Sustainable Surfboard Brands

Surfing is all about balance and nature, and it’s closely linked to keeping our oceans and coastlines healthy. As people get more worried about the environment, surfers start to care about using gear that’s good for the planet. In this article, let’s discuss the importance of sustainable surfboards, and check out some brands that are leading the way in making surfboards that are good for the environment.

Why Sustainable Surfboards Matter

Before delving into specific brands, it’s crucial to understand the environmental impact of traditional surfboard manufacturing. Conventional surfboards are often crafted using materials like polyurethane foam and fiberglass, which have significant ecological footprints. The production process involves harmful chemicals, energy-intensive procedures, and the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to a study at the University of California Berkeley in 2009, a single surfboard generates about 375 pounds of carbon during manufacturing. Imagine the significant carbon emissions on a large scale and continuous conventional surfboard manufacturing. Aside from that, the disposal of old or damaged boards further contributes to the burden on landfills.

Sustainable surfboards aim to address these issues by adopting alternative materials and manufacturing methods that are kinder to the planet. As surfers increasingly recognize the environmental impact of traditional boards, there has been a growing shift towards more sustainable options. Eco-friendly surfboards often incorporate materials such as recycled foam, bio-resins, and sustainably sourced wood. By opting for these alternative materials, surfboard manufacturers are reducing carbon emissions and minimizing reliance on non-renewable resources.

Let’s ride the eco-wave and explore some notable brands that have made significant strides in this direction. From recycled materials to innovative manufacturing processes, these brands are leading the way in the sustainable surfboard movement. They embody a commitment to delivering exceptional performance and shouldering environmental responsibility.

1. Firewire Surfboards

firewiresurfboards - surf economics
Source: Instagram/firewiresurfboards

Firewire is known for its high-performance surfboards and stands out as a leader in sustainability within the surfing industry. Their dedication to eco-friendly practices is clear in using alternative materials like recycled EPS foam and Entropy Bio Resin. By integrating these materials into their construction, Firewire not only lessens environmental impact but also upholds the performance standards valued by surf enthusiasts.

Firewire’s TimberTek technology uses sustainably sourced Paulownia wood for the board’s exterior. This elevates the board’s aesthetic appeal and diminishes reliance on conventional materials that come with significant ecological costs.

2. Haydenshapes Surfboards

Haydenshapes surfboard - surf economics
Source: Haydenshapes

Haydenshapes was founded by the renowned shaper Hayden Cox, who combines cutting-edge technology with sustainability. Their commitment to reducing environmental impact without compromising performance is evident in their innovative FutureFlex technology. These boards boast parabolic carbon fiber frames, enhancing strength and flexibility while minimizing the need for excessive materials.

Furthermore, Haydenshapes strongly emphasizes using recycled EPS foam and bio-resin in their manufacturing processes. This fusion of innovation and sustainability has rightfully positioned them at the forefront of eco-conscious surfboard design.

3. Lost Surfboards by Mayhem

Lost Surfboards by Mayhem - surf economics
Source: Facebook/Lost Surfboards

Lost Surfboards has a well-respected name in the surfing community; it has fully embraced sustainability without compromising the performance surfers crave. Their commitment to environmental responsibility is shown in using alternative materials like expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam and bio-resin.

What sets Lost Surfboards apart is their C4 Technology, which cleverly incorporates recycled EPS foam and sustainably sourced cork. This reflects a smart fusion of performance-driven design and eco-conscious choices and caters to surfers looking for top-quality boards while being mindful of their gear’s environmental impact.

4. Timber Surf Co.

Timber Surf Co. boards - surf economics
Source: Timber Surf Co.

Timber Surf Co. makes waves in the sustainable surfboard scene by seamlessly integrating craftsmanship with eco-conscious practices. They stand out for their innovative use of locally sourced, reclaimed wood in crafting surfboards. By using the wood that would otherwise go to waste, the brand significantly minimizes the need for new materials, resulting in a reduced ecological footprint. This imparts a unique aesthetic appeal to their boards and underscores their commitment to sustainability.

In addition to focusing on reclaimed wood, Timber Surf Co. uses eco-friendly resins to construct their boards. These resins are carefully formulated to reduce environmental impact, offering surfers a choice beyond mere aesthetics. This dual commitment to using reclaimed wood and eco-friendly resins highlights Timber Surf Co.’s dedication to providing environmentally conscious options for surfers who value performance and sustainability.

5. Sustainable Surf

sustainable surf, the eco board project - surf economics

Sustainable Surf is an environmental non-profit organization of the global surfing community. Although not a conventional surfboard brand, Sustainable Surf has played a crucial role in driving sustainability efforts within the surfing industry. The ECOBOARD Project, spearheaded by Sustainable Surf, collaborates with various surfboard manufacturers to certify boards that meet stringent sustainability criteria.

The ECOBOARD label is a valuable indicator for surfers looking for eco-friendly options when selecting a new board. This label signifies the use of alternative materials, a reduced carbon footprint, and a minimal environmental impact. Beyond individual boards, this initiative catalyzes change, urging more brands to embrace sustainable practices and become part of the broader eco-friendly surf movement.

