While most people might literally shudder at the idea of surfing in November, just because the water is cold doesn’t mean you can’t surf! Sure, November is the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, but it’s also the start of summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
Unfortunately, quite a lot of surfing towns shut down in popular European surfing spots like in Cornwall, France, and Spain.
The weekends might seem more exciting, but tourism is less likely in this cold month. This is because people are more likely to save money for Christmas than go on vacation — which means you can have all the room in the water.
For surfing in November, the Southern Hemisphere is the place to be. Here are the 10 best places to surf in November!
1. Gold Coast, Australia
November in the Southern Hemisphere is the start of summer, which means the surfing season is at its most popular. This is the month when you’ll be surrounding by warm weather and waters, and when the swell consistency is most predictable.
The Gold Coast is ideal for beginners and experienced surfers alike. Surfers Paradise is one of the most iconic beaches on the Gold Coast for its calm waves and relaxed environment, which is ideal for grommets.
Broadbeach is great for those who want to experiment with some bigger waves.
However, it’s important to point out that November is the start of the busy summer season for Australians. This means that a lot of tourists and locals will flock to the beaches of the Gold Coast to cool off in the sea or try their hand at surfing.
If you’re an experienced surfer, you might need to explore quieter beaches like Currumbin.
2. Taghazout, Morocco
North Africa might not be the first place you think of when looking for surfing spots in November, but Moroccan beaches truly come alive with swells and great waves during this month.
The Atlantic is starting to fill with storms and insane swells between Europe and North Africa, and Morocco just about misses the craziness.
Instead, the surfing conditions become near-perfect, with consistent swells and 7-foot waves that is ideal for the thrill-seeking surfers out there.
Taghazout is a small fishing village in southwestern Morocco that is a great surf spot for those who like to mingle with locals and explore hidden beaches.
The crowds are generally fairly quiet in November, but as surfers around the globe are starting to vacation in the lesser-known areas, it’s becoming quite the popular town.
3. Lawrencetown, Canada
Residing on Canada’s East Coast, Lawrencetown is a small surf town near Halifax that provides some excellent surfing conditions in November. This is a great place for intermediate and experienced surfers.
Canada’s East Coast becomes exposed to the awesome winter swell from the Atlantic Ocean, which is why the waves begin to amount to around 8-10 feet. The winter months are best for surfing in Nova Scotia as the swell is more consistent than in summer.
As Canada is a notoriously cold country, make sure to wrap up warm and wear the thickest wetsuit you can find!
The cold is the reason a lot of people won’t consider going surfing in Canada in November of all months. However, if you have experience with surfing, and you don’t mind the cold water, this is the place for you.
4. Siargao Island, Philippines
Most people tend to forget about the Philippines when they’re looking for surfing locations in Asia. Sure, Indonesia and Sri Lanka offer some great beaches for surfing, but don’t underestimate the Philippines!
Siargao Island is a small island 196 kilometers southeast of Tacloban. In the summer months, the waters are calm and warm. In winter, the warmth remains, but the water conditions begin to rise into perfect surfing beaches.
You can technically surf on any beach in the Philippines in November, but Siargao Island stands out for its quiet beaches – particularly in winter. Its perfect surfing conditions and friendly locals makes this lovely island one of the most popular surfing spot in the Philippines.
5. Tenerife, Canary Islands
Tenerife is a popular Canary Island in the summer, but it is often forgotten about in the winter by the regular tourists. For surfers, however, Tenerife is a haven for surfing conditions in November.
The Canary Islands are placed perfectly on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, which means that November brings northerly swells that are ideal for surfers of all skill levels.
The temperature of the air and water is roughly the same, averaging to around 68-70 °F, so you don’t have to worry about wearing a thick wetsuit.
Playa del Scorro is surrounded by scenic mountains and cliffs, which makes for a gorgeous setting as you cruise along the waves. As Tenerife is such a popular surf spot, there’s an abundance of surf schools that are great for beginners and grommets.
6. Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Puerto Escondido is often referred to as the “Mexican Pipeline”, and for good reason! This town features one of the most popular surfing beaches in the world – Playa Zicaleta – which is famous for its year-round surfing competitions and lively culture.
November is the best month for experienced and intermediate surfers to play around in the gnarly beach break. The weather is still tropical, the prices are cheap, and there’s a mix of northerly and southerly swells that makes the water fairly consistent.
If you’re a beginner or planning on surfing with kids, fear not, as Puerto Escondido offers an array of beaches with calmer waters – even in November! At the end of the day, enjoy a taco from a street vendor while looking out at the Pacific. Heaven!
7. Ericeira, Portugal
Like Morocco, Portugal is an underrated surf spot in November. About 30 miles northwest of Lisbon is the seaside community of Ericeira, which is considered to be the surfing capital of Europe. Featuring 40 beaches, this gorgeous coastline should be on every surfer’s bucket list.
In November, tourists aren’t likely to swarm the beaches. Europeans don’t tend to take vacations in November, so you’re more likely to be surfing amongst locals than tourists. Regardless, the weather is still enjoyable, and a wetsuit isn’t needed.
You’re also likely to see locals cruise around on longboards to practice their surf skills out of the water, which is a great way to surf when the waves are too intimidating.
Depending on which beach you go to, waves in November can range anywhere between 5-9 feet tall, making Ericeira a haven for intermediate and advanced surfers across the globe.
8. Maui, Hawaii
There is never a bad time of the year to go to Hawaii to surf, November included. If you’re fancying going to a popular vacation spot to meet an abundance of tourists and locals from all walks of life, you have to consider Maui.
Maui is one of the most iconic places for surfers. Surfing originated in Hawaii, after all, so where else can you honor your favorite sport?
In winter, the weather in Hawaii is still beautiful and warm, but the waves start to get more exciting for surfers. The epic winter swells and (if you’re lucky) 10 foot waves makes Maui the best place for surfers of all skill levels to enjoy the water.
Depending on which side of the island you are on, the water will vary, which should be considered if you’re a beginner or if you have kids.
9. Manu Bay, New Zealand
Situated in the Southern Hemisphere, the best time to go surfing anywhere in New Zealand is in the warm months between September and April. This means that November is one of the best months to go surfing here!
Manu Bay in the town of Raglan features volcanic rock points that help to create epic surfing conditions. The waves will vary in size depending on the swell angles and tide, but surfers are bound to have a fun time regardless of what the waves are like.
As Manu Bay can produce waves of between 2-8 feet and has a pretty consistent swell, it’s the best spot for intermediate and advanced surfers. Plus, it’s a fairly popular beach among local surfers, so it’s a great location to get involved with Kiwi cultures!
10. Montanita, Ecuador
Montanita is one of the most consistent surf spots in the world, regardless of which month it is. The water in November is likely to be the same as it is in July, meaning you don’t have to worry about wetsuits.
The party never seems to stop in Montanita. The locals are friendly, the food is cheap, the waves are rolling, and there is a constant buzz in the air. This does mean that it can be filled with tourists, though.
La Punta is an ideal beach for beginners who want consistent straight waves, while the Montanita Beach Break is an epic location for thrill-seeking surfers.
The waves are large and more powerful than at La Punta, plus the beach is a bit bigger, so it is less crowded!