Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Popular Surfing Locations

Arugam Bay, Ullae (Pottuvil, Sri Lanka)

A small fishing village up to recently only known to some die hard surfers. For which AbaY counted as Asia's Surfing Mecca, ever since the 1960s. Due to Sri Lanka's long civil war this remote half moon shaped Bay has been almost unknown to any other visitors and tourists. The consistent swell, long runs, shark free, permanently warm (28C) crystal clear waters, relaxed life onshore and budget accommodation however has elevated Arugam Bay onto the international surfer's map. In June 2010 ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) held a successful international competition at A-Bay – as it's known – which was won by Australian Julian Wilson. Arugam Bay is often mentioned to be in the top 10 of the world's surf spots, due to a basket of favorable factors. The average wave height however rarely exceeds 3–4 Meters. Most of the resort was wiped off in the 2004 Tsunami when AbaY suffered a direct hit by a 16–18 Meter wave, caused by its long coral reef located at the Main Surf Point also known as "Upali's" point. Other known surf breaks nearby are Pottuvil Point, Whisky Point, Okanda Bay, Panama, Green Room, Urani. "Arugam Surf" is Sri Lanka's first and rather remarkable, popular Facebook page with 27,000 fans giving almost daily updates of relevant events from the Bay itself.

Bells Beach (Victoria, Australia)

Although the final scene of the film Point Break is set at Bells Beach, the scene was not filmed there. Bells Beach is a straight stretch and the beach in the film is a cove with spruce trees atop a hill. The actual location of the film was a beach called Indian Beach, in Ecola State Park, located in Cannon Beach, Oregon, USA. Bells Beach is visited in the 1966 documentary film The Endless Summer.

Bells Beach is the home of the world's longest-running surfing competition – the Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival. The event was formerly known as the Bells Beach Surf Classic. The competition was first held in January 1961 and then at Easter every year since although occasionally, when conditions at Bells aren't suitable, the competition has been transferred to other breaks such as Johanna.

As early as 1939 surfers from Torquay made their way to Bells but access was a considerable problem until 1960 when Torquay surfers and Olympic wrestler Joe Sweeney hired a bulldozer and cleared a road along the Bells cliff  from the Cobb & Co Road, where the concrete wave now stands, down to the beach. He charged one pound per surfer to recover his expenses. This is now part of the Torquay to Anglesea walking track.

Nearby surf breaks include "Southside", "Centreside", "Rincon", "Winki Pop", (Uppers and Lowers), Boobs and Steps. Although Bells is known internationally as one of the best breaks in Victoria, "Winki Pop" often works better under more diverse conditions than the other nearby breaks.

In 1988 a group of local surfers who were concerned about the human impact that tourism was having on the Bells Beach Surfing Reserve started a group called Surfers Appreciating the Natural Environment. Since 1988 they have met monthly to revegetate the reserve in an effort to bring it back to its original state. They have planted over 100,000 plants there to date.

Jeffreys Bay (Eastern Cape, South Africa)

The break is regarded as one of the best right-hand point breaks in the entire world, in both consistency and quality, in season. It has been divided up into several sections, including, from the top of the point, Kitchen Windows, Magna tubes, Boneyards, Supertubes, Impossibles, Tubes, the Point, and Albatross. "Supertubes", which itself breaks for about 300m or more, is regarded as the best part of the wave. On rare occasions (large wave sizes, wide-breaking waves, and even swells), Boneyards can link up all the way to the Point for a ride over one kilometer long. The most consistent waves occur between about May to mid September, also often coinciding with offshore winds, although good waves can occasionally occur at other times of the year.

The initial discovery and promotion of the wave is curious. Another nearby right hand point wave at St Francis Bay (Bruce's Beauty) was first idolised and promoted in the cult classic surf movie The Endless Summer in the 1960s (although both Jeffreys Bay and St. Francis Bay were probably surfed much earlier). Surfers who travelled to the area soon stumbled upon the nearby Jeffreys Bay surf break, which was found to be not only a faster, more powerful, and hollower wave, but also much more consistent.

La Libertad (El Salvador, Central America)

Surfers in La Libertad. El Salvador is considered a surfers' paradise, having the best waves in the continent, and is considered one of the top ten beaches in the world.

El Puerto is home to one of the best right points in Central America, known for its fast hollow, pulsing, over 30-second ride waves. Punta Roca (also called "La Punta" by local surfers) has been the perfect spot for many known surfers who back in the 1970s discovered the point with only a few local surfers brave enough to venture into its rocky bottom plane. It is known that legend Gerry Lopez, travelled frequently to this surf spot back in the 1970s encouraging a new wave of locals to get into the sport. By the 1980s, El Salvador went through a civil war, and getting to the point was rather dangerous slowing visitors, and with that, a scarcity of surf boards to the locals whose only means of getting a surf board was by travelers leaving them behind in exchange of guidance and accommodations. Local legend, "Yepi" was one the first of his generation to take on full self-support and help maintain the sport, a popular activity among locals. Locals have also been increasing the popularity of the sport throughout the country by offering custom surf tours to tourists and visitors in the region.