Making Waves Together: A Collective Call for Sustainability

These brands represent just a fraction of the growing movement towards sustainable surfboards. As consumers, surfers can influence change by choosing products that align with their values. The transition to sustainable surfboards not only minimizes the ecological footprint of surfing but also sets a precedent for responsible manufacturing practices across the broader sports industry.

It’s important to note that while these brands are leading the charge, the industry as a whole is evolving. Inspired by consumer demand and environmental awareness, Surfboard manufacturers are exploring innovative materials and processes to reduce their impact further. As surfers, our choices today contribute to the future health of our oceans, ensuring that the waves we love will be there for generations to come.

Sustainable Surfing Events and Competitions

Surfing events and competitions are going green in today’s environmentally aware world by maximizing sustainability. As the love for riding waves brings surfers together worldwide, organizers are taking steps to lessen the environmental impact. 

This article delves into the importance of sustainable surfing events and competitions and explores some of the most prominent competitions prioritizing sustainability and environmental conservation. 

Why Do Sustainable Surfing Events and Competitions Matter?

Sustainable surfing events and competitions hold a special place in sports and environmental conservation. These gatherings are not just about showcasing the skills of surfers; they serve as powerful platforms for several important reasons:

  1. Raising Environmental Awareness: Surfing events attract diverse audiences, from professional athletes to casual beachgoers. By incorporating sustainability into these events, organizers can educate more people about the critical need for environmental conservation. This awareness can lead to lasting changes in behavior and attitudes towards our planet.
  1. Leading by Example: Sustainable surfing events set an example for other sports and recreational activities. They demonstrate that it’s possible to enjoy outdoor pursuits while minimizing the negative impact on the environment. This leadership can encourage other sporting communities to follow suit and adopt eco-friendly practices.
  1. Supporting Local Communities: Many sustainable surfing events actively engage with local communities. They create opportunities for residents to participate in beach clean-ups, conservation efforts, and educational programs. This strengthens community bonds and ensures the local environment benefits from the event.
  1. Showcasing Innovation: Sustainable surfing events often showcase cutting-edge environmental technologies and practices. This exposure can spur innovation within the surfing industry and beyond, leading to the development of more sustainable materials, equipment, and practices.
  1. Preserving Natural Beauty: Surfing is intrinsically tied to the beauty of coastal landscapes. Sustainable events are dedicated to preserving these picturesque locations by reducing waste, protecting wildlife habitats, and promoting responsible tourism. This ensures that surfers and future generations can continue to enjoy these pristine environments.
  1. Global Impact: Major surfing competitions have a global reach, attracting athletes and spectators worldwide. When these events prioritize sustainability, they send a powerful message to a global audience, emphasizing the importance of protecting our oceans, beaches, and coastal regions on a large scale.

Examples of Sustainable Surfing Events and Competitions

1. Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

kelly slater in vans triple crown of surfing
Source: Sporting News
  • Location: Oahu, Hawaii
  • Date: November – December
  • Number of Competitors: Varies by event

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is an annual series of three top-notch surf competitions: the Hawaiian Pro, the World Cup of Surfing, and the Billabong Pipe Masters. These events take place on the famous North Shore of Oahu. While known for its incredible talent, the Triple Crown also has a solid commitment to environmental responsibility. They collaborate with local organizations like Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii to keep the beaches clean and educate spectators about marine conservation. With waste-reduction efforts, recycling stations, and encouraging spectators to be eco-conscious, the Triple Crown sets a prime example for sustainable surf events globally.

2. Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach
Source: Rip Curl
  • Location: Victoria, Australia
  • Date: March – April
  • Number of Competitors: Approximately 36 Men and 18 Women

Set against Australia’s breathtaking Great Ocean Road, the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach is an iconic event in the world of professional surfing. This competition is renowned for its dramatic cliffs, dependable waves, and the legendary Bells Beach Bowl. What makes this event special is its dedication to sustainability. They prioritize waste reduction by composting and recycling. Moreover, it’s a plastic-free zone, so no single-use plastics are permitted on-site. The Rip Curl Pro goes the extra mile by supporting local environmental initiatives and actively involving the community in safeguarding this awe-inspiring coastal environment.

3. The Eco Pro Tofino

The Eco Pro Tofino
Source: Surf the Greats
  • Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada
  • Date: September
  • Number of Competitors: Approximately 64 Men and 32 Women

The Eco Pro in Tofino stands out as a one-of-a-kind event, blending professional surfing with a strong commitment to the environment. Powered by renewable energy sources, it takes significant steps to shrink its carbon footprint. Waste reduction is a key focus, and they actively involve the local community in environmental educational programs. This means that event visitors get to witness top-notch surfing and gain insights into the vital task of preserving the delicate ecosystems of Canada’s West Coast. In doing so, the Eco Pro Tofino sets a shining example for eco-conscious surf events across the globe.

