Ask people on another continent what the surf’s like in Europe, and you might hear the answer average to poor, but in actual fact, there are some amazing spots out there if you know where to look. Here are our top five in no particular order.
Hossegor is actually famous the world over for its sand bottom barrels that it throws off throughout the autumn. Catch the tide at the right time on almost any given day, and it will pop up relentlessly, providing wave after wave of challenging barrel riding. Add in a fantastic night life in the region, and an annual Quiksilver Pro France tour, and you have the makings of a hell of a surf scene!
Despite being on the less favoured south coast of Cornwall, where the surf doesn’t usually get beyond ankle height, Porthleven benefits from a natural reef which kicks it up big style! It’s probably Britain’s’ best wave amongst surfers, and creates a heart stopping deep dropping draining barrel. It’s not really for anything less than expert surfers, with anyone else expecting to eat a mouthful of sand almost every time they try to catch a wave! It’s visited regularly by pros and locals alike, and is pretty competitive out there. Try it at your peril!
Portugal has always had a stellar reputation for surf, and Coxos is one of the main reasons why. Regarded as Europe’s best right hander, this reef point is not easy to surf. The locals are fairly protective of their break, so it can be quite intimidating paddling out, but if you take the chance and you can hang on to the wave, you’ve got every chance of riding the best barrel of your life!
El Quemao, Canary Islands
Known as the pipeline of the Canaries, this is one of the biggest waves in Europe. This seriously heavy left hander is often full to the brim with aggressive locals, so you need to watch yourself here. The danger doesn’t stop with the locals though. With a volcanic reef underfoot, it’s a tough enough spot to have killed many surfers over the years. Of course, the rewards are massive for big wave riders, and there’s every chance if you’re a good enough surfer, that you’ll catch the wave of a lifetime at El Quemao.
This one gets in on the name alone! Supertubos is a great place to surf, replicating almost exactly the beach break in Hossegor in France, producing hollow wave after hollow wave. It’s such a reliable spot that the world tour doesn’t hesitate to throw it down on the map every year. The great thing about Supertubos is the atmosphere. It is a surf loving culture, and surfers from all over the world are welcomed with open arms. Everyone loves surfers in Supertubos, and it dictates life to a large degree. It’s the perfect spot for anyone who loves this glorious sport and loves perfect waves served up on a plate!
Creative Commons photo by Kernowfile