The other day a friend asked “what are the best SUP surf spots on the planet?”. Not an easy one to decide! So I asked a former pro surfer his opinion. He then came up with the top 7 paddleboard surfing destinations worldwide that he has experienced.
Who is our tamed pro surfer? Well he wishes to remain anonymous. But I can tell you that he has surfed all over the world and while never a big name he was well respected on the competition circuit.
Standing on a SUP and using a single bladed paddle for propulsion gives much more freedom and accessibility than a conventional prone surfboard ever could. You are in a much better position to access that offshore bombie that you’ve been eyeing up ever since you were a grom.
And that previously junky-looking wave that has always appeared fat and gutless? Well it has suddenly become a perfectly peeling wall that you can lay a buttery rail into.
Stand up paddleboarding had been the fastest growing water sport of the last decade. It is both aspirational and attainable, offering great reward for all ages. This is particularly evident in a surf environment and there are plenty of SUP surf spots you’ll really want to ride.
While SUP is growing rapidly, numbers of conventional surfers are also still increasing year on year. That means that the more popular breaks in the world are becoming ever more crowded.
The beauty of surfing an SUP is that you can access lesser quality waves easily and still get a fantastic ride. Waves that were previously inaccessible are now readily available.
Are you one for taking water sports holidays at home or abroad? Then here are seven of the best SUP surf breaks that you simply must head for.
Some are easy breaks and others rather challenging. And some are more about where the wave is and the joys of exploring the area on an SUP and others are solely about the wave. Shall we crack on?
Remember this is based on experience and even this pro surfer has not been everywhere so let us know your top spots for SUP surfing in the comments below.
This is a super long right-hander that can break for well over one kilometre when big swells hit. Anchor is mainly a carving wall but some barrel sections can materialise.
The wave is one of the best surf breaks in Taghazout, a small, traditional Moroccan fishing village that lies 19 miles north of the more bustling Agadir. On really epic days Anchor Point can link up with Hash Point and Panoramas, which ends just in front of the village. You’ll need to be an experienced SUP surfer for this.
At mellower times Anchor is good for beginners. Morocco is blessed with a consistently warm climate, it’s the perfect, cheap and easy get away for those based in Europe.
Nestled on the picturesque south western corner of Barbados, Freights is a mellow left most of the time. But during pumping north swells the face of the wave can change dramatically to that of a spitting left-hand barrel!
The break lies just around the corner from South Point and it has been known for these two spots to link up and give extremely long rides. The area behind Freights is mostly residential, but out front it still offers stunning vistas and, although not the most crowded wave on the island, it can still get quite busy.
Waves can be found all over Barbados but Freights is usually one of the more relaxed breaks. This is chilled out Caribbean riding and one of the best SUP surf spots worldwide!
This one is all about the SUP adventure in the Indian Ocean. Off the northern tip of Zanzibar you’ll find a number of right and left hand reef breaks. To surf them you’d have to rent a boat. But on a paddle board getting there is all part of the fun as you head out into the azure Indian Ocean.
The Nungwi Reefs are an exposed reef break with the most reliable surf in Tanzania. From May to September you get consistent, clean waves around 71% of the time. While it is not banging heart in mouth surf it is still a lot of fun on an SUP. While in Zanzibar SUP in the mangroves and beautiful protected lagoons it’s one of the top paddleboard surfing destinations on the planet.
Of course a trip to Tanzania should be combined into an unforgettable adventure! Take in a safari or two, trek up a mountain and try your hand at kiteboarding or windsurfing.
The home of surfing multiple world champion, Kelly Slater, this is usually a mushy and easygoing wave. But during hurricane swells it can turn on and occasionally be hollow serving up some meaty kegs. A significant cross wash bounces off the jetty causing wedging peaks perfect for launching airs off – if you’re so inclined!
There are some seriously hot locals that call this break home. Plenty more peaks are scattered all along this stretch of coast too. If you take an SUP holiday in the United States you can just drive along the coast and hit the water when you see something that takes your fancy.
How about a luxury holiday in South Africa full of safaris, SUP and other adventures? Well you can have it all in Cape Town, it’s an incredible city with so much to do all topped off with one of the most consistent, easily accessible surf spots in South Africa.
Located on False Bay, Muizenberg is a playful beach break with plenty of peaks for everyone to catch waves. While there is nothing too advanced is it one of the top paddleboard surfing destinations worldwide. This is down to its convenience from the city and the overall experience you’ll have in South Africa.
The longest left in the world! And considering this fact, it is unbelievable to think that as you are reading this there is probably no one surfing it. Chicama breaks mainly over sand and is consistently offshore. What more could you ask for?
As an SUP wave it is still pretty much untapped but the potential for super long rides is glaringly obvious. Surfers regularly report leg burn because they are surfing for so long. You can only imagine the possibilities on a SUP which will also help you avoid the long walk back up the beach.
Unpredictable, shifty and huge on pumping swells! Sunset is a regular leg of the APP (association of professional paddleboarders) World Tour. With an avalanche-like take off, ferocious rip and hollow inside section, Sunset is not for the feint hearted.
Oahu’s famous north shore is where you will find a plethora of world class waves and where the global elite of SUPers hang out during winter. Sunset is just one of many such set ups and commands a lot of respect – as do the locals… But there are also plenty of intermediate surf spots in Hawaii.
We hope you found this guide to the best SUP surf spots interesting and inspiring. If the top 7 paddleboard surfing destinations worldwide seem a bit far flung to you perhaps check out the best SUP spots in England.