10 Best Places To Surf In January

What better way to combat the January blues than with a surf trip? If you’re searching for a beautiful place to start the new year and catch some waves then you’re in the right place.

10 Best Places To Surf In January

In this article, I cover the 10 best places to surf in January, including the equipment you’ll need in each location, surf skill level, break type, and water temperature.

Make your choice based on your ability, the time you have available, and your budget!

Keep reading to find out more.

1. South Coast, Barbados

South Coast, Barbados

The South Coast in Barbados boasts amazing surf spots, such as Freights Bay and Accra. Freights Bay is located just above the town, Oistins.

The wave is in a sheltered bay that creates off-shore winds and gentle waves that are perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers.

The Surf in Barbados is usually good for 8 months of the year (November – June) making it a great location for your January surf trip.

The best time to surf on the south side of Barbados is at low tide, creating ideal surf conditions and waves that are fun and rippable! 

The water temperature in January is tropical at around 27°C, meaning it is the same temperature as a comfortable bath.

This allows you to surf comfortably all day in just boardshorts or a swimsuit but means you’ll need to rehydrate in between your surf sessions!

Overview

Skill level: Beginner – Intermediate.

Approximate water temperature: 27°C.

Break type: Left-hand sand/reef bottom point break.

Equipment that you’ll need: Board shorts or a bathing suit.

2. Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Lanzarote is renowned for its warm weather all year round and boasts incredible surfing conditions. Lanzarote’s climate is subtropical, meaning that it rarely rains and has mild temperatures throughout the year. 

Winter is considered to be one the best months for surfing in Lanzarote as the strong winds between November and March generate waves from 1.5 to 4 meters high, making it the perfect destination for a January surf trip.

That being said, if you’re a beginner, any time is good to visit the island to surf thanks to the perfect conditions at Famara beach.

Famara beach boasts exceptional surfing conditions for both beginners and intermediates. The beach break produces waves that peel both left and right.

That being said, it is a tourist hotspot and can get busy on a good day. If you’re a more experienced surfer and up for more of a challenging wave, you will easily be able to find larger, riskier waves at La Santa, a right-hand reef break.

Overview

Skill level: Intermediate.

Approximate water temperature: 19°C.

Break type: Reef break and beach break.

Equipment that you’ll need: Wetsuit.

3. Coolangatta, Australia 

Coolangatta, Australia

Coolangatta is one of the Gold Coast’s favorite surfing destinations. From Snapper Rocks which is home to the Quiksilver Pro Surfing Competition to Greenmount Point which is great for beginners, you’re bound to find a perfect spot.

However, this is a popular area and can therefore become crowded quickly, especially when the swell is good.

Bearing this in mind, you’ll want to make sure that you start your day early, or research nearby spots to have as a backup if it’s too busy. It’s also important to mention that you’ll need to consider your skill level when picking a spot.

While Snapper Rocks gives experienced surfers the opportunity to ride a powerful right, Greenmount Point and Currumbin Alley are good if you’re looking for somewhere to learn how to surf.

Overview

Skill level: Beginner – Advanced.

Approximate water temperature: 24°C.

Break type: Beach break.

Equipment that you’ll need: Board shorts or a bathing suit.

4. Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira, Morocco

Morocco is a great surfing destination in January if you’re on a budget after the holiday season. Essaouira is home to many ideal surfing spots that are suitable for surfers of all skill levels.

Essaouira bay is an ideal surf spot for beginners and relaxed surfers, provided that the swell is big enough. Additionally, Safi is located just north of Essaouira and boats big beach breaks and powerful waves, making it great for more experienced surfers.

It’s worth mentioning that the waves are often at best in the mornings and this is when the water is often the quietest. In the afternoon the kite and windsurfers will take over and crowd the water due to the stronger winds.

The swell does get blown out quite easily so if you’re planning a surf trip to Essaouira, you will need to be prepared to jump in the water when the opportunity presents itself. 

Overview

Skill level: Beginner – Intermediate.

Approximate water temperature: 18°C.

Break type: Beach break.

Equipment that you’ll need: Wetsuit.

