Like surfing icon Frosty Hesson once said, "If you're having a bad day, catch a wave." So what makes for an unmatched surfing spot? Depends on who you ask — the wild riders will point you to the more powerful, high-performance spots, while other surfers want a less intense, more casual experience. There's a dream patch of ocean for everybody, and we've compiled 10 of them across the globe. Winter who?

Bali, Indonesia

Photo by Domy Kamsyah via Flickr


The southernmost point of Bali, Bukit Peninsula is surrounded by the highest-quality surf in the world. Depending on the time of the year, either side of the peninsula will have favorable conditions and amazing waves that run along coral reefs. It offers a variety of fun spots for all levels of surfers, from Dreamland and Uluwatu to Padang Padang. May through September is a great time to visit. There are plenty of accommodations for every budget, and if you get tired of surfing there's a lot to keep you busy, from a vibrant cafe and party scene to relaxing yoga classes beside the pristine waters.

 
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

In this magical spot you live, eat and breathe surfing. Everybody from age 3 to 83 is out in the water. With four amazing point breaks and 70 kilometers of sandy beaches, the Gold Coast features some of Australia's most popular waves to suit all levels of experience. If you're new to the scene and want to take a surfing lesson, The Spit, at the northern end of the Gold Coast, is a good choice for your first surfing experience. Pros, at the opposite end of the Gold Coast you're likely to find a nice southeasterly swell with perfect waves.
 

Taghazout, Morocco

Photo by Heather Cowper via Flickr


In southwest Morocco is the relaxing fishing town of Taghazout. Here you can lounge under the shade of a palm tree, take a camel-riding exploration or hit the waves. Every year the area's long right-hand point breaks attracts surfers from around the world to this paradise. Since the 1960s European surfers have been exploring this site, and today surf camps and schools can be found next to the various breaks. A beach like Panoramas is a great option for beginners, while Anchor Point and Killer Point will surely suit more advanced risk takers.
 

Nosara, Costa Rica

The laid-back vibes and splendid waves of Nosara make it a favorite destination among traveling surfers and wellness lovers. Located on the west coast of the Guanacaste province, it offers waves for all levels. The beaches here are endless and the attitude is friendly, and monkeys cruise casually from tree to tree. At Playa Guiones amateur surfers will find an easy wave and several surf schools offering lessons. Experienced surfers will probably find the swell pumping at the north point of Playa Pelada.
 

Jeffreys Bay, South Africa

Photo by jbdodane via Flickr


The long right-handers at Jeffreys Bay are considered to be the world's best. Made famous by the surf classic The Endless Summer, this reef break is located at the base of Cape St. Francis, 75 kilometers (47 miles) west of Port Elizabeth. Ten points, including Supertubes, Impossibles, The Point and Albatross, make up the longest right-hand point break on the planet. During the evenings, pods of dolphins join wave riders while they swim around Supertubes.
 

Ericeira, Portugal

If you like uncrowded beaches with consistent waves all year long, you'll fall in love with this Portuguese destination. Ericeira is a fishermen’s village north of Lisbon. In 2011 it was chosen as one of the eight World Surfing Reserves and it represents one of the most attractive places for a unique surfing experience. Among the several spots for rookie and intermediate surfers are Foz do Lizandro and Praia do Sul, which divide in two different breaks. For the wild riders there are more than 15 spots along the 8 kilometers (5 miles) of coastline, including the powerful right reef break of Coxos, one of the best waves in Europe.
 

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

Photo by DJHeini via Flickr


Also known as the surfing mecca, this 11-kilometer (7-mile) stretch of beach offers everything from beginner waves all the way to breaks such as the infamous Banzai Pipeline. Every year thousands of surfers from around the world flock to Hawaii in search of the perfect wave. From mid-November to February the big-wave surfing occurs, while May to September is optimal if you're seeking a more temperate atmosphere. The North Shore also hosts important surfing events and offers plenty of restaurants, bars, shops and attractions such as Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau and the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge.
 

Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz has ridable waves almost every day of the year. As you can learn at the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, the first waves surfed in the continental United States were ridden by three teenage Hawaiian brothers in 1885 at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz. With a great number of beaches that accommodate all levels of surfers, the city is known for its laid-back surfing community, big waves and cold water. Head to Cowell Beach or Capitola Beach for long, gentle waves. Elite surfers, the spot at 30th and East Cliff is where to go for more aggressive rides. Either way, keep your eyes wide open for the curious, wandering sharks.
 

North Coast, Peru

Photo by Geraint Rowland via Flickr


Pre-Incan cultures are considered to be some of the world's earliest wave riders. It's no surprise, then, that northern Peru has Earth's longest left point break, as well as a wide variety of other top-quality breaks. In this particular corner of the planet, the southern and equatorial currents meet, providing the area with consistent surf all year round. For experienced surfers, Cabo Blanco's great left-hander is a superb option, while the longest wave in the world, known for its speed and perfection, is found in Chicama. Very close to this singular wave you can find a few hotels that offer surfing tours guided by expert teams. 
 

The Maldives, Indian Ocean

The surf region in the Maldives includes the Central, Malé Atolls, and Southern Atolls. Together they offer a mix of left and right reef breaks to satisfy surfers of every level. Every year, tour agencies bring in surfers from all over the world to experience the impressive waves, clear waters, coconut palms and blazing blue skies. Where to stay in the Maldives depends on what kind of trip you want; if surfing is all you have in mind, the best choice is a surf charter boat to sail in search of dream waves. The best time to venture to the Maldives for surfing is from March to October.

By Susana Lay

Susana loves long walks and sometimes loses her voice while teaching literature classes. She loves to write, watch movies, eat and sleep. She also loves to travel and to write about her travels. You'll never know where to find her — most of the time, she herself doesn't know.