Whether you’re in the lineup with the locals or taking the waves on alone, there’s something alluring about surfing on an island. An island is just the perfect place for some alone time, and there are tons of them out there for you to explore. In no particular order, here is a list of some of the best islands to shred at.
Located east of Australia in the Coral Sea, this island is surrounded by a coral reef 370 miles long, giving it some insanely awesome barrels. You’ll need a boat to access the waves, since the surf spots are located a ways off of the island. While there are some local surfers, it’s not likely that you will encounter many during your sessions. Watch out for the sharp coral while you’re riding those hollow barrels! While the trip will be expensive, it’s well worth the ride if you have the means.
This heart-shaped resort island is near Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, and is home to seven world-class breaks. These include Swimming Pools, Namotu Left, Wilkes Pass, Tavarua Rights, Desperations, Restaurants and Cloudbreak. Most of these breaks are for experts only, especially during low tide, thanks to the coral lurking just below.
Spanish Lanzarote is the easternmost of the Canary Islands, which are known as the Hawaii of the Atlantic (they get their waves during the same winter period as the Hawaiian Islands). From November to March, the powerful Atlantic waves can get as high as 15 feet and rarely dip below the head-high level. Be wary of the aggressive locals and sharp lava reefs.
This island gets the best of the fleeting Mediterranean swell and boasts some great rock and reef points. While the waves aren’t as big as some of the more renowned surfing spots, the calm waters and friendly locals allow for allow for some European-style relaxation.
Deep in southern Brazil, the island of Santa Catarina has around 20 breaks to enjoy. It's away from the beach crowds and bustle of Rio and Sao Paulo, so you can enjoy some tubes in peace. Campeche and Joaquina boast some awesome beach breaks that you can enjoy with the Argentine and Brazilian surfers that frequent the island.
This teardrop-shaped island is home to the famous, and practically perfect, Cloud 9 break in the Philippine Sea. Thick, hollow right barrels reside here and are a surfer’s paradise, especially around high tide. Since Cloud 9 is one of the only breaks on the island accessible without a boat, overcrowding has given it the nickname “Crowd 9”. Every year in September, surfers flock here for the Siargao International Surfing Cup.
How could this island not make the list? Oahu has had a huge influence on surfing since the 1930s and is the site of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The island is home to some of the most famous surf spots in the world, including Banzai Pipeline and Waikiki Beach.
East of Madagascar, this French island gets its waves from groundswell, and is usually firing between April and October. Some of France’s best surfers, like Jeremy Flores and Boris LeTexier, came from Reunion Island. Unfortunately, sharks like it here too. Five people were killed in shark attacks from 2012, and the French Government banned surfing outside of the lagoons until October 2013. If you want to join the expert locals and brave the waters, spend a session at St. Leu to get the island’s best waves.