The main wave extends from La Punta to the township, a distance of about 800m, although single rides do not normally connect along this whole distance. On a good 6 to 8 feet day (Hawaiian scale), the top part of the point produces the best waves, giving a ride of about 300m or more. The wave features a relatively easy takeoff with long, fast, powerful walls, with longer hollow barrels on the best days. This wave works from about 3 to 12 feet (Hawaiian scale), and can barrel anywhere along the point, but most often closest to the takeoff area. The main takeoff is close to a dangerous rock which often sticks out of the water, and has caused injuries. It works on all tides, although low tide probably has more barrels. The wave is unusual in that it often breaks at a slight angle to the shoreline, hitting it slightly squarely, creating powerful and fast walls. It can be difficult to get out the back in large swells, and the rocky shoreline is notorious for its rather difficult entry.

Further down the point are a few other breaks, including next to the cemetery and in the town itself. These are less crowded and can produce waist-high waves on occasions, but the world-class section of the point is way on the outside.

Other surf spots around the region include: Conchalio, La Paz, San Diego, EL Zunzal, La Bocana, El Zonte

Mavericks (California, U.S.A.)

The famous break of Mavericks

Maverick's or Mavericks is a world-famous surfing location in Northern California. It is located approximately one-half mile (0.8 km) from shore in Pillar Point Harbor, just North of Half Moon Bay at the village of Princeton-By-The-Sea. After a strong winter storm in the Northern Pacific Ocean, waves can routinely crest at over 25 feet (8m) and top out at over 50 feet (15m). The break is caused by an unusually-shaped underwater rock formation.

Pipeline (Oahu, Hawaii)

Pipeline is a surf reef break located in Hawaii, off Ehukai Beach Park in Pupukea on O'ahu's North Shore. The spot is notorious and famous for its huge waves breaking in shallow water just above its sharp and cavernous reef, forming large, hollow and thick curls of water that surfers can ride inside of. There are three reefs at Pipeline in progressively deeper water further out to sea that activate at various power levels applied by ocean swells.



Teahupo Ľo (Tahiti)

Teahupo Ľo (pronounced cho-po) is a world-renowned surfing location off the South West of the island of Tahiti, French Polynesia, southern Pacific Ocean. It is known for its heavy, glassy waves, often reaching 2 to 3 m (7 to 10 ft) and higher. It is the site of the annual Billabong Pro Tahiti surf competition, part of the World Championship Tour (WCT) of the ASP World Tour professional surfing circuit.



Zicatela Beach (Mexican Pipeline)

Zicatela is a beach located in the town of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. Nicknamed the "Mexican Pipeline" due to the similar power and shape of the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu, the wave that breaks on Zicatela Beach draws an international crowd of surfers, bodyboarders and their entourages. Mid to late summer is low season for tourists, but a prime time for waves and international tournaments. A number of international competitions such as the ESPN X Games, and the MexPipe Challenge have taken place.

Costa da Caparica (Almada, Portugal)

A surfer at Caparica Beaches, in Portugal.

Caparica Beaches are popular Atlantic beaches located on Portugal's Almada coast, near Lisbon. The Caparica Coast, with part of the Protected Landscape of the Ancient Beach of Costa da Caparica, is visible the Convent of the Capuchos. The beach has preferred surfing conditions and is also popular for windsurfing, and kitesurfing. The International Surf Center is based in Caparica.



Supertubos (Peniche, Portugal)

The little fishing town of Peniche it’s probably the most renowned surfing area in the country. Originally an island, Peniche became one with the mainland due to the silting up of the shallow channel that divided it from the rest of the country. Today that short and narrow spit of land contains an obscene amount of wave variety that can provide the goods in almost any conditions. Most famous is Supertubos, regarded by many as one of Europe’s best beach breaks, but there are plenty of other barrels to pull into around Peniche. Peniche is a year round destination with swell exposure on the north side of the town and shelter on the south. The town also sits at the dividing point between the cooler and wetter north and the dry, sunny south meaning that summers are long but tempered by cool sea breezes and the winters mild though occasionally stormy. Supertubos is considered the best wave in Portugal and one of the best in Europe. It is a fast and tubular wave which breaks on a hollow sand bank. It works best with SW swells and N, NE or NW winds. Andy Irons, Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning made frequent appearances in the Supertubos surf competitions. Know the local Surfers

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