The Best Surf Spots For Beginners

The basic conditions for an ideal atmosphere to learn how to surf are having long, soft and rolling waves, easy access to a beach, preferably warm water, and reputable schools with certified instructors. It's never too late to pick up surfing—if you know where to go. 

Byron Bay, Australia

Incredibly beautiful shores give way to some of the best waves you'll find anywhere in this near-perfect Australian surf town. Two of the most notable spots—The Pass and Wategos—are popular among suffers of all experience levels. The ever-present swells there make for good-quality waves. Small, easy beginner waves often break inside the bay on the northern side of the cape.

Launiupoko State Wayside Park, Maui, Hawaii

This is a popular beginner surf break in West Maui because of the long, slow and rolling waves – the kind you want if you're learning to surf. They break both left and right. The paddle out can be vigorous for beginners but this is a good chance to build endurance. Surfboard rentals are available in nearby Lahaina, according to Pride of Maui.

Nosara, Costa Rica

Nosara has some of the best waves in the world. The most popular beach is r Playa Guiones because it has some of the most consistent breaks in Costa Rica. It picks up both North and South facing swells bringing surfable waves here over 300 days a year, according to Visit Nosara. Beginners are urged to go toward the South end of the beach for smaller crowds.

Bundoran, Ireland

Bundoran is packed with high standard surf schools. They offer variety of options from single classes for beginners to surf bootcamps that can last a few days. Visit in the fall, after the crowds have gone, or—for a truly unique experience, visit in the winter for great conditions. One of the most popular places is Tullan Strand.

La Jolla Shores, California

San Diego is among the very best surfing cities in the U.S. This is the locals' favorite sport. La Jolla Shores offer basic beach breaks with reliable, predictable waves, which is why novice surfers prefer it. The long beach supports ideal small waves that are strong enough to give beginners a good push into the wave without problems.

Lagos, Portugal

Portugal's Algarve Coast is a surf hub. Go in the spring and fall to avoid the summer crowds and much higher prices. The town is awash with surf schools. Lagos is the perfect combination of having fun away from the waves and being close to the surf. The best waves are about half an hour away. The protected break at Arrifana is a favorite for beginners at low tide.

Muizenberg, South Africa

Muizenberg Beach is famous for its gentle and consistent waves making it favorable for learning the art of surfing swiftly and safely. Many experts say Muizenberg is among the very best surfing spots in the whole world, not just South Africa. Crowds are the only concern. Still, the waves seem to never stop so there is plenty of time and space for people to practice.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

This is one of New England's top surfing destinations. Don't go to Nantucket's South Shore if you are just learning to surf. Ocean storms, particularly hurricanes pushing north in the late summer and fall can bring truly awe-inspiring waves, according to Discover Nantucket. People looking for friendlier conditions should go anywhere along the South Shore from Madaket to Nobadeer.

Hossegor, France

Since Hossegor is one of the world's premier beach breaks and the core of European surfing, you can definitely expect plenty of places with ideal breaks for novice surfers. The beach spans about two miles, and has four very distinctive surf spots. Of them, La Nord, can hold shape up to 20 feet; La Sud is the most beginner-friendly spot, according to Active Azur.

Taghazout, Morocco

This tiny fishing village in southern Morocco has flourished into one of the best surfing destinations in the world. With the best conditions hitting the coast from September to April, the town is full of surfers that have traveled from near and far. The town is a popular place for Europeans living in colder climates such as Scandinavia to learn to surf. Go in the fall when the waves are smaller and the water is warmer.

North Beach, New Hampshire

More experienced surfers go to other places. That leaves the Wall, a 1.5-mile-long concrete seawall, on Hamptons' North Beach all to beginners. There are almost no exposed rocks even at low tide. The waves are usually long and easy. Because the Wall is so well-known, you should prepare for crowds in the summer.

San Sebastian, Spain

The best time to go for awesome breaks is between June and November. La Zurriola is a favorite surf spot where conditions are typically mild in the summer but amp up in the winter. La Concha Beach is the most symbolic one in the Basque Country. People describe it as the most beautiful stretch of sand in all of Europe. It's surrounded by mountains, so the wind and high waves are not a problem.