5. Mirissa, Sri Lanka

Mirissa, Sri Lanka

The tropical region of Mirissa is based in the southwest of Sri Lanka and is a hugely popular surfing destination in January for those on a budget. Mirissa has a variety of surf breaks to choose from, suitable for all levels and preferences.

The best time for surfing in Mirissa is during the months of November to March, making it a perfect time to visit in January. There are ideal waves at the beach break point for beginner surfing and boogie boarding.

That being said, the reef breaks close to the main spot in Mirissa are quite shallow, and should only be attempted by intermediate to advanced surfers.

The weather conditions in Mirissa are tropical, and the average water temperature is around 28°C. In fact, the swimming season in Mirissa lasts from January to December!

Overview

Skill level: Beginner – Advanced.

Approximate water temperature: 28°C.

Break type: Various breaks.

Equipment that you’ll need: Board shorts or a bathing suit.

6. Bocas del Toro, Panama 

Bocas del Toro, Panama

An archipelago off the northwest coast of Panama, Bocas del Toro is a surfing paradise in January. The Caribbean Sea offers warm, pristine waters and swells that can be enjoyed by the more experienced surfer.

Praised as the surfing Mecca, its popularity has grown exponentially over the years as a tourist destination.

Generally, December and January offer the most consistent swell for intermediate and advanced surfers. The beach break at Bluff Beach on Isla Colon is best for advanced surfers, while Tiger Tails is better suited for intermediate surfers.

Overview 

Skill level: Intermediate – Advanced.

Approximate water temperature: 28°C.

Break type: Reef and beach break.

Equipment that you’ll need: Board shorts or a bathing suit.

7. North Shore Oahu, Hawaii

North Shore Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii has some of the most powerful waves on the planet, surrounded by pure volcanic nature, and is the spiritual home of surfing.

The largest waves on Oahu’s North Shore are from November to February, when low-pressure systems do their work and send perfect waves towards the coastline.

This makes it a great surfing destination for a January trip if you’re a more experienced surfer.

If you’re serious about surfing, the famous Seven Mile Miracle will likely be on your bucket list. Boasting 36 surf spots, it is a surfer’s paradise – including beach breaks, reef breaks, and point breaks.

That being said, the northern shores aren’t for the faint of heart, and should only be surfed if you’re experienced. 

Overview 

Skill level: Advanced.

Approximate water temperature: 25°C.

Break type: Reef break.

Equipment that you’ll need: Board shorts or a bathing suit and booties.

8. Ericeira, Portugal 

Ericeira, Portugal

September to January is the best time for advanced surfers to visit the area. Spots such as Coxos and Pedra Branca are many surfer’s favorites.

Each of these spots experiences a powerful swell during January, so you can expect big, intimidating waves. The water temperature is around 17°C, so you’ll need a wetsuit to comfortably surf at this destination!

Overview 

Skill level: Advanced.

Approximate water temperature: 17°C.

Break type: Varied.

Equipment that you’ll need: Wetsuit.

9. Keramas, Bali 

Keramas, Bali

Despite the fact that it’s the rainy season in Bali in January, it produces one of the most consistent swells throughout the year!

Onshore winds tend to pick up mid-morning. Boasting a powerful right-hand break, the swell performs best with a north-west to westerly wind.

Early mornings are best at Keramas and can also be surfed through the dry season if the conditions are right. Like most locations around Bali, you will need to get up early to beat the flocks of tourists.

Overview 

Skill level: Intermediate – Advanced.

Approximate water temperature: 29°C.

Break type: Right-hand reef.

Equipment that you’ll need: Board shorts, swimsuit, and reef booties.

10. Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.

Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.

Fuerteventura has beautiful warm sunshine all year round and some of the best surf spots out of all the Canaries. This is a great destination for beginners, as there are plenty of beaches where you can learn to surf.

Flag Beach has both left and right-hand waves, making it a perfect wave for beginners. Surf booties are recommended here as there are some stones in the water but it’s mainly made up of a sandy bottom where the wave breaks to the left and right.

Overview 

Skill level: Beginner.

Approximate water temperature: 18°C.

Break type: Varied.

Equipment that you’ll need: Wetsuit.