4. The Ballito Pro

The Ballito Pro
Source: The Ballito Pro
  • Location: Ballito, South Africa
  • Date: June – July
  • Number of Competitors: Approximately 96 Men and 48 Women

Number of Competitors: Approximately 96 Men and 48 Women

The Ballito Pro stands as Africa’s most significant professional surfing event, drawing in top talent from worldwide. Amidst the showcase of the planet’s finest surfers, this competition strongly emphasizes protecting the environment. Their initiatives involve:

  • Reducing single-use plastics by offering water refill stations.
  • Arranging beach clean-ups that engage competitors and local volunteers.
  • Backing local conservation projects.

It is a brilliant example of how surfing competitions can be crucial in safeguarding South Africa’s pristine coastline.

5. The Margaret River Pro

Margaret River Pro
Source: Margaret River
  • Location: Margaret River, Western Australia
  • Date: May – June
  • Number of Competitors: Approximately 36 Men and 18 Women

As a prominent fixture on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour, the Margaret River Pro is well-known for its mighty waves and demanding conditions. What sets it apart is its unwavering commitment to protecting the local environment. The organizers join forces with environmental organizations to boost awareness about conservation efforts in the region. Furthermore, they take active steps to lessen the event’s environmental impact, including strategies to minimize waste and backing local sustainability projects. The Margaret River Pro is a shining example of the worldwide dedication of the surfing community to environmental stewardship.

How Climate Change Will Negatively Impact Surfing by 2050

Sea levels prediction at Cottesloe Beach, Perth Western Australia
Source: go_greener_oz/flcikr

Surfing communities around the world are facing significant threats from climate change. As global temperature rises and weather patterns become more unpredictable, the very essence of surfing is at risk. 

This article will explore how climate change will negatively impact surfing by 2050, highlighting the key challenges and potential consequences for surfers and coastal communities.

What is Climate Change and How It Will Affect Surfing in the Future

Climate change is the long-term alteration of Earth’s climate patterns, including shifts in temperature, weather events, and precipitation, primarily driven by human activities such as burning fuels, deforestation, and pollution from industrial processes. These activities emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, trapping heat and causing the planet’s average temperature to rise—an effect commonly called global warming. 

The ongoing changes in Earth’s natural climate patterns can have several adverse effects on the ocean, ultimately impacting surfing for the next 25 years in the following ways:

Rising Sea Levels

The rising sea levels are one of the fastest and most visible impacts of climate change on surfing. As global temperatures rise, polar ice caps melt, causing ocean waters to expand. This phenomenon threatens coastal communities and surf breaks worldwide.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sea levels will rise around 12 to 13 inches by 2050. This means many famous surf spots could be submerged or altered beyond recognition by 2050. Coastal erosion and changing ocean dynamics can lead to the loss of essential sandbars and reefs that create ideal surf conditions. The rising sea levels will likely drown low-tide surf spots like Stockton Avenue, Pitas Point, and Sandspit, California. 

Read more: Coastal Erosion and their Impacts on Surf Spots and Surfing Communities.

Changing Wave Patterns

Climate change alters ocean currents and wave patterns, making it harder for surfers to predict when and where the best waves will roll in. Researchers have observed shifts in wave heights, directions, and frequency due to changing climate dynamics.

Due to these changes, the number of rideable waves at some popular surf destinations in the following decades may decrease. Unpredictable weather patterns, frequent storms, and rising sea levels will contribute to this challenging scenario.

Increasing Storm Intensity

Climate change is also intensifying tropical storms and hurricanes. These extreme weather events significantly threaten coastal communities and can result in dangerous surf conditions. As storms grow more powerful, they produce larger and more chaotic waves, which can be extremely hazardous for surfers. Surfers will likely face increased risks, so staying updated on weather forecasts and exercising caution when heading out to catch waves during stormy periods is imperative.

Pollution and Water Quality

Climate change can exacerbate pollution and negatively affect water quality in surf zones. Warmer ocean temperatures can promote harmful algal blooms and create favorable conditions for bacteria like Vibrio, which can cause illnesses in surfers.

Moreover, the increased frequency of extreme weather events, such as heavy rainfall and flooding, can wash pollutants from urban areas into the ocean. This can lead to beach closures and health risks for surfers.

Loss of Biodiversity

Surfing is about riding waves and immersing oneself in the rich marine ecosystems that thrive along the coasts. Climate change threatens these ecosystems through ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and habitat destruction. As these ecosystems decline, surfers may lose the chance to witness the diverse marine life often present during surfing adventures.

What Can We Do? Promoting Eco Surfing

While the negative impacts of climate change on surfing are concerning, surfers and coastal communities have the power to take proactive steps to mitigate these effects and promote eco-friendly surfing practices. Here are some actions that can make a difference:

1. Reduce Carbon Footprint: Surfers can reduce their carbon footprint by choosing eco-friendly transportation options, such as carpooling or using electric vehicles to reach surf spots. Additionally, supporting sustainable surfboard manufacturing processes and investing in boards made from recycled or sustainable materials can help lower the sport’s environmental impact.

