There are epic breaks across the globe (even in Lake Michigan). So these are just six destinations you should add to your bucket list. I'll refrain from name-dropping as much as possible because half the adventure of a surf trip is doing the research and watching your plan fall into place (also quickly finding solutions to any problems that come up like boards broken in transit or a buddy drunkenly marrying a local). Which will be your top pick? Pack your bags and grab your board.
You're betting the waves will be good any time you plan a surf trip far in advance. It's especially true when you head to Iceland so do your homework. There are a few black sand beaches with fun breaks, but most of the action is happening at the point or reef breaks which are home to sharp volcanic rocks. Be sure to bring a buddy when you paddle out. Make some friends who know the area or touch base with a surf tour guide and let them show you around. It's spooky to surf in Iceland even if you know the area, so try to arm yourself with locals' knowledge. Whatever route you take, be smart and be prepared.
Get ready for some insanely delicious Poke and Spam (if you're into that) and head to the Aloha state. You can go anywhere in Hawaii, and the waves scraps that you pick off sitting on the inside will be better than what you're usually surfing in the US. If you're skilled and like bigger waves, the north shore of Oahu in the winter is the place to be and you probably already know the world renowned spots. If you're not-so-skilled, then try Waikiki. It's one of the most famous beaches in the world, so prepare for the crowds. Waikiki has fun little waves (in the winter) and an abundance of nightlife, restaurants, and bars. Some would call it paradise. After a full day of surfing, grab a Mai Tai because you're on vacation and kick back with your squad. Lodging can be expensive so ask your friend's friend if you can "watch" their vacation home for the weekend. Hey, it's worth a shot!
The Algarve, Portugal
Located on the southern coast, you'll find plenty of waves here to make your days fly by. When you're not surfing, you can explore Lagos, a town known for it's "party scene" during the summer months. And try some of the local's fare; fresh fish, octopus salad, boiled potatoes, pork sandwiches, delicious locally grown olives, almonds, figs, and oranges. The Portuguese produce a Super Bock beer to quench your thirst and have several wineries you can peruse when the swell is flat. You can find an inexpensive beach hostel to crash in, or if you have some cash to throw around, there's a luxurious all-inclusive villa a couple of minutes from the beach.
Bells is a solid choice if you're looking for world class waves. Bondi is one of the most popular destinations down under (likely because of the Icebergs ocean pool that you saw on Instagram). But your best bet might be to rent a van and travel the coast surfing. If you do stay in Bondi, the white sandy beach is an excellent place to people watch, and there's a ton of great restaurants in the area. For lodging, there are rad Airbnb deals in all of Australia. Or find someone at a bar to keep you warm at night. Don't forget to pack for the season if you're from the northern hemisphere (US summer is AUS winter).
Huntington Beach, CA
You're probably already familiar with Surf City. Being in SoCal, it can get crowded when the waves are good, so keep a positive attitude and stay out of the way to avoid aggressive surfers. It all boils down to respect. As always, the swell depicts the board you should ride. So keep an open mind and hop on a log or shortboard if you want to get out of your element and have some fun. You have to try some seafood and tacos. They're classic. An Airbnb or a hostel is always a good choice.
Not only is surfing these world-class breaks amazing, but Bali is a terrific place to explore, especially the Uluwatu Temple. The best time to visit is between May and September. There are a ton of killer surf breaks, so show up with your surfboard, and the locals will get you pointed in the right direction. Get ready for some of the most delicious food you've tasted too. Think Mie Goreng, a classic Indonesian staple of fried noodles served with vegetables and meat. There are some worthwhile places to stay at Bingin Beach that'll have your yoga classes for post-surfing stretches.
You're probably at work procrastinating or laying on your couch. So hopefully this quick list gave you the inspiration to work harder and earn vacation sooner or to at least get off the couch and go for a surf. And when you do venture into the world, don't forget to send us pictures in your shades. We love seeing happy customers.