Winter Surf Destinations for the Right Coasters

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by NCJohn, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. NCJohn

    NCJohn Active Member

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    Oct 27, 2015
    I'm looking for recommendations for a winter surf trip in January or February 2020 in the Caribbean with consistent surf. I'm kicking around the idea of Barbados. Has anyone been and if so do you recommend?

    Of course I'm trying to avoid crowded lineups so if anyone has any other suggestions (excluding Puerto Rico) that would be great. I'm comfortable in beach breaks and reefs up to about 8' depending on the wave. My wife doesn't surf but doesn't mind chilling on the beach as long as there are some really good to great dinner options in the evenings. Please PM me if you want to keep any spots private. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  2. NJ Longboarder

    NJ Longboarder Well-Known Member

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    Jan 3, 2005
  3. Tenfooter

    Tenfooter Well-Known Member

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    Nov 12, 2014
    USA Rhode Island
    Sayulita, hands down. Great restaurants. Two or three prime breaks within 15-20 minutes drive.
    you can do the cheap airbnb deal, or go to expensive American hotels
    both are good choices
    n
    fly to Puerto Vallarta, rent a car there, drive to sayulita, and enjoy
    if you need further details, PM me
     
    pefa and Lackosense like this.
  4. Gallery

    Gallery Member

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    Jul 3, 2018
    New Jersey
    Morocco

    Seriously, do it.
     
    Tenfooter likes this.
  5. Tenfooter

    Tenfooter Well-Known Member

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    Nov 12, 2014
    USA Rhode Island
    Please convince us!!
    I was about to buy a ticket for the first time, and so many negative people convince me not to
    good breaks for longboards?
    friendly crowd?
    I heard about only drinking mineral water and so on
    what cities to go
    where to stay?
    please do a Morocco 101!!!
     
  6. Gallery

    Gallery Member

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    Jul 3, 2018
    New Jersey
    I can't really comment much on longboards, because I approached it from a shortboarders perspective. I don't recall seeing many logs. I certainly wouldn't think of taking out a log at Anchor Point, Draculas or Boilers, but could definitely see one being fun at Killers or Banana Point or any of the many other random hidden points. I definitely think its doable, but would recommend some research on your part.

    Taghazout is really where you want to stay as your base of operations where you can venture out from. There are other areas south and north, but Taghazout is the Rincon of Morocco. It's a surf town and you will feel very comfortable there. There are plenty of Europeans, Australians, a bunch of New Zealanders and other Americans there. You wont feel out of place. Just don't expect to get loaded. Alcohol is against their religion. They sell it to the tourists, but don't appreciate those who over-imbibe.

    I went with my wife and we did a tour of the country. So I was carrying surfboards (2 shortboards in a bag) from the desert to the ocean and over the mountains in between. It was a trip. I would go back in a heartbeat, but not with my two young boys (3 & 5). There is so much to see and do and buy there. i could go on forever about. We staying overnight in the dessert and it was AWESOME. But, I'll try to stick to surfing.

    The Taghazout area has a ton of various beach breaks, reefs and point breaks scattered through out. And they all light up on different swell angles, size and tides. I would recommend getting a guide. They help you find some of the hidden gems. I did not get a guide. About halfway through my stay I started to get adventurous and drove off-road in the rental to find some of the various hidden points and reefs. I found some gems, but could never find my way back the next day. Maybe the angle or tide was wrong and I did find it not breaking, or maybe it's a dessert and all looks the same. The guides will know where to go and when. Tides can make a huge difference there.

    Winter goes mental there. Bring your big boy pants because it can get scary. The positive is that there are always places to go for every level and mental state. They have a great swell window there in the winter picking up swell from every big and little storm out in the Northern Atlantic. You shouldn't get skunked, but you could get a week of just mellow surf.

