand, and some of the country’s biggest waves were surfed there. This break is located at one of the Southernmost points of New Zealand, and this break is well worth a trip to the bottom of the world.
Snaefellsnes and Garour, Reykjavik, Iceland
When we think big surf, we often think of volcanic islands: A lot of people think of Oahu, maybe Bali or Tahiti. Few people think Iceland. Reykjavik, however, has a growing surf community and uncrowded rolling swells that will keep you coming back for more. Surfers paddle out between icebergs or get dropped off at some of the world’s barely touched surf breaks. This surf, though a lot colder, gives that of other volcanic islands a run for their money.
Lofotens Islands, Norway
These islands, located 100 miles north of the base of the Arctic Circle and whose population of sheep and people are about equal, are a growing spot of Norwegian and international surfers alike. These waves were first surfed by Thor Franzen and Hans Egil Krane in the 1960’s. These young men had traveled to Australia, and learned to surf there and brought this sport back to their home town. This surf spot has seen a recent jump in popularity when professional surfer Mick Fanning surfed this break under the Northern Lights in December of 2016.
The world is full of big wave surf well beyond the equator. If you dream of empty surf breaks or aspire to surf under an Aurora Borealis, you’re probably a diehard surfer. That means you might be at risk for Surfer’s Ear. Water in your ears can lead to big health problems, so be sure to take adequate precautions. For information about keeping your ears warm and dry in cold environments or to order one of our devices with low-cost domestic and international shipping, visit our website today. Happy surfing in 2017!
Featured image courtesy of Flickr licensed for reuse.