Best Places for Surfing During the Winter Months

Surf, sun, and sand go hand in hand with summer, but don’t put away that wetsuit just yet. There are plenty of places you can still catch some worthwhile waves during the winter months. If you’re prepared and eager, surfing can easily be a year-round sport. The boys and masterminds behind—a round beach towel supplier based in San Diego—make sure to take a trip to a different surf spot each winter. Those of us that get that sense of well-being just by being in the water knows that it’s worth the time to put in to make it happen. Need some ideas on top places to travel? Read on for suggestions on the best places for surfing during the winter months.

Costa Rica

Quite simply, surfing goes off in Costa Rica during the United States’ winter months. Don’t just live the pura vida—surf it by visiting sensational surf spots like Witch’s Rock and Playa Avellana. The former was made famous by surf flick Endless Summer II. The latter is close to Tamarindo—another killer surf spot—so it’ll maximize your surf days in while in South America. Ollie’s Point—which is right near the Nicaraguan border—is another can’t-miss spot in Costa Rica despite the difficulty in getting to it. As this Huffington Post article notes, “You can only get to this epic right point break by boat, but the waves can still get crowded since this is on every surfer’s Bucket List.” Talk about some bragging rights.

Jacó and Playa Hermosa are also extremely popular Costa Rican surf spots. While Jacó is a frequented vacation spot even for non-surfers, nearby Playa Hermosa attracts wave riders from all over the country. Whatever you do, make sure to take advantage of your photography skills while there, as Costa Rica is nothing short of breathtaking.

San Diego

If you live in or near San Diego, you know that surfing never stops … at least for the dedicated surfers. Despite the chilly temperatures, local surfers will get out and enjoy the huge swells that some beaches don’t get until the winter months. This is particularly true of Tourmaline Beach. Waves can reach 10 to 12 feet from October to April, and this type—which is called a “double overhead”—is only recommended for expert level surfers.

As the OC Lifeguards publication notes via, the incredibly large swells are “generated by storms that blow off Siberia and travel across the North Pacific Ocean on a west to east path. These storms reach their peak in the winter months…” The result is intense and powerful waves off the California coast at west and northwest-facing beaches.

Who says you have to hunker down during the winter? Certainly not San Diegans. Get out that extra-thick wetsuit and ride those gnarly waves.


If you’re admittedly a bit squeamish about surfing in cooler temperatures, save up for a trip Down Under. Our winters are their summers, so you’ll enjoy great surfing and warm temperatures. You’re not the only one with this idea, however, so prepare for a crowd. You know … practice your best, “G’day, Mate.”

While you’d surely enjoy surfing nearly anywhere in Australia, notes, “Mid summer to early autumn [our winter] trade wind and cyclone swells can produce epic big waves for experienced surfers in the northern surfing regions of Queensland, New South Wales and even in the remote North West Australia region.”

Oh, and one more thing—you might want to be okay with the more-than-occasional shark sighting.


Much like Australia, you’d be hard put to find a bad time to surf this gorgeous Indonesian island. However, the best area to surf during our winter months is on the east coast of the province. The reef breaks are ideal for experienced surfers between the months of November and March. These are the rainy months though, so be aware. As many people who frequent Bali will tell you—this is rarely a deterrent. The extra bonus of a visit here? It’s great for those traveling on a budget!

Don’t put that surfboard away this winter. If you’re not blessed to live in a city with year-round surfing, make traveling to one of these spots a priority. Your serenity and surfing skills will thank you.

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