The summer season is the best time to indulge in outdoor activities – from camping to exploring unknown destinations, or trying out extreme sports to going on water-related adventures. For anything that has to do with the water, surfing is probably the most exciting of all. When you watch a professional surfing, you’ll see how he or she becomes one with the waves.
You can bask in the same experience by going to a popular surfing places and taking beginner lessons. If you find that you don’t have the aptitude for it, you can simply watch other surfers, enjoy swimming or simply lounge by the beach.
Now, if you would like to go surfing, there are plenty of destinations that come to mind. California and Malibu are a couple of popular surfing places in the US, while outside of it, there’s Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands. The Caribbean, specifically, caters to beginner surfers, intermediate, advanced and those who are pure daredevils who like challenging giant waves. No matter which among these categories you fall under, you are bound to have utmost fun riding – or trying to ride – the waves while surfing.
Save Money on Surfing by Choosing These Destinations
Once you decide to go on the ultimate surfing adventure, you need to decide on the dates and your destination. The challenge is to choose a destination that will help you save money during the trip. Surfing can be quite an expensive hobby because you need to find surfing places where the waves are excellent and you need to pay for food, accommodations, transportation, etc. So how can you go on a frugal trip if surfing is on top of your itinerary? The key is to do your research beforehand.
Here, we have put together a list of the top ten frugal surfing places. We’ll also squeeze in tips on how you can use coupons and discounts to save money so that you can have a great surfing adventure, without having to spend too much:
1. Barbados, The Caribbean Islands
Barbados is an island in the Caribbean which is situated to the northeastern part of Venezuela. Aside from surfing, you can go kitesurfing here, scuba diving, ziplining or swimming with the turtles. A lot of pro surfers love riding the waves in Barbados, saying that it holds the most consistent surf in the Atlantic.
The specific surfing places in the island are isle of Lesser Antilles, and the waves at the eastern shores. Winter or fall is the best time to visit Barbados and beginners can learn to ride the waves at Silver Sands Beach on the south coast. You can save money on your Barbados surfing adventure by going with the local food and looking for cheap lodging. Getting there from the East Coast will also save you money, because you can book a flight from Miami to Bridgetown, then get a rental car to get to your surfing destination.
2. British Columbia, Canada
This westernmost province in Canada will definitely appeal to the adventurous type. For a flight from San Francisco to Vancouver, you’d have to shell out less than $400 and from there, you can get a cheap rental car. Combine it with basic food and drink, cheap lodging, and you have the ultimate surfing places that will save you money.
The natural scenery here is amazing, the locals are quite friendly and from Vancouver, you can venture out to amazing shores like Tofino where you can ride the waves. For a side trip, you can check out the local watering holes in the coolest cosmopolitan cities this part of Canada.
3. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Popularly known as Cabo, Cabo San Lucas is a city located at the southern end of Baja California Sur in Mexico. Will you really save money when visiting this actually overlooked surfing place? Definitely! The best time to book flights is from April to September and you can rent a jeep to head out to the Pacific side. Some of the specific frugal surfing destinations in this part of Mexico are Todos, San Jose Del Cabo and Scorpion Bay.
4. Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
Part of the largest municipality in Baja California, Mexico, Ensenada is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean which makes it the perfect surfing destination. It’s perfect for intermediate to expert surfers who are looking forward to having a frugal but fun surfing vacation. Ensenada is 70 miles south of the border which singer Jim Morrison used to frequent.
The winter months are the best time to catch the waves so it is recommended that you bring your wetsuit. Aside from Ensenada, you can also check out Santo Tomas in the north. What makes this a frugal surfing place is that you can check in at colorful, comfortable hotels with complimentary margaritas without breaking the bank.
5. Maui, Hawaii
No surfing list will ever be complete without mentioning Maui in Hawaii. Located in the North Shore of O’ahu, it’s the ultimate surfing place where you can not just enjoy the waves, but also the tropical valleys, mountains and lush greenery. The best time to visit Maui for surfing is during the winter season for big waves, and summertime for the small-yet-still-fun waves.
6. Nova Scotia, Canada
For a frugal way of getting from the East Coast to Nova Scotia, Canada, book a flight from Boston to Halifax, then rent a car to your surfing destination. The crowd here is quite light so you will have plenty of space to spread out. It’s really not popular for surfers outside the country but if you want to save money, you will definitely be surprised at how charming the city is, and how amazing the waves are.
7. Oaxaca, Mexico
Puerto Escondido is in Oaxaca, Mexico and it’s a really ideal surfing place if you would like to save money. Flights and rent-a-cars are cheap, and you can partake in the really amazing Mexican food without having to spend so much. Puerto Escondido is a low-key fishing village where you can ride the waves. Pro surfers should be familiar with the legendary pipeline that put surfing in Mexico on the map, and this is the best destination to enjoy the ultimate wave riding adventure.
8. Oahu, Hawaii
Known as the granddaddy of all surfing destinations, Pipeline in Oahu is the ultimate surfing destination. To save money on transportation, you can fly into Dillingham Airport, then ride a taxi to the Ehukai Beach Park or Pupukea. What’s so amazing about visiting Oahu is that you can have a frugal surfing vacation while also enjoying the perfect crests of the waves here. This surfing destination is recommended only for those who already have plenty of surfing experience because the waves can scale as high as six meters over a shallow base of table reef. You should probably not call yourself a pro surfer if you haven’t braved the waves at Oahu in Hawaii just yet.
9. Puerto Rico
To save money when going from the East Coast to Puerto Rico, you can get cheap flights from New York City or Orlando to San Juan, then rent a car from there. Lodging can be very cheap especially if you are just carrying your backpack and you don’t mind roughing it.
The winter season is the best time to visit this surfing destination which has been compared to Hawaii’s O’ahu. The flight to Puerto Rico from the East Coast only takes two and a half hours, which explains why most surfers do not mind making the journey every year. With the discounts and coupons that you can use for food, accommodations and even flights, you will definitely keep on coming back to Puerto Rico for more surfing adventures.
10. Surfrider Beach, Malibu
The shores of Malibu are right along the Pacific Ocean, and it’s close to Santa Monica as well as Los Angeles’ county. It’s the quintessential beach/surfing destination for Americans but don’t worry if you are only planning a frugal vacation. You can save money when vacationing in Malibu by flying into Longbeach Airport or the Los Angeles International Airport.
Better yet, plan a road trip so that you can save even more when getting to this part of the West side of Los Angeles County. A popular surfing destination since the 1950s, you might just hear a Beach Boys song playing in your head while riding the waves at Surfrider Beach. However, expect to deal with huge crowds exactly due to the popularity of this frugal surfing place.
Spain; Nicaragua; Nayarit, Mexico; Uruguay; Honolua Bay, Hawaii; Rincon, Puerto Rico; Hanalei Bay, Hawaii; Sao Francisco do Sul, Brazil; Pedra Branca Ericeira, Portugal; Black’s Beach in San Diego, California; El Salvador; Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; Jamaica; Pascuales, Colima; Mazatlan, Sinaola – there are plenty of other frugal surfing places where you can surf this summer.
The key is to know what to expect in terms of expenses beforehand, stay in local lodging to save money, and to sample what the local food has to offer. Without breaking the bank, you can have an amazing surfing adventure that will give you memories to last a lifetime.
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