Best places to learn to surf in 2019

2019 is the year to finally try surfing. Here’s where to do it.

These breaks are ideal for bailing out of the Bay Area on a day trip to the beach, as well, as Santa Cruz is just an hour and a half from the heart of San Francisco. This state park is also among the best spots in the area to spot a seal. The Santa Cruz Wharf and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk are your spot off the sand, with shopping, dining,and rides.

Ditch Plains — Montauk, New York

Ditch Plains is where New Yorkers go to learn how to hang ten. Long Island has a more laid-back, casual vibe than Manhattan or Brooklyn, and combined with the mellow waves of spring, summer, and fall, this is a great place to learn how to surf without having to travel to do it. The beach break is long and expansive across Ditch Plains Beach, allowing plenty of space for you to paddle out cautiously and get comfortable.

Malibu Popoyo — Costa Esmeralda, Nicaragua

Many of these are boutique surf retreats catering to rise of the eco-tourism that has taken hold in the Caribbean.Malibu Popoyo is the cream of the crop, a new surf school and lodge with guided access to 10 world-class surf breaks, including the classic break of Playa Santana right outside its front door. What makes Malibu Popoyo ideal for beginners is the pro guide that escorts you to the breaks, with daily access to mellow longboard cruisers perfect for finding your footing on the board. The only thing you need to watch out for is the bar tab back at the lodge, the one exclusion to the resort’s all-inclusive mantra.

Best beginner wave: Playa Santana

Costa Esmeralda is a sleepy, slow-moving kind of place. " Locals long ago adopted the mantra that "what can be done today can also be done tomorrow.

Nosara, Costa Rica

Here, you can stay in a luxury accommodation and receive professional instruction at resorts like Surf Simply,which offers video instruction courses along with personalized teaching both in and out of the water. In true Pura Vida style, they also give you smoothies during the lesson and have helped cultivate a surf scene that perfectly embodies the country’s laid back spirit. Nosara is also home to a strong female surf scene including women-only surf retreats and the Nosara Ticas Surf Club, a group that helps women learn to surf in a supportive environment.

Best beginner wave: Playa Nosara

Nosara is a wellness haven, and an early-morning stroll through town will lead you past numerous yoga studios filled with locals and tourists deep into their Ujjayi breath. Join a class or head down to the beach to work on your solo practice. You can also visit rescued animals at SIBU Sanctuary.

Vila Nova De Milfontes — Alentejo Region, Portugal

”Head about three and a half hours south of Nazaré to the Alentejo Region, where you’ll find a collection of cozy, welcoming surf schools and a series of rippable beginner waves. If you’re with the surf school, they will likely take you to closer waves, but by venturing only about 20 minutes north, you’re stepping away from many of the tourists visiting the park.

Bali, Indonesia

Wide open beaches lined with mellow cafes and bars ring the southern portion of the island, while an hour’s drive from the coast puts you among the monkeys and yogis of Ubud. The cool thing about surfing in Bali is that the scene here embodies the carefree surfer’s mentality. " After your session on the water, start with a Bintang beer at a beachside cafe, and then move into one of the many "beach clubs” as the evening progresses. Get there early because there’s nothing better than watching the sunset over the water from a beachside infinity pool, cocktail in hand.

Surf Yoga Beer — Various locations

The trips are all about building a positive and supportive community around travel, culture, and surfing. You’re likely to glean tips from surfers slightly more experienced than you and, as long as you’re not a dick, they’ll probably even take you out and help you get comfortable on a beginner wave. Upcoming retreats take place both in typical surf hotspots like Nicaragua and Mexico along with more off-the-beaten-wave locales like Morocco. And if the surfing part turns out to not be your jam, you can always spend more time on the yoga mat or check out the locale.

Because Surf Yoga Beer’s clientele is both adventurous and outdoorsy, you should also expect some epic side jaunts like hiking or zip lining, depending on where you are in the world.

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