Six waves that will keep you enamored until the end of your days

| posted on October 15, 2012

Photo: Testemale

A career, a house, a wife, and kids are good reasons to stay put. But when you have nothing to lose, a siren is that much more seductive. “When you are 25 years old with no wife or children, the decision to leave and go search for perfect waves in exotic locations is an easy one,” says Todd Lee who, in a previous life, was a native of Coolangatta, Australia. “In fact, it was the best decision I have ever made.”

Twenty years ago, Todd booked tickets, said goodbye to friends and family, and fell in love with one beauty after another: Honolua Bay, Sunset Beach, Puerto Escondido, Jeffreys Bay. Each spot was a siren in their own right, but he was truly seduced when he reached the indulgent land of baguettes, brie, and barrels: Hossegor, France.

“When I arrived in ’88 it was just at the end of the summer vacation period,” says Todd. “During that year, the months of September, October, and November were all time. It was a new world. Everything was new. But it was never a conscious decision to move and stay in Hossegor. I was on a world surfing pilgrimage and, honestly, there are many places I visited where I could have settled, but Hossegor had it all. The waves are phenomenal when all the conditions are assembled, the social life is nothing short of amazing, and the cultural diversity living in Europe was a total change from Australia.”

After 22 years, Todd did end up with a wife, kids, and all the responsibilities that keep you from looking for your siren. Lucky for him, he already found his. —Todd Prodanovich

  • Mange mongland

    I live in Hossegor and you really can’t compare it to desert point or cloudbreak! Seriously! It looks like the picture once every other year. It’s crap more often than not

  • Whamo

    “Freedom has a 1,000 charms to show, that slaves, however contented, never know.” — Mickey Dora —

    I have a lot of respect for Jim Banks and the hotel night manager at Mundaca. Not many people pursue their dreams like these two did.

  • gannysesh

    Does Banks have some family cash keeping him going? Or does he take jobs that give him just enough to get by? or what?

  • Meatball

    Hello to all,,,some of us from S.Fla. in 1978 flew into Acapoco,,then took 14hr. bus ride south to get to Puerto,,,the lack of people,the offshore winds in the mornings,the sound of the police band music in the line up & those XLg. Barrels rides !!!! Just spectacular views,times & memories for all of us !!!!!

  • Eric

    Putting ‘Rifles’ on that list is asinine….Great wave, but hundreds of better waves that people try and score, and return to year after year. There are 50 waves in Indo alone to hit before that one.

  • http://any mark connolly


  • Freddy

    @Eric if you scored this wave you would know why its on the list. One 12 day boat trip to the ments ain’t going to do it. I have been to the playground area of the ments 10 times for months at a time and have scored riffles one time. It went off for 10 straight days best waves I have ever seen and surfed. Its 600+yard backdoor barrel every wave. Surfed it other trips but not proper. If you go to this area thinking your going to score riffles think again. It is a VERY fickle wave and any signs of it being good you can assure the resorts are on it dumping on average 20-40 guys in the line-up. But dont worry there are several other world class waves very close by.