Over the past few decades, surfing has become one of the most popular extreme sports in the world, and surfing tourist trips have increased significantly. While the term surfing refers to the act of riding a wave (not necessarily on a board), the modern-day definition generally refers to a surfer riding a wave on a surfboard (also called stand-up surfing). The rider generally rides on the deep face of a moving wave which then carries them towards the shore. The best surfing is typically found in the ocean, but some people even surf in rivers or lakes, or from man-made waves from artificial wave pools or boat wakes.
Pros and Cons
Surfing is popular for many reasons, one of which being the adrenaline rush it provides. Riding a huge wave successfully is truly a thrilling experience unlike no other.
It is also a great workout. From riding a wave to having to paddle out to the ocean and pop up on your board, surfing works out all areas of your body, especially your arms and core. While you generally need to be in decent shape to begin with to surf, surfing does help you in this area as well. Like all physical activity, however, there are risks. Injuries are common, from hitting the reefs or sandbanks or even other riders. Drowning is also an issue, as the undertow can be extremely strong and dangerous. There are also numerous sea creatures, like sharks, which, although rare, can be provoked and attack.
It’s called “surfer’s paradise” for a reason; the Gold Coast in Australia is best known for its 70 km of beaches and four epic point breaks including the Superbank, which is considered one of the world’s finest breaks. The Gold Coast has been welcoming surfers for decades, thanks to both its quality of waves and its large expansive area that accommodates all types of people. It is one of the top surfing locations in the world. For those who don’t want to go all the way to Australia, Oahu in Hawaii is the best surfing location in the United States. Oahu is the island that created surfing, and its waves are over six meters high.
The Road Less Travelled
One of the more underrated surfing destinations in the world is Tofino on Vancouver Island in Canada (although it is considered the surfing capital of Canada). It offers a beautiful view of the west coast of the island and is surrounded by a lush rainforest. It can be a little chilly, however, so bringing a thick wet suit is advisable. Manu Bay in New Zealand is another beautiful destination, and was made popular by “Endless Summer”, a 1960s surf flick, but doesn’t always receive the publicity of other surfing locations. It is a very relaxed place with beautiful bars and cafes and waves that can rise to as high as three meters.
Costs and Savings
Luckily for surfers, surfing equipment costs a lot less than skiing or snowboarding equipment. Surfboards generally cost somewhere between $500 and $900, depending on the brand and size. Other costs, such as wetsuits and a board bag, can add another $200 on to the total. The most expensive part of surfing is the travel, especially if you do not live near the beach. Travel costs and accommodation can add up. For those lucky enough to live near the beach, however, surfing is one of the cheaper extreme sports out there.