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Pack Your Bags: Where To Take A Surf Trip This September

September presents less crowded surf spots in the late-season and marks the beginning of Europe’s Fall swell train.

Mimi LaMontagne

September presents less crowded surf spots in the late-season and marks the beginning of Europe’s Fall swell train.

All surf trips
A hand-picked collection of the best surf trips in the world — focused on authentic experiences found nowhere else
Check out all the surf trips on offer, including to some of the incredible destinations listed below!

Outer Banks, North Carolina, USA

Overview: A little bit Southern, a little bit surfy, the gorgeous and remote Outer Banks of North Carolina has been the roadtrip destination for every surfer on the Eastern Seaboard chasing a good old fashioned hurricane swell. The Atlantic Ocean and the East Coast of the USA are often overlooked when it comes to great surf spots, but we recommend taking a deeper dive.

Where to: Cape Hatteras, Frisco, Corolla

Wave type: Sand-bottomed beach breaks

Swell Direction: South-Southeast

Average Water Temperatures: 23C (73F)

Difficulty Level: All levels. Certainly, there’s easier waves to learn at and ride longboards, if you will, but waves like Lighthouse in Hatteras feel heavier (steeper continental shelf) and beak top to bottom for more intermediate to advanced surfers. There are dozens of waves for all levels, though, up and down the Cape

Marquee Wave(s): Lighthouse, S-Turns, Frisco Pier

September Perks: Less of the peak summer crowds with optimal hurricane swell window open for biz

Waves out the front of Asu Camp Surf Club, serving up the goods as always.

2. Nias, Indonesia

Overview: Before the Mentawais got all their surf charter traffic, the large island of Nias due-north was already on the map for its amazing righthander at Lagundri Bay. While little has changed in over 30 years on the underdeveloped island, a journey there is a classic Indonesian surf trip.

Where to: Lagundri Bay

Wave type: Hollow, reef-bottomed righthander

Swell Direction: South-Southwest

Average Water Temperatures: 29C (85F)

Difficulty Level: Lagundri Bay works small and can cater to beginners, but once it hits double-overhead, it becomes an experts-only right. If Lagundri gets too big for you comfort level, try a left called The Machine at the other end of the bay

Marquee Wave: Lagundri Bay

September Perks: Consistent swells with less crowds this time of year (and preferable winds)

Sunset session in El Salvador 

3. El Salvador

Overview: For such a compact country, El Salvador sure was blessed with a ton of righthand pointbreaks. In September, we suggest the West side of El Sal getting all the leftover Southern Hemi summer swells.

Where to: Punta Roca, El Zonte, Sunzal, K-61

Wave type: Mostly, reef-bottomed righthand pointbreaks of all levels

Swell Direction: South-Southwest

Average Water Temperatures: 28C (83F)

Difficulty Level: Some fun beginner waves around El Zonte when smaller, but right points like Punta Roca are for the intermediate to advanced

Marquee Wave: Punta Roca

September Perks: The summer vacation crowds are going back to work

Outside of the surf, there's more than plenty to keep you occupied in Samoa!

4. Samoa

Overview: Equally as idyllic an island chain as Tahiti, Samoa’s gorgeous reef passes and quiet, beautiful culture are a pleasant surprise to any surfer searching for an epic South Pacific journey.

Where to: The southern coastlines of Upolu and Savaii islands

Wave type: Normally, shallow reef breaks, with a couple of odd beachbreaks

Swell Direction: South-Southwest

Average Water Temperatures: 27C (81F)

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to advanced level for the bigger reefbreaks, but there’s a few easier reefs and beachbreaks that accommodate learners

Marquee Wave: Salani Right

September Perks: Possibly less winds in this late-season month

There are plenty of waves around the island of Oahu, whether you're chasing two-foot peelers or six-foot tubes.

