A Pro’s Guide to the World’s Best Surf Spots

Looking to plan a surf vacation?

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Picking a surf destination for vacation can be tough. Going by word of mouth can certainly lead you to some killer waves, but it can also get you lost and staring at a crowded beach and flat break. To find out which surf spots are worth the pilgrimage, we consulted pro surfer and stand-up paddleboarder Kai Lenny. Lenny let us in on a few of his favorite breaks — some are well known, while others are his secret spots. If you’re planning a surf vacation, they deserve some space on the itinerary.

Jaws, Maui

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“The most perfect top-to-bottom barreling, the heaviest waves, I think, in the world. And it’s just so scary,” says Lenny. And for a professional surfer/stand-up paddle surfer who’s surfed some of the heaviest waves in the world to say that, that’s saying a lot.

Break: Right
Surf Report: Surfline
Nearest Airport: Kahului Airport

Learn More: Here

Cloudbreak, Fiji

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When Cloudbreak goes off, it’s safe to say that an assortment of the world’s best surfers will be in the lineup. Located on the western side of Fiji, Cloudbreak is known for monster swells with fairly smooth faces — making it easily one of the best breaks in the world.

Break: Left
Surf Report: Surfline
Nearest Airport: Nadi International Airport

Learn More: Here

Teahupo’o, Tahiti

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Say “CHO-POO.” Tahiti’s most famous surf break routinely hits 10 feet during normal swells. The wave sits just offshore, and features a unique shape because of the shallow reef that it breaks on.

Break: Left
Surf Report: Surfline
Nearest Airport: Fa’a’a International Airport

Learn More: Here

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Mavericks, California

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The tallest wave ever surfed at Mavericks crested at 68 feet. That’s just two feet shy of the tallest wave ever surfed. The spot was named after the dog of the original crew that first surfed the spot in 1967. In Lenny’s words, “Mavericks is just such a gnarly, not even perfect wave. It’s just all about getting the biggest drop out there.”

Break: Right
Surf Report: Surfline
Nearest Airport: San Francisco International Airport

Learn More: Here

Ponta Preta, Cape Verde

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Just off the coast of Senegal lies Ponta Preta, Cape Verde, and as Lenny describes it, “It’s one of those unbelievable waves, and nobody out. Just unbelievable.” With few crowds and nearly perfect waves that routinely hit overhead heights, Ponta Preta is a bucket-list spot for sure.

Break: Right
Surf Report: Surfline
Nearest Airport: Aeroporto Amílcar Cabral

Learn More: Here

Honolua Bay, Maui

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“One of the best ride standards,” Lenny says. Honolua Bay is located on Lenny’s home island of Maui, and offers consistent waves. The most prominent break is on the right, which, though it can be choppy, is often smooth.

Break: Right
Surf Report: Surfline
Nearest Airport: Kahului Airport

Learn More: Here

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