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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Where to go? Oct-Dec, beginning surfer.

    As title says, looking for a fall surf spot, here are the deets.

    -Timeframe: mid-October to mid-December
    -Skill: Beginner (15 days or so, so far)
    -Other needs/interests: decent wifi (I'll be taking 4-8 hours classes on M-F), decent nightlife would be fun
    -Costs: doesn't have to be cheapest but prefer not too expensive
    -COVID considerations: want to be aware of countries that might still get hit hard and impact life generally
    -Temp: would love warm water but could/would do wetsuit

    Places I've found via googling, but haven't yet dove into deeply for surf/COVID research:

    -Mexico - Puerto Escondido, Sayulita, & Punta MIta
    -Southwest of Sri Lanka
    -Hawaii
    -Ecuador
    -Siargao, Philippines, crowded
    -Brazil, maybe - Florianopolis, Praia da Rosa
    -Fuerteventura, Canary Island
    -Costa Rica - Tamarindo (shit show), Playa Negra, Nosara

    Thoughts? Any good chill and safe spots in Mexico? Or which parts of Hawaii would you go to? I have distant family on the Big Island and also have heard great things about Maui (in general, not surf specific).

    I did a bit of searching around but feel free to call me out with a “search jong.” Appreciate your input!
    Last edited by fool; 08-09-2021 at 10:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    1,603
    Seems like you'd want somewhere pretty close to your time zone if you've got school during the week? I'm not too familiar with Sri Lankan time zones but it's guess it's about polar opposites from the US.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_B View Post
    Seems like you'd want somewhere pretty close to your time zone if you've got school during the week? I'm not too familiar with Sri Lankan time zones but it's guess it's about polar opposites from the US.
    Ah, good point John. I made the list before deciding more firmly on the schools. So ideally I’d probably be +/- 3 hours from PST or EST - I haven’t yet decided on exactly which school - but if someone says the surf in Sri Lanka (or elsewhere) is worth it, I can look for more flexible school options.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Hawaii is pricey. And during the fall, the big north and west swells start arriving. Not really beginner stuff.

    Hanalei on Kauai has a beginner inside break by the pier you could lean on. Very small days you head toward Pine Trees. Until you get better. The bay waves are strong intermediate and above though, and much of everything else nearby is advanced and expert surfing. only.

    Costa Rica gets way mellower swell in the Autumn. Some late season Souths might be pumping, but early season NW are pretty mellow and decent beginner/ learning friendly.


    I have not been in two decades, but Playa Negra proper is a solid reef wave. There may be more playful beach break nearby. Tamarindo has what ever night life there may be. Nosara has no night life from what a friend tells me, but you can surf most days, and way less crowded.

    Punta Mita has great beginner waves. It faces south, so past October, it likely will be less consistent. You can travel nearby for west facing beaches, if it goes flat. Not sure about how living there is. It is very much a resort based area. Bucareas (sp) is the closest real town. I had a TR in this forum on our family trip there which will give you an idea of what winter surf would look like (I went in Feb)

    I likely would not go to Mexico right now, but not sure if that is based on data. Brazil also seems touchy.

    Good luck. Sounds like a great plan.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SLC
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    Was in the punta mita/sayulita area in May and could 100% see working/school and surfing down there. Sayulita break is busy, but is a great longboard wave (right). If you stayed in town and just wanted to surf the town breaks (the left is pretty sharp and shallow, prob. wouldn't recommend for a beginner) you wouldn't need a car. We were happy we had a car though.

    Cost of everything down there was really quite affordable, even accommodations. Wifi speeds def. vary so research before booking.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Remember, traveling for surf does not mean it will be there when you are (ask me how I know). Cabo is fun that time of year and if you have a car there are breaks up the west coast side that are GREAT if the surf is happening. This hotel https://cabosurfhotel.com has a great break right out front for the guests. Honestly, if the North West swells have started yet, CA is really fun that time of year. I would pay money to surf Wind & Sea or Swami's when the swell is good, BUT there will be a boatload of new friends there wanting to hit it with you, as there likely will be anywhere else. As a beginner you may prefer some breaks that are a bit more mellow and they are everywhere in CA.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  7. #7
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    Nazare


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ottime View Post
    Hawaii is pricey. And during the fall, the big north and west swells start arriving. Not really beginner stuff.

    Hanalei on Kauai has a beginner inside break by the pier you could lean on. Very small days you head toward Pine Trees. Until you get better. The bay waves are strong intermediate and above though, and much of everything else nearby is advanced and expert surfing. only.
    Thanks, Ottime. I have a (sand bagging) buddy that said Baby Maks, Queens Beach, Threes, and Canoes could be good. You think they would be too big?

