Big wave surfing is an exciting activity to experience at least once in a lifetime. The swells, the adrenaline rush, and all that fun atmosphere combine to create lasting memories that any adventurer will appreciate. For the adventurous surfers seeking to get those adrenaline pumping, turn on the rock and roll music and prepare to ride in the biggest waves around the world.
8 Mavericks Beach, Half Moon Bay, California
Waves at Mavericks beach are known to rise to 26 feet (8 m) making it one of the best beaches for big wave surfing. Located in Half Moon Bay, Northern California, Mavericks produces exciting right and left waves and the winter months come with the biggest sizes. Besides being a top spot for surfers seeking to test their skills, the beach's reputation also made it the location for Mavericks - a sporting event that first began in 1999.
7 Teahupoo, Tahiti
Teahupoo appeals to people from all over the world with beauty and extremity. The surf spot has been regarded as one of the best destinations for big wave surfing around the world and is even a destination for world-famous surfing events. With waves rising to 23 feet (7 m), the surf here is extreme which means it can get dangerous for beginners and even experienced surfers. Besides its enormous height, the waves at Teahupoo are also known to be super fast and powerful making the surf even more challenging for the most experienced surfers. Autumn and Winter are the best times to catch reliable waves at Teahupoo but the waves are almost consistent year-round.
6 Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is not just a wildlife mecca; it is also filled with plenty of amazing beaches for surfing and Playa Tamarindo or Tamarindo beach is the destination to catch exciting waves. Although the waves at Tamarindo beach do not compare in size to the rest of the beaches on the list, its appeal lies in its consistent waves and swells which sometimes rise to 10 feet (3 m) during the summer months.
5 Punta De Lobos, Chile
Visitors who can make it to the remote location of Punta De Lobos will enjoy towering waves and beautiful scenery. This South American beach presents consistent left waves that can rise to 19 feet (6 m) and stretch for several hundred yards. July is the best month for surfing here but the waves are consistent all year-round.
4 Waimea Bay, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
With so many water bodies and strong consistent winds characterizing the island, surfing in Hawaii is an exciting thing to do, especially when done in a place such as Waimea Bay. Often referred to as the birthplace of big wave surfing, Waimea bay presents waves that are known to rise to 29 feet (9 m) during winter months making the ride here challenging for even experienced surfers. Even spectators will enjoy watching the experts surf the waves here. While it unleashes its full strength in winter, Waimea Bay is usually calm during the summer months allowing people to swim and enjoy some more water activities.
3 Cortes Bank, California
Located west of San Diego, Cortes Bank has been known to deliver waves that rise more than 65 feet (20 m), and even though this is scary to even think of, gigantic waves reaching a height of 90 feet (27 m) were once witnessed here in 1990. While the waves reaching the bank from the North Pacific are pretty strong, a rock in the water amplifies the waves, making them bigger and stronger as they approach the bank. The waves are not just big and scary but also glassy and this makes it even more appealing for surfers although its crucial to have it in mind that the size of those waves even makes it difficult for photographers to capture the action on camera.
2 Jaws, Maui
Jaws, also known as Pe’ahi has been an in-demand spot for big wave surfing for many years. With swells reaching heights of more than 50 feet (15 m), it is a beloved spot for some of the world’s best surfers as well as epic surf events. While the beach delivers some of the biggest waves in the world, it takes timing and luck to catch the action but when it eventually begins, the sights are incredible.
1 Praia Do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal
Praia De Norte or North beach is not a new name to the surfing community. When it comes to big wave surfing, this beach located in Nazare, Portugal remains at the top of the list. It currently holds the Guinness world record for the biggest waves ever to be surfed. Waves at this beach have been known to rise to 75 feet (23 m) making it a surfing spot best left for experienced surfers who (by the way) are also at extreme risk. Big wave surfer - Garett McNamara was the first to ride a record-breaking wave of 78 feet (23.8 m) high at this beach followed by a big wave surfer - Rodrigo Koxa who surfed a bigger wave with a height of 80 feet (24.4 m). Besides its gigantic size, the waves remain consistent all year round and even get bigger and more consistent during the winter months.