2. Support Coastal Conservation: Get involved in local coastal conservation efforts. Participate in beach cleanups, support organizations dedicated to preserving coastal ecosystems, and participate in initiatives protecting shorelines and natural habitats. By actively contributing to coastal conservation, surfers can help maintain the health of their beloved surf spots.

3. Embrace Sustainable Surfing Gear: Use eco-friendly surf gear and apparel. Many companies are now producing wetsuits and surf accessories made from sustainable materials. Supporting these products encourages the industry to adopt more sustainable practices.

4. Responsible Travel and Tourism: Be mindful of your environmental impact when traveling to surf destinations. Choose accommodations that prioritize sustainability and responsible tourism. Respect local regulations and cultures, and support businesses committed to protecting the environment.

5. Educate and Advocate: Surfers can play a big part in raising awareness about climate change and its impact on their sport. Engage in conversations with fellow surfers, friends, and communities to educate them about the importance of climate action. Advocate for policies that reduce carbon emissions, and coastal pollution and protect coastal areas.

6. Support Research and Initiatives: Support scientific research on climate change and its impact on the oceans. Back initiatives and organizations that work to mitigate climate change and protect coastal environments. By contributing to research and efforts to combat climate change, surfers can actively participate in preserving their favorite surf destinations.

Shifting Shores: Coastal Erosion and their Impacts on Surf Spots and Surfing Communities

Coastal erosion is the gradual wearing off of land and sediment removal along coastlines. It is a process driven by natural factors or human activities, which act as powerful forces reshaping the coastal landscape. Over time, the relentless action of these elements causes the coastline to recede, leading to the loss of sandy beaches, cliffs, and other coastal features. 

In this article, we will learn about coastal erosions, how they can affect surf spots and surfing communities, and the proactive measures that we can implement to tackle this problem.

Coastal Erosion from Natural Factors 

Coastal Erosion Infographic by NST - Surf Economics
Coastal erosion processes
Source: NST Geography Trips

Coastlines are naturally shaped over time, notwithstanding man made structures that line the coast. This process can change the ocean floor underneath a surf break and significantly change how the waves there break. 

Wind and currents drive waves that consistently exert force, gradually eroding the shoreline. Some events like hurricanes generate powerful storm surges with immense wave energy, accelerating a normally slow and invisible process. Changing tides also contribute to erosion by moving substantial amounts of water and sediment along the coast. Moreover, natural processes like longshore drift, where waves move sediment along the shoreline, can lead to the redistribution and loss of beach material.

These natural forces, combined with the geological characteristics of the coastline, influence the extent and rate of erosion in coastal areas, particularly in surf spots, where waves are more consistent and robust.

Coastal Erosion from Human Activities 

Human activities are one significant factor that accelerates coastal erosion and worsens its impact. Building coastal structures like harbors, piers, and jetties disrupts natural sediment flow and alters coastal dynamics, leading to erosion in nearby areas. For example, a harbor’s construction can trap sediment, causing downstream deficits and increased erosion. Beachfront development and sand extraction from beaches deplete sediment sources, leaving coastlines more vulnerable to erosion. Additionally, deforestation and changes to rivers and streams impact sediment supply to the coast, further contributing to erosion.

Human activities driven by economic development and coastal management goals can unintentionally disrupt the natural movement of sediment, thereby increasing the risk of coastal erosion. This problem is common in surf spots, where there are developments to attract more tourists.

Impact of Coastal Erosion on Surf Spots 

Surfers Point Erosion - Surf Economics
Eroded Shoreline on Surfer’s Point, California
Source: Paul Jenkin/Surfrider Foundation

Coastal erosion significantly affects surf spots, changing their features and putting their long-term existence at risk. Here’s everything you need to know.

First, the loss of sand and sediment due to erosion can significantly impact the quality and quantity of waves. As the shoreline retreats, the sand for wave formation diminishes, resulting in flatter and weaker waves. Coastal erosion can also destroy natural features, such as rock formations and sandbars, which often contribute to forming quality waves by shaping the wave’s energy and creating desirable breaks. The loss of these natural coastal features affects the beach profile, potentially making it unsuitable for surfing altogether.

Lastly, coastal erosion can alter wave characteristics. As the coastline erodes, wave energy disperses differently, leading to wave direction, size, and shape shifts. These changes can transform once consistent surf breaks into unpredictable and less desirable conditions for surfing. This erosion-induced alteration of wave patterns can challenge surfers’ ability to ride the waves effectively.

Impact of Coastal Erosion on Surfing Communities

Beach erosion in Long Island - Surf Economics
Beach erosion and damage on Long Island’s South Shore
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Coastal erosion affects surf spots and directly impacts the communities that depend on surfing as a crucial aspect of their lifestyle and local economy. Let’s delve into how these effects can happen.

Impact on Surfing Communities’ Economy

Coastal erosion can have significant economic implications for local communities. Surfing attracts tourists who contribute to the local economy through spending on accommodations, food, and other services. However, when erosion diminishes the quality of waves or erodes sandy beaches, it can deter tourists from visiting, leading to a decline in tourism revenue. 