    I have been thinking Kauai would be cool, since I've never been there, and surfing Hanalei could be good. But given the Hawaii governor just asked tourists to stop coming, I'm also thinking whether it makes sense at all...

    Will also continue to look at MX and Costa - appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtran10 View Post
    Was in the punta mita/sayulita area in May and could 100% see working/school and surfing down there. Sayulita break is busy, but is a great longboard wave (right). If you stayed in town and just wanted to surf the town breaks (the left is pretty sharp and shallow, prob. wouldn't recommend for a beginner) you wouldn't need a car. We were happy we had a car though.

    Cost of everything down there was really quite affordable, even accommodations. Wifi speeds def. vary so research before booking.
    That sounds great - appreciate it, jtrain.


    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    Remember, traveling for surf does not mean it will be there when you are (ask me how I know). Cabo is fun that time of year and if you have a car there are breaks up the west coast side that are GREAT if the surf is happening. This hotel https://cabosurfhotel.com has a great break right out front for the guests. Honestly, if the North West swells have started yet, CA is really fun that time of year. I would pay money to surf Wind & Sea or Swami's when the swell is good, BUT there will be a boatload of new friends there wanting to hit it with you, as there likely will be anywhere else. As a beginner you may prefer some breaks that are a bit more mellow and they are everywhere in CA.
    Hah, yeah I hear that l2s. Don’t have a car but could maybe rent…
    Good call on CA. I’ve done a little surfing near San Diego in December with my sand bagging buddy mentioned above, so that’s another good option. Was looking for warmer water/weather just because but maybe I should give CA a closer look. Thanks!

  9. #9
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    My experience with Hanalei was over a decade ago. I was surfing the north shore for a little over a month. It was a great run of early season swell. When I was, I did not end up surfing Hanalei on the smaller days, but would opt for other reefs. So with that, the bay proper could be mellower than I recall, especially on the smaller days. I think spots like Cannons and Tunnels pick up a lot more swell, so those same days could have been more fun sized inside the bay. I'd pic your friend for beta. I don't know the names of the different parts of the reef, but there are a lot of breaks in and just outside the bay. It would be a great spot to spend a few months, and a good time period to be there as the fall and winter swells pick up over time.

    If you end up in CA, should think about Santa Cruz. Way more consistent surf than San Diego. If you are gonna where a rubber, put on a bit more and come north where the surf is. We usually can long board every day in your time frame. Plenty of beginner spots here. And some juice as well if you grow into that. If by chance you end up here, I'd be happy to show you around a bit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    ^^^Speaking of Santa Cruz, is there good intermediate surf at Aptos? Staying near Rio Del Mar beach for t-giving week with family. Will spend most of my family free time on the mountain bike, but if there is walk to surf, tempted to pack the board and rubber.

  11. #11
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    Rio Del Mar can get really fun but it will really depend on the swell. It is in a bit of a protected part of the bay, but if we have solid swell it will get over run. If that is the case Pleasure Point to New Brighton Beach zone is only about 10-20 minutes away. That area is SE facing, and even during larger NW swells will have surf tapering down the closer to New Brighton you get.

    Rio Del Mar is dependent on the snadbars as well. As we get closer, if you think of it, PM me (or get my number now and text me) and I can find out if the sand bars are set up or not. If they are, and the swell is small to moderate you could likely walk across the street to an empty peak and surf chest high waves for hours.

    OTOH, Nisene Marks is right nearby and a short ride to some serious climbing and single track.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2008
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    Thanks, I will get ahold of you in Nov. Yeah, primary goal when I can get away for few hours will be mtb.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    1,152
    Quote Originally Posted by Ottime View Post
    My experience with Hanalei was over a decade ago. I was surfing the north shore for a little over a month. It was a great run of early season swell. When I was, I did not end up surfing Hanalei on the smaller days, but would opt for other reefs. So with that, the bay proper could be mellower than I recall, especially on the smaller days. I think spots like Cannons and Tunnels pick up a lot more swell, so those same days could have been more fun sized inside the bay. I'd pic your friend for beta. I don't know the names of the different parts of the reef, but there are a lot of breaks in and just outside the bay. It would be a great spot to spend a few months, and a good time period to be there as the fall and winter swells pick up over time.

    If you end up in CA, should think about Santa Cruz. Way more consistent surf than San Diego. If you are gonna where a rubber, put on a bit more and come north where the surf is. We usually can long board every day in your time frame. Plenty of beginner spots here. And some juice as well if you grow into that. If by chance you end up here, I'd be happy to show you around a bit.
    Thanks ottime - I really appreciate that. It's looking like more and more like I'll stay local (CO Front Range) for the fall but might end up on my surf adventure next fall (2022). Will keep you updated.

    That being said, I have family in the Bay and get back there pretty frequently, so if I make it down to Santa Cruz for a day or weekend, perhaps we can share some turns.


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