Most people don’t want to wear booties on a surf trip. We go on surf trips to escape. A surf trip should be relaxing and warm, right? Maybe not. Anyone that has been to Bali or Costa Rica lately knows that crowds are growing and show no signs of stopping. If you want to take a surf trip to escape people, you may want to consider heading North (or really far South). Here are four cold water surf destinations that you have probably never even considered.
Ask any American surfer who had border crossed to score surf and 99 times out of 100 they will tell you to head to the land of siestas and cervesas. This is good advice. Mexico has some of the best surf on the planet. But our neighbors to the North have a little secret that is just starting to get out. Canada gets surf too. Good surf. On both coasts. And best of all, Canada offers the thrill of discovery. Baja has been thoroughly pillaged and even Southern Oaxaca has surf tours, but parts of the great north are still unchartered. Pack an extra wetsuit (or three), be polite, keep ‘yer trap shut, leave no footprints, and find some upper latitude perfection.
Most people go to Ireland to drink beer, kiss stones, get romantic, and appreciate incomprehensible novels. Not many people go there to surf. But guess what, the Emerald Isle is seriously holding and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a spitting green tube. Ireland is perfectly situated to pick up the biggest swells the North Atlantic can offer, and people are starting to figure this out. Ireland is probably the most up and coming cold water surf destination on this list. If you want to surf some seriously heavy reefs in one of the most beautiful locations on earth, you might want to invest in some thicker neoprene.
The name doesn’t sound very surf friendly. The word ice conjures images of many activities, but surfing isn’t likely one of them. Fortunately Iceland has a lot more than ice. Two of these other things happen to be uncrowded reef points, and tall beautiful women. Pack a pintail and your party pants. Those midnight sun cities like to get weird.
The Great Lakes
Here’s the thing. Don’t take a surf trip to the Great lakes. You will get skunked. Even if you plan it perfectly, go at the right time of year, and get lucky you still won’t score epic surf. However, if you’re stuck there, or you’re interested in the novelty factor, the Lakes (specifically Superior and Michigan) can actually produce fun, uncrowded surf. The lake locals are also some of the most stoked surfers on earth because, well, they have to be. If you happen to score a set wave at pumping Stony Point, you will likely be stoked too. After all, how many people can say they got shacked in Minnesota?