Impact on Surfers’ Way of Life

Coastal erosion results in the loss of recreational opportunities for community members. Surfing is a sport and a way of life for many coastal communities. It brings people together, promotes physical activity, and fosters a sense of community pride. When surf spots are affected by erosion, it limits the ability of residents to engage in their beloved sport, leading to a loss of recreational enjoyment and potential negative impacts on the community’s well-being.

Impact on Infrastructures

Lastly, coastal erosion poses a serious threat to the vital infrastructure that sustains surfing communities, including businesses like surf shops, surf camps, restaurants, and resorts. As the coastline recedes, these structures face increased vulnerability to storm damage and rising sea levels. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coastal erosion in the US incurs an annual damage cost of approximately 500 million USD. This situation is particularly concerning for surfing communities, given their proximity to the coast, as it heightens the risk of property loss, job displacement, and business disruptions, potentially necessitating costly measures to mitigate the impact.

Examples of Proactive Measures to Address Coastal Erosion

There are proactive measures that can protect coastal communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems from the harmful impacts of coastal erosion. Implementing these measures ensures long-term sustainability in coastal areas. Here are some examples of proactive steps taken to address coastal erosion.

  1. Beach Nourishment: Beach nourishment involves the addition of sand or sediment to eroded beaches, replenishing the coastal system and providing a buffer against future erosion. For instance, large-scale beach nourishment projects have been implemented in Miami Beach, Florida, to restore eroded shorelines, protect coastal infrastructure, and maintain tourism.
  2. Dune Restoration: Dunes are like natural shields against erosion. They soak up the power of waves and keep inland areas safe from strong surges during storms. Restoring dunes means planting plants and reshaping the sand. In the Outer Banks, North Carolina, they effectively stabilized the dunes and prevented further erosion by planting native vegetation and adding fences.
  3. Breakwaters and Seawalls: These structures aim to reduce erosion and disperse wave energy along vulnerable coastlines. Breakwaters are submerged barriers built offshore, while seawalls are constructed along shorelines. The Netherlands’ Delta Works project is a remarkable example, featuring an extensive system of seawalls, storm surge barriers, and artificial islands, effectively protecting low-lying areas from erosion and flooding.
  4. Managed Retreat: In some cases, it may be necessary to relocate human settlements and infrastructure away from eroding coastlines. This approach, known as managed retreat, allows natural coastal processes to occur without significant human interference. For instance, in Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, a community severely affected by erosion and rising sea levels, authorities have offered residents the opportunity to relocate to more stable inland areas.
  5. Vegetation Restoration: Planting and restoring coastal vegetation like mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrasses benefits coastal areas and nearby surf spots. These habitats stabilize the soil, absorb the power of waves, and trap sediment, which lowers the erosion rate. A great example is the restoration of mangroves in Thailand’s coastal areas after the 2004 tsunami. It showed how improving coastal ecosystems can help prevent erosion and safeguard communities.
  6. Integrated Coastal Zone Management: A comprehensive and collaborative approach, integrated coastal zone management aims to balance ecological, economic, and social interests in coastal areas. It involves careful planning, zoning, and regulation to address erosion issues holistically. The European Union’s ICZM Directive has been instrumental in promoting sustainable coastal development and erosion management along Europe’s coastlines.

By implementing effective strategies like these in areas most needed, we can achieve two crucial goals: safeguarding coastal regions for the long run and providing vital support to surfing communities by protecting their surf spots. These efforts can help maintain the quality and quantity of waves, preserve natural coastal features, and boost the well-being of surfers and their local economy. This collective action paves the way for a resilient future for the environment and the people who call these coastal regions home.

Top 5 Surf Spots in El Salvador

El Salvador is one of most amazing and “must-visit” surfing destinations in Central America. It offers various surf breaks with clean and consistent waves all-year round. This article will list down the top five surf spots in El Salvador.

El Tunco

Source: Surf City El Salvador

El Tunco is El Salvador’s most popular surf spot and a true year-round paradise for surfers. Its black sand beach is only a 45-minute drive from the country’s capital, San Salvador, making it quite accessible to tourists. If you’re lucky, you may also witness surfing competitions since El Tunco hosts several surf events throughout the year.

There are many surf schools in El Tunco that offer training and board rentals, making it ideal for first-time wave riders. El Tunco’s waves can be challenging for advanced and pro surfers, especially during April to August, when swells can reach double overhead to 20 feet high!

Punta Roca

Source: Sunzal Surf Company

Punta Roca offers one of the best right-hand point breaks in the world. So if you’re a regular-footer, this might be the best spot for you. It is located on San Blas beach and is only about a 35-minute drive from San Salvador, making it quite accessible yet it still remains uncrowded. Small swells can be enjoyed in Punta Roca year-round, but the best time to surf is around November, when waves can be clean and consistent.

El Sunzal

Source: Surf City El Salvador

El Sunzal is one of El Salvador’s finest surfing spots, and since hosting the 2021 ISA World Surfing Games, it has become extremely popular among international surfers. It is only about a 45-minute drive from San Salvador, making it easily accessible to travelers. El Sunzal has the most consistent long-stretched waves, reaching up to 200 meters in length, making it perfect for surfers of all skill levels, particularly longboarders.