5. Oahu, Hawaii

Overview: Not nearly as heavy and terrifying as the North Shore, home to many an experienced surfer, Oahu’s South Shore has a break for every level of surfer literally every 5 minutes paddling. Plus, you can follow in the Duke’s footsteps and surf Waikiki (or canoe-surf it) just where Mr. Kahanamoku did 100 years prior. Oahu, Hawaii, is one of the most stunning places to enjoy all that the Pacific Ocean has to offer.

Where to: South Shore

Wave type: Rolling or hollow reef break rights and lefts

Swell Direction: South, Southwest, Southeast

Average Water Temperatures: 27C (81F)

Difficulty Level: Waves for every level, beginners to experienced surfers.. You could learn to surf in Waikiki any day of the week, get tubed at Ala Moana and waves like Diamond Head are great for intermediate levels. There is a surf spot for all.

Marquee Wave: Queens and Ala Moana Bowls

September Perks: Often, there’s more swell in September than even a peak-summer month like July. Cheaper airfare this month, too

The beautiful Spanish coastline at sunset... there's no better place to be.

6. Northern Spain

Overview: Just beyond (and in, really) one of the most fascinating cities in Europe — San Sebastian — there are some of the best surf spots in the world. Follow the coastal road west through the forests of the Basque Country and beaches, coves and points will reveal more amazing waves, awesome food, and lovely people. Welcome to Northern Spain.

Where to: San Sebastian, Zarautz, Mundaka

Wave type: Mundaka is a long, reeling 200 yard sand-bottomed left pointbreak

Swell Direction: Northwest

Average Water Temperatures: 18C (66F)

Difficulty Level: San Sebastian has fun learner peaks just outside the city for beginners, while Mundaka serves up world-class lefts for intermediate and experts

Marquee Wave: Mundaka

September Perks: The first Fall swells start filling into the area after a summer slumber

The best surf trips for remote work
If you’re the type that takes a Zoom call with salt water still dripping from your hair: you’re in the right place. These trips have great WiFi and great waves, not necessarily in that order....
Working while you're surfing? Not a problem here.

*Extra tip! If you fancy driving south, Portugal also has some incredible waves at this time of year and is ripe for an adventure. A few must-stop locations are Ericeira and Peniche (home to the world-famous Supertubos beach break), and of course, the beautiful city of Lisbon. If time has no meaning, then continue the trek towards Morocco for an experience of waves and culture you’ll never forget.

Good times for everyone at TS2 Surf Camp in Sri Lanka!

7. Sri Lanka (East)

Overview: Once a sleepy fishing village on the “other side” of Sri Lanka, the town of Arugam Bay in the east is the island nation’s summer surf hub, home to various sand-bottomed right pointbreaks and many a surf camp. You’ll find unexpected surf towns throughout the coast here.

Where to: Arugam Bay

Wave type: Long righthand, sand-bottomed pointbreaks

Swell Direction: South-Southwest

Average Water Temperatures: 27C (82F)

Difficulty Level: Great for beginners around Whisky Point with the Main Peak a little hollower and bigger for more advanced. The end wave down the point in Arugam Bay is good for all levels

Marquee Wave: Main Point at Arugam Bay

September Perks: The last of the season’s south swells are still around with wayyy less crowds

Crystal blue water, perfect reef breaks, is there anywhere else like Fiji?

8. Fiji

Overview: Deep in the South Pacific — copping any south swell in the season that comes its way — lovely Fiji isn’t only the daunting Cloudbreak wave-world-wonder. Sure, there’s that…but other waves in the area are within striking distance, making this surf trip a fairly dynamic, unforgettable tropical mission. The nicest people in the world there is the cherry on top (it’s not always just about the best waves!).

Where to: Tavarua or Namotu islands

Wave type: Hollow reefbreaks (world-class waves are on offer here)

Swell Direction: Southwest

Average Water Temperatures: 29C (85F)

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to advanced level for the bigger reefbreaks like Cloudbreak and Restaurants, but there’s a few easier reefs and beachbreaks that accommodate learners. No matter your level, there are surf breaks for you.

