I’ve been bouncing around the globe for a good number of years now and I’ve been having heaps of fun along the way.
Some people travel to experience new things, some to find themselves, some to visit places they’ve dreamed about whilst growing up. Granted there are a number of reasons spurring on my backpacking dream but there’s one underlying theme – surf.
I’ve been surfing for over 10 years now and as much as I enjoy the waves in my home of Devon they are pretty bloody cold! As soon as I had the money together I decided to head out and find some warm water waves where boardshorts were the order of the day! A couple years back I also qualified as a surf instructor so I’ve been stopping at various places to break up the adventure, save some money and have an excuse to do nothing but surf all day long!
It’s also left me well placed to recommend some of my top backpacking surf spots – locations which not only have the good time party vibe backpackers search for but are also blessed with some epic places to wax up your board and take to the ocean.
So here’s my personal favourites…
Byron Bay, Australia
I lived and worked in Byron Bay for nearly 6 months back in 2009 at the start of my travels. For me it’s got the perfect mix of backpacker perfection (as do the other spots in this list) surf all day and party all night! The hippy lifestyle is alive and well in the Byron bubble and it’s become a mecca for east coast travellers, especially with a board under arm. Spots like The Pass and The Wreck offer some world class waves, but it’s also a great place to learn aswell. And with an abundance of hostels and awesome things to do (whale watching anyone?!) it’ the perfect place to stop and surf.
Mancora is an odd little town and has literally been built up due to the fact the point break its situated on is EPIC! this left hander can handle any swell thrown at it and the sandy bottom means its also a great wave to start out on. Hostel like Loki Mancora allow you to flashpack at dead cheap prices and the nightlife here is filled with mojitos and salsa – ideal! And of course Peru itself is full of backpacker bucket list ticks, from sandboarding to hiking the infamous inca trail.
Check out my short video of me surfing! Enjoy!
Another spot that I’ve worked at I surf coached in Montanita in southern Ecuador for 3 months. This quaint little town is full of bamboo beach huts, spanish schools and has the perfect pace of life for surfers and travellers alike. The town is still very much being developed and has kept true to it’s rag tag roots as a beach town with street stalls selling amazing dishes and beach bars mixing up fresh cocktails as the sun sets.
For any surfer Indo is a right of passage. The waves here are famous if you surf or not, and they’re incredible to watch. Pros descend on spots like Uluwatu and Padang every swell and it’s like your own personal surf movie.
With cheap guest houses on the beach it’s not hard to figure why Bali made the list – and flat day fun here can cover everything from monkey filled temples to scuba diving with manta rays. Get it on your bucket list!
This is where I’ve been based for the last few months running a surf instructor course for Surf Berbere. Morocco is an ideal place for travellers; cheap flights from the UK, warm climate and lots of epic culture. If you’re not busy shopping the souks or camel trekking in the desert this small town in the south offers heaps of surf breaks – from the reeling Anchor Point through to the beginner friendly beaches of Panoramas and Devils Rock.
It seems to me that some of the best backpacking destinations I’ve hit up have been pretty surfer friendly – and despite being slightly bias I put that down to the fact that surfers are damn intrepid nomads. We seek out warm countries, embrace the local culture but most of all we know how to party…and when we group en mass at a place it’s bound to become a backpacking hotspot!