La Bocana

Source: Sunzal Surf Company

La Bocana is one of the few surf spots in El Salvador known for consistently providing left hand breaking waves. It is located around 25 miles from San Salvador and is well-known as a tourist destination in La Libertad, so it can be pretty convenient and welcoming in the area. However, La Bocana is no place for beginner surfers, its big waves break heavily over a bed of cobblestone bottom, making it only suitable for intermediate to pro surfers.

Las Flores

Source: Las Flores Resort

Las Flores is El Salvador’s hidden gem and one of the top surfing spots in Central America. This uncrowded beach is located in San Miguel City, around 100 miles from San Salvador. Although Las Flores is a little farther away than other well-known surf spots in La Libertad like El Tunco and El Sunzal, it may give you some world-class waves breaking on a sandy bottom. The swells in Las Flores can be quite big, producing gnarly waves, especially from May to August.

La Chuparosa de Saladita

La Chuparosa de Saladita is a simple, clean, and eco-friendly accommodation. It is only an hour away from Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport, and is located right on the beach, which is very close to La Saladita. From the pool area and most of their rooms, you can see La Saladita breaking. In fact, you can even start paddling out right in front of the resort and get stoked riding the waves all day.

Source: La Chuparosa de Saladita

La Chuparosa de Saladita is a simple, clean, and eco-friendly accommodation. It is only an hour away from Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport, and is located right on the beach, which is very close to La Saladita. From the pool area and most of their rooms, you can see La Saladita breaking. In fact, you can even start paddling out right in front of the resort and get stoked riding the waves all day.

A Great Left

Source: Victoria Vergara at Saladita / photo by @filipe_neto / lushpalm

If you’re a goofy footer, then La Saladita is a great choice for you. La Saladita offers a superb left-hand point break from a long distance offshore, so make sure to game up your paddling, since it will take you a long time to get to the point break. But, it will be worthwhile because it will allow you to ride the waves for a longer period than at other surf breaks. If you’re not into long distance paddling, there are other shorter distance take-off points scattered along the coastline of La Saladita, which are also perfect for beginner wave riders.

Best Time To Go

Source: Trip Advisor

La Saladita catches swell all year round, but the best time to catch its waves is in the summer and fall. Winter is typically busier however, so if you want to go in the winter, plan ahead and get your reservations early. The weather is dry and warm throughout the year, so it’s a nice getaway for those who want to escape colder and wetter climates. The nicest part about La Saladita’s waves is that it is uncrowded and surfable at any time of day. However, you might want to watch out on busier months, especially when surfing festivals are being held on the beach.

Best Board To Use

Source: Pinterest / Penn State

The waves in La Saladita are gentle and mellow, making it best for longboarders. There are some days where swells can be big enough for short boarders, but if you really want to enjoy the infamous long waves of La Saladita, this might be the perfect place for you to try longboarding. If lugging your own board is too much of a hassle, don’t worry because there are a lot of board rentals dotted along La Saladita, making it really convenient for a light-travel surf trip.

A Brief History of Surfing in La Saladita

La Saladita is one of Mexico’s premier surf spots. It is well-known for providing a great left-hand point break. This article will discuss the brief history of surfing in the so-called “longboarder’s paradise of Mexico” – La Saladita.

Source: Mexilogfest

Surfers discovered La Saladita in the mid-1970s; it was a hidden paradise for surfers, with unlimited waves they can enjoy all day. Locals officially established La Saladita as a surfing destination in 1998, and even though there was still no electricity in the area during that time, many surfers from the U. S. had already been visiting La Saladita since the late 1980s. Electricity was installed at La Saladita in the year 2000. Since then, a lot of resorts and inns started to sprout up around the area, making the beach more lively, attracting more tourists and surfers.

In 2017, one of the most popular surfing events, Mexi Log Fest was held in La Saladita. It is a surfing competition sponsored by some of the most well-known big brands, such as Jeep and Vans. The event aims to strengthen surfing communities through surfing, art, music festivals, and environmental conservation education. The success of the Mexi Log Fest attracts more surfers from across the world, allowing La Saladita and its world-class left point break to be recognized even more.

Today, the surfing community in La Saladita is still expanding. With its left point break ranking seventh in the world, a laid-back beach surfer vibe, and rising surf festivals, there’s no doubt that La Saladita continues to be one of the most favored surf spots around the world.

Top 10 SUP Trips for Surfers

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is gaining in popularity for good reason. It’s another way to have fun in the water when conditions aren’t ideal for surfing. And some surfers have gotten so good at it, they don’t go back to their regular board very often.

If you’re stoked on the SUP and looking to try it outside your home break, we’ve got some ideas for you.

