April is usually the first month of the year when people start to feel excited for summer, so what better time to celebrate the coming warm months than to go surfing?
However, April can also coincide with Spring Break for a lot of schools and colleges, so you might want to avoid surf spots that will be filled with tourists.
To help you find the ideal surf location for your April vacation, here are the 10 best places to surf in April for beginners and experienced surfers alike!
1. Weligama, Sri Lanka
April is when Sri Lanka comes alive with the best type of swell for surfing, which lasts all the way through summer to late October. On Sri Lanka’s south coasts resides Weligama, a small coastal town that literally means “sandy village”.
This is an apt name for a town that features a vast sandy beach.
Weligama was unfortunately affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and has since become an iconic seaside town that has a thriving fishing industry.
You know those stilt fishermen who sit on a single pole in the water to catch fish? Yeah, you’ll see a lot of them here.
Aside from the fishing, Weligama in April features the start of a consistent swell that is ideal for a variety of surfers regardless of skill level.
You’re also never short of exploring local culture, cuisine, and an abundance of wildlife.
2. Manu Bay, New Zealand
April in New Zealand is the middle of fall, which means that the temperatures are just starting to drop as the season changes.
This month could be the best time to go to New Zealand before winter approaches in May/June, so better late than never!
Residing in the seaside town of Raglan, Manu Bay is one of the most popular surf spots for intermediate to advanced surfers. The water is still fairly warm and the swell is consistent, plus the subtle winter winds can form some great waves, averaging at 7 feet tall.
Locals would argue that spring (or fall to them) is the best time to surf in Raglan due to the quality of the waves. Plus, the crowds won’t be too insane as tourism isn’t generally busy in April.
This means you can mingle with Kiwis, who will give you great tips on surf spots and techniques.
3. Nosara, Costa Rica
A district in the Nicoya canton, Nosara in Costa Rica offers beautiful beaches to surf at year round. Our favorites are Playa Pelada and Playa Guiones, both of which featuring white sandy stretches surrounded by tropical forests.
Anywhere between March to October is prime time to surf in Nosara, so April is ideal. Tourism is starting to slowly build here, but it is still an underrated part of the world for surfers.
You’re more likely to be surfing with the occasional local than dodge other tourists – especially in April when people aren’t likely to go vacationing.
In April, the weather will be nice and the water will be fairly warm. The swell will be consistent, and the waves will range from 4 feet to 7 feet tall depending on where you surf.
This means that the entire area is great for surfers of all skill levels.
4. Seignosse, South France
If you’re feeling like vacationing in Europe, you’re full of surprises when it comes to finding beaches for surfing. South France is a great place to surf, especially the commune of Seignosse.
While summer brings better weather, these months bring beginner-friendly waves. Early spring and fall are the best times to surf in Seignosse’s beaches, so April is the perfect time to go!
The winter weather is starting to calm down, but the swells are still consistent, and you can find waves reaching between 6 feet to 10 feet tall.
Le Penon is a great beach for consistency all year round that is ideal for all skill levels, while Les Bourdaines produces the best waves for experienced surfers.
Seignosse also features around 30 surf schools and hosts some of the biggest surfing competitions every year! Plus, Seignosse is famous for its vast forests, which are beautiful to hike and explore.
Just make sure to wear a nice and thick wetsuit, because the water will be cold!
5. Popoyo, Nicaragua
Nicaragua is one of the most underrated countries in the world for its surfing, particularly in spring. It is basically the quieter version of Costa Rica, which is why it’s so ideal for surfers who want to avoid beginners and tourists.
April is an ideal time to come to Nicaragua because the country is located where the Southern Hemisphere’s southerly swells start to brew.
This means that you can enjoy the warming weather while the waves begin to put on a show, particularly on Popoyo beach.
Popoyo is best suited for intermediate and advanced surfers who enjoy rough waves to play in. With shallow reefs and intense waves, it’s usually advised to watch local surfers tackle the water before you jump right in.
It’s definitely not a beach for the faint of heart.
6. Sayulita, Mexico
Sayulita is one of the most reliable places for surfers of all skill levels regardless of the time of year, April included. A small town with only over 2 thousand inhabitants, there’s no better way to delve into local culture and mingle with locals.
The swell consistency is near-perfect in Sayulita, which is why it is so trustworthy for surfers of all skill levels.
This is what makes it such a popular destination for tourists – though April is said to be one of the quietest months (unless everyone reads this article and gathers there for Spring Break).
Sayulita is along the Nayarit Coast, which is home to the second smallest turtles in the world – the Olive Ridley sea turtles.
This means that not only are you surrounded by great waves, beautiful food, and a lively atmosphere, but you’ve also got a good chance of spotting wildlife.
7. Baja California, Mexico
Another popular surfing location in Mexico is Baja California bordered with the Pacific Ocean.
April is probably the best time to start the surf season as the north swells still linger around, plus the southern swells are still providing decent waves.
The biggest bonus of going to Baja California in April is that the crowds will only be a fraction of the size of summer crowds.
As most people tend to spend their Spring Break vacation in another nearby state, which is why Baja California is fairly quiet in the surf in April.
For experienced surfers who enjoy the thrill of big waves, Baja Malibu is the most popular beach for huge barrels in winter. This might calm down in April, but the excitement is still there!
8. Essaouria, Morocco
A city in western Morocco that exudes a vibrant surfing location is Essaouria. This is one of the most popular beaches in North Africa for its year-round winds that brings people from all over the world.
Not only is the water great for surfing, but you’ll also see windsurfers and kite surfers.
Each end of the beach will offer different waves types for a range of surfers. The middle of the beach is where the water is quietest, and the end of the beach with the lighthouse is where the swell is great for beginners and novices.
The swell is generally bigger by the harbor, which is where advanced surfers like to play.
As Morocco resides perfectly between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, you can go to any beach in the country to surf in April.
9. Tahiti, French Polynesia
French Polynesia is filled with an abundance of islands that are surrounded by beautiful clear waters and tropical scenery. Tahiti is one of the best places for surfers in April due to its moderate swells and warming temperatures as summer approaches.
Tahiti is all about water sports, whether it’s surfing, canoeing, paddleboarding, or bodyboarding. April is still considered to be in the wet season, but if you’re lucky, you’ll find some excellent surf conditions as the dry season approaches.
Plus, it’ll undoubtedly be one of the quietest months away from tourists.
Tahiti is the best place for beginner to advanced surfers to surf in April as the swells from the north create less heavy waves than in summer.
10. Byron Bay, Australia
We couldn’t forget about one of the most famous beaches in the world! Byron Bay is a great surf spot in April as the cool months of fall start to roll in, so the swell has begun to pick up and experienced surfers are coming out to play.
When the epic cyclone swells appear, the tourists begin to disappear as they become intimidated by the water.
If you’re an advanced surfer who wants to avoid crowds of beginners, Byron Bay is ideal.
Anywhere on the east coast of Australia is great to surf in April, but as Byron Bay is usually on every surfer’s bucket list, you’ve got to at least consider it.