Marquee Wave: Cloudbreak

September Perks: Still very consistent swell, yet cheaper to stay (and fly out) in September

There are always perfect waves to be found on the Maavahi Charter Boat in the Maldives.

9. Maldives

Overview: Whether by boat trip or land lodge, the vast string of atolls in the Indian Ocean called the Maldives are a solid alternative to Indonesia (and Bali) with similar (but not as large) surf. With the same surf season as Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the Maldives serve up extremely fun and perfect quality waves for all levels – not to mention some of the best beaches in the world.

Where to: South (Outer) Atolls

Wave type: Perfect, peeling reefbreaks

Swell Direction: South

Average Water Temperatures: 29C (85F)

Difficulty Level: All kinds. Smaller, softer reefbreaks for beginners, up to more hollow, barreling waves like Beacons for advanced surfers

Marquee Wave: Beacons

September Perks: End of swell season deals (with still a lot of swell)

An evening spent in the lineup with good friends, that's what Southwest France is all about.

10. Southwest France

Overview: Indeed, there are tons of bays and beaches with waves like Biarritz for beginners the world-over — however none framed in the same magnificent portrait as Biarritz. With tons of surf schools and surf camps/hostels in the area to mingle or lay your head at night, a session at Côtes des Basques, for example, cruising down turquoise lines beneath a small palace perched in the cliffs behind you is simply unforgettable. Then further north a little in Hossegor — miles and miles of thumping beachbreaks. It’s a beautiful time of the year to be in Europe, and France is no exception!

Where to: Biarritz, Capbreton and Hossegor

Wave type: Fun sand-bottomed beach breaks

Swell Direction: West-Northwest

Average Water Temperatures: 18C (66F) - still on the chillier side, you might want to grab a wetsuit!

Difficulty Level: Fun, softer beginner waves around Biarritz, with thumping, tubing beachbreak barrels up and down the coast in Hossegor

Marquee Wave: La Graviere, Estanots, Le Piste

September Perks: The first Fall swells start filling into the area after a summer slumber, the perfect time for a surf trip

Waves for days at the Telo Islands Lodge.

11. Telo Islands, Indonesia

Overview: The Mentawai Island’s equally as beautiful, slightly smaller sibling, the Telo Islands are perfect alternative trip to the Ments for those looking for less crowded, not so heavy surf. Everywhere you look, you’ll see perfect waves, reeling left-handers and perfect right-hander waves. There’s almost no surf holiday like it.

Where to: Northern Telo Islands

Wave type: Perfect, hollow reefbreaks

Swell Direction: South-Southwest

Average Water Temperatures: 30C (86F)

Difficulty Level: All levels. Softer reef breaks for beginners, with more advanced, tubing reefbreaks for intermediate and experts.

Marquee Wave(s): The Bubble, Le Ba, G.T.s

September Perks: Still in the Indonesian swell season, with less of the peak-season crowds

The views from Sayulita Surf Mission are from our dreams!

12. Southern Mexico

Overview: Chock full of authentic Mexican culture and traditions (plus a world-class beach break called Puerto Escondido), Southern Mainland Mexico has a little something for everyone. Beach breaks not your bag? No worries because rifling right points abound below Huatulco. Grab your surfboard, boardshorts and bikinis and you’re ready to go. Vamos a la playa!

Where to: Puerto Escondido

Wave type: Heavy beach breaks and long right pointbreaks

Swell Direction: South-Southwest

Average Water Temperatures: 28C (83F)

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to experts will love Far Bar and Carmelita’s which are heaving tubes. La Punta — left point at the far end of the beach — is a great wave for beginners when small, and also good for intermediate with more swell

Marquee Wave: Carmelita’s

September: If you’re over a beach break like Puerto Escondido, not too far of a drive away is Barra de la Cruz, an incredible righthand pointbreak that loves the month of September

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