Punta Mita, Mexico

Source: WildMex

Punta Mita in Mexico is a true paradise that is living up to its name, which means “the gateway to paradise” in Aztec. From its beautiful white sand beaches and picturesque coastlines to a diverse range of different surf spots, it offers you both magnificent scenery and a natural surfer’s paradise vibe. Punta Mita is only 20 minutes away from Puerto Vallarta airport and has plenty of lodging options nearby, perfect for accessible surf trips. Aside from that, Punta Mita provides a variety of surf breaks, ranging from challenging reef breaks to excellent point breaks and super enjoyable beach breaks that scatter throughout its coastline, making it ideal for all board types, including short board, longboard, and even stand-up paddle board. 

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

Source: Viator

The North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii is a 7-mile stretch of crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and best surf breaks that extends from Ka’ena Point to Kahuku, making it one of the best tourist spots on the island and one of the perfect surf trip destinations all over the world, especially during winter when swells can be challenging and enjoyable for advanced and expert surfers. If you don’t like big swells, you may ride the waves on Turtle Bay’s beaches, which are perfect for beginning stand up paddle boarders and are well-known for their incredible SUP surf events. You may also enjoy a relaxing and scenic stand up paddle boarding adventure on Haleiwa River, especially during summertime.

Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Source: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Waikiki is located on Oahu’s south shore and is just a 20-minute drive from the Honolulu airport. It is one of the most famous and convenient beaches in Hawaii, since it is the island’s main area for hotels and restaurants. Waikiki is well-known for its long white sand beach and calm turquoise waters. It is also famous for its great surfing spots for surfers of all skill levels, and amazing SUP boarding adventures perfect for both seasoned and beginner SUP boarders.

Sauble Lake, Lake Huron, Ontario

Source: Yelp

Sauble Beach is situated on Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada. It is the world’s second longest freshwater beach and is extremely popular among tourists, thanks to its warm water and a variety of leisure activities available in the area. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants, board rentals, and parking lots near the beach, making it very convenient for travelers. Sauble Beach offers fairly consistent and gentle waves, perfect for rookie wave riders. The long coastline is also excellent for stand up paddle boarding adventure, while enjoying the natural sceneries from the beach up to the famous Sauble Falls Park.

Dana Point, California

Source: Visit Dana Point

Dana Point, known as the origin of surf culture in the United States, is one of California’s greatest beachside communities. It has a wide range of surf breaks ideal for surfers of all skill levels. Doheny State Beach, which is also known for hosting spectacular SUP surf tournaments, is ideal for beginner surfers and SUP boarders. Longboarders will appreciate the longer swells at San Onofre State Beach, and if you want wilder waves, you’ll love surfing at Salt Creek and Strand Beach, which are perfect for experienced and pro wave riders.

Slickrock Resort, Belize

Source: Athleta, SU12, Summer 2012, Belize

Slickrock Resort is an all-inclusive private island resort in Glover’s Reef Atoll and one of Belize’s top private resorts. On its miles of pure blue seas, it offers a wide range of water sports adventures, including sea kayaking, surf kayaking, SUP boarding, kayak fishing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, board surfing, scuba diving, and even snorkeling. Since the resort only accommodates around 24 visitors at a time, you can have the peaceful relaxation you need without worrying about an overcrowded trip experience.

Playa Guiones, Costa Rica

Source: Perfect Paddles

Playa Guiones is a pristine paradise situated at the coastline of Nicoya Peninsula. Lush jungles are intact along its four-mile-long white sandy shorelines. It has a variety of surf breaks that are suitable for different board types, including short boards, longboards, and SUPs. Playa Guiones is also regarded as the surf break for beginners due to its gentle waves, soft sandy bottom, and uncrowded beach. There are also several surf schools and local instructors who offer both surf and SUP lessons to first-time wave riders.

Surfer’s Point, Barbados

Source: XtremeSpots

Surfer’s Point is situated at the east coast of Barbados, along the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. It is one of the most favored surfing and SUP boarding spots in the region, thanks to its gentle point breaks and consistent rideable waves throughout the year. There are a lot of lodging options, such as hotels and guest houses dotted in the area. There are also shopping malls, supermarkets, and restaurants nearby, which makes it an extremely convenient destination for your surf trip.

Tofino, Canada

Source: Swell Tofino

Tofino, known as the surfing capital of Canada, is part of a protected natural sanctuary and one of the most laid-back surfer towns in North America. Pristine rainforests are intact along its 20-mile coastline facing the Pacific Ocean, and despite its cold water, it is a popular destination for surfers of all skill levels. Tofino offers gentle rollers, perfect for rookie wave riders and SUP boarders. It also pushes big barrels and wild swells that are perfect for experienced and pro surfers. Along the coast, there are a lot of surf shops, surf schools, and all types of boards and wetsuit rentals available, making it very convenient whether you’re planning on a surf trip or an SUP adventure.

Treasure Cay, Bahamas

Source: Bahamas Air Tours

Treasure Cay is a small beach situated in the island of Abaco of the Bahamas. It is known for its 4-mile stretch of a snow-white sandy beach and crystal clear waters. It is only 6 miles away from the Treasure Cay airport and has a lot of lodging options along the way, perfect for an accessible surf trip. Treasure Cay’s waves are tiny and mellow, making it suitable for beginning surfers and SUP boarders. There are also several surf and SUP camps located around Treasure Cay that provide surf and SUP lessons as well as all-type board rentals.

