Unusual surfing destinations around the world
Following the opening of Britain's first artificial surfing lake in Snowdonia, we've rounded up other unusual places to surf around the world, including another man-made surfing pool and a place where temperatures get a little too cold for some. Forget about all the typical breaks – these places provide more than waves to remember.
The Great Lakes, US
Surfers have been catching waves on real lakes here since the 1960s, according to documentary Unsalted: A Great Lakes Experience, which looks at decades of lake surfing in the area. Wave addicts covered from head to toe in full-body wet suits can be seen surfing in winter and autumn, apparently the ideal time for Great Lakes surfing due to the strong storms in the region producing larger waves.
Surfers face water temperatures between 0C and 5C, as well as snow and ice in the water. New Buffalo, a small town on Lake Michigan, has become a growing destination for surfers to experience head-high waves in the autumn.
Surfing is said to have been introduced to the country by a Californian doctor in the 1950s, who came to Israel with six surfboards and managed to teach the sport to local beach-goers. Since then, Israelis have been surfing year-round on the country's 300-kilometre-coast of sandy beaches, including several in Tel Aviv such as Hilton Beach, which has been described a "mini California, a surfer’s paradise" by Arthur Rashkovan, a former Israeli skateboard champion and surfer who grew up in the area.
Herzliya, on the central part of the coast, is good for both winter and summer surfing, while the city of Haifa, on the north coast, offers some of its best waves in winter, created by strong winds from the south-west. The further south you go along the coast, the higher the waves.
Liberia’s Atlantic coast offers surfing in warm waters between May and October and the most consistent surfing conditions between April and August. Several beaches suitable for riding waves can be found in and around Monrovia, the capital city.
The coastal town of Robertsport, located 70 kilometres outside Monrovia, is said to be the most undiscovered surfing spot in West Africa, offering vast stretches of deserted beaches.
While most visitors flock here for the country’s wildlife, the Kenyan coast offers a few surfing spots around Mombasa, the country’s second city, with waves swelling from the Indian Ocean. The waters here are warm enough to surf without a wet suit year-round but the most consistent surfing conditions are said to be found between May and October, with the largest waves usually seen in July and August.
The Wadi Adventure park in Dubai offers the world’s largest surfing pool, which generates waves for both beginners and experts. Set at the base of the Jebel Hafeet mountain, the park complex is the first man-made white water rafting, kayaking and surfing facility built in the Middle East.
Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula (pictured here) is the country’s most well-known surfing area. Its 1,255-kilometre coast offers an uncrowded scene with cold (temperatures hovering between 5C and 10C) but nearly perfect waves for surfing, as explored by Tom Curren, the US professional surfer and three-time world surfing champion.
Along the Black Sea, Sochi also offers a decent location with its mild weather and ideal conditions for all board sports.
Extreme surfing enthusiasts may want to explore the 4,970-kilometre coast of Iceland, where there are plenty of undiscovered surfing spots outside the more frequented Reykjanes peninsula. Winter is said to be the most reliable season for surfing, with great waves said to hit its entire coast.
But they come with stormy weather and chilling temperatures, which is not ideal for beginners. The black sand beach in Sandvik is said to be the only decent place for beginner surfers, while Thorli Beach and the Snaefellsness peninsula are among Iceland’s other popular surfing areas.
With a coastline stretching around 14,500 kilometres, China has also caught the surfing wave. Hainan Island is the most popular among surfers and tourists for its sandy beaches and warm temperatures.
The south of the island near Sanya Bay, Dadonghai Bay and Yalong Bay is said to be best for summer surfing, while the east coast offers areas for both winter and summer surfing.
Long Island, New York
Manhattan's popular tourist scene often overshadows the rich surfing available on New York’s other great island. Stretching more than 190 kilmetres, Long Island is the largest and longest island in the US, excluding Alaska and Hawaii, and offers some of the best surfing on the US east coast, with powerful waves created by swells from the Atlantic Ocean.
Among its top spots are Montauk, New York’s surfing capital, as well as Lido Beach, Gilgo Beach and Fire Island, a small island parallel to the south shore of Long Island. Water temperatures are generally cold and wet suits are worn year-round, with a short-sleeved wet suit sufficient in the summer.
Bangladesh officially joined the International Surfing Association last winter but locals have been surfing in the country since 2003, when the country's first surf club was launched in Cox's Bazar by the non-profit organization Surfing The Nations. The city is home to one of the world's longest uninterrupted beaches, stretching for more than 120 kilometres on the south coast.
As it has warm waters year-round and consistent conditions, surfers in the area can enjoy nearly 150 days of good waves every year. January and February are said to be ideal for catching smaller waves on a long board, while March through December is best for short board surfing on bigger, more challenging waves.
Last year, the Chilean surfer Ramon Navarro was the first to surf in Antarctica on a surfing expedition to the South Shetland Islands. It was reported he managed to catch at least three Antarctic waves that had never been surfed before.
Last year, Iran served as the surprising backdrop for a new surfing film – Into the Sea – which was shown for the first time at East London’s Genesis cinema. It starred Easkey Britton, the five-time Irish surfing champion and – according to the film’s producers – the first woman to surf in the country.
The 52-minute French film, directed by Marion Poizeau, recalled that first journey to the country, made several years ago, and follows Britton’s recent return to Iran, where she aimed to introduce surfing to female residents.
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This article was by Soo Kim from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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