Dear Lily, where would you recommend to surf abroad without going too far outside my comfort zone?

Dear Lily, I’m planning my first surf trip abroad but I don’t know which place is best for my level.

I’m confident enough to surf alone, I can catch green waves and have been starting to make turns, but I’m by no means a pro and don’t feel comfortable in big heavy waves! Where would you recommend to go if I want to improve my surfing without going too far outside my comfort zone?

The best way to improve your surfing is to get out there and surf as much as you can! So when it comes to choosing a destination for your first surf trip, proximity to the waves is a big factor. You want to be able to get to a variety of different breaks without spending hours driving up and down the coast – hours that you could be spending in the water! Having a variety of waves to try is great for improving your confidence, wave-reading skills and general ocean knowledge. So first up, look for a place where you can easily access different beaches.

It also depends on what area of surfing you want to improve. If you have a specific goal in mind, look for a wave that will help you work towards that goal. For example, if you want to work on your cutback and turns, then a long point break wave will give you the time and space to practise. Point breaks are also great for getting your wave count up, since the wave is always breaking at the same spot. If you like the sound of perfecting peeling point breaks, then I’d head straight to Morocco, the land of right-hand point breaks! The most well-known lineups in Morocco can get pretty busy now, so if you prefer to practise in peace then join Women + Waves’ Secret Morocco trip!

If tropical surfing is more your vibe, then Costa Rica is a dreamy spot for wave variety. On the tip of the remote Nicoya Peninsula (where Women + Waves host their Costa Rica trip), you’ll find consistent beach breaks and quality point breaks, offering fun waves for beginners and intermediates. From the long, peeling waves at Playa Carmen to the steeper, faster rides at Santa Teresa, this part of the peninsula is a real playground. It’s just a 10-minute drive between the two spots, so you could easily switch between cruisey and more challenging sessions depending on how you’re feeling day to day. Plus, they both have a sandy ocean bottom so you get a similar consistency to a reef break without worrying about hitting coral or rocks if you fall.

These are just a couple of ideas to point you in the right direction, but there’s not really one place that has the best waves for improving your surfing. You improve by getting out there and trying all sorts of waves, and the more types of breaks you surf the more confident you’ll become! So get out there and start exploring 🙂 

Happy wave hunting!

Lily x

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