5 Great Destinations for Surfing and Diving

Looking for a place you can catch your stoke by surfing when the waves are good and diving when the visibility is great? Here’s five of the world’s greatest surfing and diving destinations.

The Maldives

When you hear the word Maldives, the first thing that will come to your mind is a peaceful summer paradise. The country is well recognized for its world-class white sand beaches with crystal clear waters, which provide tourists with a luxurious relaxing experience.

Source: ForthipWart/Pixabay

The Maldives is one of the top diving locations in the world. Warm water and regular currents transport nutrients along Maldives’ reefs, lagoons, channels, and deep oceans, which creates a marine environment teeming with life. When you dive into the clear water, you’ll witness a diverse range of marine species, including vibrant soft and hard corals, colorful sponges, and hundreds of fish species, including legendary whale sharks and magnificent manta rays.

Source: Surfertoday

The Maldives also provides some of the best waves in the world, which are accessible all year-round. Some of the surf spots in the country push big waves that reach overhead, perfect for intermediate to advanced surfers. However, it’s important to note that many of the best waves in the Maldives are quite far from the resorts, and are only accessible by boat.

The Bahamas

Without a doubt, the Bahamas is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. It is well-known for its clear turquoise seas with pink and white sand beaches. The islands are situated in the Caribbean Sea, where the weather is warm and tropical, making it ideal for a perfect summer vacation.

Source: Bahamas Air Tours

The Bahamas is one of the greatest destinations for diving. Having the world’s third largest barrier reef, its underwater world is surely filled by natural coral structures with vibrant colors and abundant with marine life, providing countless diving spots for both beginners and experienced divers. You can experience different types of diving in the Bahamas including, shark diving, reef diving, walls diving, blue holes diving, caves diving, and the most haunting yet scenic, shipwreck diving. 

Source: Bahamas Tourism

The Bahamas also has excellent waves that are ideal for surf trips. It has several surfing spots with all types of wave breaks, as well as some of the most consistent and strong waves in the world, making it perfect for experienced surfers.

Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands consist of three major islands, Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas. They are known for having beautiful white sand beaches, clear waters and abundant coral reefs, ideal for a relaxing summer getaway.

Source: Steve Simonsen /

Situated in the Caribbean Sea, the Virgin Islands has a diverse number of dive sites suitable for divers of all skill levels. When you dive into its clear waters, you’ll enjoy a natural sanctuary for hundreds of marine species including fish, corals, and invertebrates. You may also want to try a night dive to witness nocturnal marine species.

Source: Christine Thompson / VI now

The Virgin Islands also provide perfect waves for surfers. It offers various surfing spots, the majority of which are reef breaks, making it best suited for experienced surfers. Some of the most well-known surf spots in the Virgin Islands are: Cinnamon, Reef Bay, Johns Folly, Johnston’s Reef, Fish Bay, Nanny Point, Water Island, Grassy Point, and Hull Bay.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has coastline stretching for more than 300 miles, and it is well-known for its crystal blue seas and stunning white sand beaches, as well as for its ideal warm tropical weather for summer holidays.

Source: San Juan Diver

Being a part of the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico is one of the perfect destinations for diving. There are various diving spots along Puerto Rico’s east coast and its several small islands, which are home to a diverse range of coral reefs and an abundance of marine species, while the southern part of the island provides great deep underwater walls.

Source: Discover Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, also known as the North Shore of the Caribbean, provides an incredible variety of surfing spots along its coastline. Puerto Rico is known for pushing big and wild waves especially during late fall and winter. Most of these surf spots are reef breaks, making it best suited for experienced surfers. Some of the most well-known surf spots in Puerto Rico are: La Ocho, Middles Beach, Crash Boat, Jobos, and Tres Palmas.


Belize has more than 400 islands and are well-known for having beautiful white sandy beaches lying under a perfect warm tropical weather, making it perfect for a quick summer getaway or surfing trip.

Source: Wikipedia

Belize is an excellent diving destination since it has the longest unbroken reef barrier in the Western Hemisphere, providing one of the greatest underwater landscapes with diverse coral reefs, and a variety of marine species ideal for an epic diving adventure. Belize is also recognized for having the Great Blue Hole, which is one of the most popular and exciting diving destinations for divers all over the world.

Source: Surfer Today

Belize’s long, unbroken barrier reef prevents powerful swells from reaching its shores, leaving only three surfing spots in the whole country. The most well-known is the right point break of Glover’s reef, which is located on a private island resort called Slickrock Belize Adventures, where you can enjoy surfing and other water activities through their various adventure vacation packages.

Zen Villa

Region: Costa Rica

Closest Surf Breaks:

Playa Chiquita 100 meters

Starting Rate per Night: $363

Description: The Zen house is a luxurious Balinese inspired three-bedroom home situated in the gated privacy of lush tropical gardens, right in the heart of playa Chiquita. Only 100 meters away from the gate lies a beautiful untouched beach with great snorkeling and swimming.