    The people there are great. Not many of them surf or know much about surfing. Moroccans are very shrewd businessmen and they 100% realize that tourism is their bread and butter. They are there because you're a tourist and a source of income. They are polite and treat you fairly because they want your business. There is enough tourism there that you don't feel as though you need to walk on eggshells completely observing and respecting their culture and beliefs all the time, but they will appreciate it if you do. Ultimately, they don't give a crap about you and your western culture, they want your money and will be annoyingly persistent in trying to part you with it in the most respectable and non-threatening way... if that makes sense. We felt comfortable and safe enough there that my wife would sit up on the cliff by the car watching me surf down below. Peddlers would tend to shy away from trying to sell her stuff if she was alone, but I were there, they would be up our arse showing us everything they had for sale.

    Anchor Point is the draw. When it's on and connecting to the inside, it's world class and can rival J-bay (also been there). And there are a bunch of other incredible points in the area, so that says a lot about Anchors. Boilers is insane. One of the coolest spots I've ever surfed. It's the furthest point sticking out into the ocean and you feel like you are at the end of the line and if you float out any further you will be lost at sea. Entry and exist is a treacherous adventure (bring reef boots or wetsuit boots). I sliced open my 3 mil wetsuit boot, which protected my feet. I can't even begin to go into all the other surf spots. As I mentioned, you have the whole gamut. A beach break with a reef and a point in front of trailer park full of RVs from Spain, Italy Portugal and France. Hidden points that require driving off road and hunting. Blacks Beach type beach/reef breaks at the bottom of huge cliffs that serve up mellow waves for a relaxing afternoon. It's all there and all within an hours drive. Get a rental car.

    I brought a groveler and and an average wave board and I was undergunned on the biggest day. I surfed my 5'9" (avg wave board) at overhead Boilers and was getting bat outta hell fast rides that I could barely hold on to. That said, I was only getting a few of those because it was crowded with very aggressive surfers from Europe. I had to take waves. No one was giving them away. It was tough. It's an issue at the top breaks like Anchors and Boilers, but there are soooo many other spots that you can surf alone or with a small crowd at a lesser quality wave (still better quality than we are used to). I would get a guide if I went back. They are cheap.

    So Cons... yeah crowds at the popular spots and as with any destination swell angle can make a huge difference as to whether or not you score peeling right handers or close outs. But with a guide you can maximize your chances of scoring. I could certainly see reasons why someone might convince you not to go. They might be the type who wanted to surf Anchors every day and probably got frustrated with the crowd. Or maybe they were annoyed by the sheer abundance of Europeans and being the minority. Maybe they didn't like getting hassled to buy something every 5 minutes. Maybe the weird hippie meets Muslim vibe of Taghazout was too much for them. But I would argue that the trip can be done quite successfully with the right planning and I have yet to find anywhere as unique as Morocco with as many nooks and crannies for potential surf spots, and I've done a lot of traveling.

    Shweew... too much typing. Back to work.
     
  7. johnxyz

    johnxyz Member

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    Apr 7, 2004
    Wow - Gallery - what an adventure! Any pics of the coastline or desert? Any ancient / Moorish sights?
     
  8. SdSurferguy

    SdSurferguy Well-Known Member

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    Oct 18, 2006
    USA
    F*ck, post of the year. Thx for the writeup and detail, you've got me wanting to buy a ticket tonight. When you can feel your fingers again keep typing lol
     
  9. Tenfooter

    Tenfooter Well-Known Member

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    Nov 12, 2014
    USA Rhode Island
    Gallery: You are the MAN!!!
    thanks a lot for such precise description!!
    Keep going
    1- How far is that town Thagazout from the main airport ( I think is Casablanca)
    did you flight to Casablanca?
    2- are cars easy to rent?
    3- where did you stay? airbnb? or fancy hotels
    4- any gastrointestinal issues? I came back from Peru, and that damn ceviche wouldn't leave me alone, is being 10 days already


    thanks again!!
     
  10. NCJohn

    NCJohn Active Member

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    Oct 27, 2015
    I had given some thought to Tortola but it seems that it is a fickle spot. I've been there many times to sail and never seen cane garden bay or any of the other spots break. I have heard Barbados is the most consistent of the Caribbean islands.
     

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