The 100 Best Waves

A glimpse into our ranking of the world's greatest surf spots

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| posted on July 06, 2011
  • dude

    Ha! Sandspit ?? Watch out for those heavy loc dogs like Maassen.

  • whamo

    How about Lani’s on a big North?

  • Cristóbal

    What about Buchupureo, Pullay and Pichilemu… Chile??

    Real good spot`s to surf!

    • Juan Pablo

      Buchu and Punta de Lobos ares mentioned in the ranking!

  • Bambino


  • Alani Blando

    Amazing pictures & the places are amazing!
    Hawaii is though the best place to be 🙂

  • Summer

    If hawaii is the best place where does san Clemente land ? San Clemente is the best place to surf in the world.

  • LovelyLady10

    @Cristobal–That’s right! Pullay and Pichelemu have excellent waves especially around December 🙂

  • Rick

    You also gotta consider crowds. That would eliminate most of California and the North Shore.

  • Joel

    Ireland for sure …. most consistent waves in the world. most consistent big wave spot in the world also – which is offshore on a west or south west wind – which is the most common wind direction hitting ireland off the atlantic.

    Just you all watch next couple of years ireland will come more and more into the spotlight with it’s death slabs and big waves. I’m not even from ireland – im from wales but been there on many surf trips – often my surf trips to ireland are better than indo, canaries, france, portugal and mentawies – such a huge variety of waves, jagged coast so you can always find clean waves on any given day.

  • pechugas

    amazing waves of the word.

  • Bill

    What? No South Beach, FL? This place sux! Flat for 2 years since I moved here. Head high one day in 2 years.

  • christian berger

    what about Chile??

    • Juan Pablo

      Chile appears with 2 waves: Punta de Lobos and Buchupureo!

  • Mik

    Typical SoCal mentality in this article: not one wave from Santa Cruz? Really??? Have you ever actually seen Steamer Lane go off??? Getchell St??? Waddell reefs at 10 ft??? I could name eight other spots that are worthy of recognition. Or SF when Kelly’s at 10 ft. off Seal Rock?? It’s as good as Sunset Beach, you tools. All of these places are power surf. Definitely more powerful than the rest of the state. More powerful than most of Hawaii. And then there’s the even colder spots above Bodega. More power. And Lowers ranked so high? Above Indo waves???? NorCal surfers just laugh at that gutless place. Oh it’s fun, no doubt: the fastest mushburger crowd-magnet on the coast. But only fun for the pros during contests, and the select locals who really have it dialed. Well, other than that, yeah, the waves listed are worthy of recognition by all of us. But reach out beyond your little San Clemente / OC magazine bro’-dom crew when evaluating CA or Global surfing. NorCal surfers deserve a bit more recognition. And please, no more Hippy references. It’s 2011.

    • Timmy

      @mik. You give surfers a bad name. Its a magazine not the bible. Why do you have to insult other people and places? Do us all a favor: stay in Santa Cruz. Don’t come up north and with your bad mana.

    • Jean Claude

      who cares about Norcal, it’s so cold over there. Your waves might be powerful, but they are not world class waves at all.

  • Barry

    What about Costa Rica ? Most consistant for sure !

  • jb

    The best waves in the world are the ones the media hasn’t given away the keys to.

    And why the hell are all of you posters naming spots that most people don’t know much, if anything, about?!? Do you guys really love surfing in crowds full of tools like yourselves?

    Tell everyone where the Fountain of Youth is and it won’t be long before it’s filled with their feces.

  • Bri

    I agree with jb- I’m from norcal and I’m stoked none of our waves are metioned- shut yer trap Mik- we know-lets keep it quiet-

  • Jean Claude

    what about Cabo Blanco in Peru?? that spot is 1000 times better than Lobitos :).

  • Larry Sweeney

    Where is Puerto Rico???
    Pro-Surf contest last year as well as many other compettions..
    Wildeness last 31′

  • Andy Johnston

    Sandspit beats Off-the-Wall? That’s a good one!

  • Andy Johnston

    Ooops! Sorry ’bout that last comment, I had the numbers reversed. So my comment now is: Sandspit in the top 100?? You guys need to get out a little bit more!

  • Talarita

    What about CHicama and La Herradura

  • Charles

    Maalaea didnt make it? too fickle of a spot, but when it does fire..look out!


    how about SIARGAO , cloud 9 ?

  • Patrick Dilley

    How privileged I’ve been to surf no2 ranked wave in the world for the last 37 years! J-Bay cooks!

  •, John Winnick

    Sunset Beach Hawaii is one of the heaviest breaks in the world it should be the up there in the top 10 if not number 2 or 1.


    no solo cabo blaco esta tambien El Hayco,cerro azul,la crecida de la herradura para los locales El Pico,Caballeros y muchas mas en PERU tenemos olaspar no aburrirnos o me equivoco? saludos

  • pedrosantiprod

    Siargao’s on 61st place accdg to the over sized special edition magazine!

  • Alex R

    And where TEAHUPOO ????????

  • kevin jose perez

    Ounou, New Caledonia

  • Mike

    no here in this Album but for me, in here best day , La Graviere in France is one of the best!

  • puerto

    they give barra 11 place but they give puerto place 40???
    shitty judging
    zicatela is alot better cuz its working almost every day in diffrent sizes

  • Elvis

    Espero no olviden a pavones. Playa hermosa o rocabruja eso sin contar q costa rica es de los países en q las olas son constantes todo el año

  • lucas

    Scorpion Bay all the way dude..
    sickest right ever

  • MAX

    what about PUNTA LOBOS,CHILE… epic left that works year around… and oh yeah, it takes massive swells up to like 9meters.. If you have it in the ranking please let me know, cheers and good surfing to everyone!

  • vicky

    Chicama ?? Nìas ?

  • mark

    what about El Gringo – Chile… the southamerican Pipeline..

  • Mark

    Wow…..Has anyone ever, ever, been to the Outer Banks in North Carolina??? I’ve been fortunate enough to surf Hawaii, Florida, all over California, and Baja Mexico and I KNOW that there are at least two places on the outer banx that should be in the top twenty-five!!…. someone needs an open mind….wow!!

    • Anthony Arturo Leone

      We have enough people on our waves already… shhhhhhh! All the good ones are at corolla pier anyway

  • Brendan

    I’m pretty sure it’s spelled Padang Padang…

  • Michael D

    Yup, it’s Padang Padang.

  • NoName

    Well said JB!
    People name breaks to boost their own ego cause they think it makes them sound like they know what they are talking about. The first thing out of their mouths in conversation is usually…I surfed at ‘blah blah’ today man?
    Be stoic surfers, word of mouth is a powerful thing. We can’t all be surfing the same the spots so lets keep the spots we do surf as quiet as possible.
    Who likes crowds? none of us.

  • Julie Bailey Gold

    I’m at the Pipe, Sunset Beach, Hawaii now, it’s such an massive break. I guess the list was made by the good photos they chose to show up again. This ranking is senseless and I’m a girl who probably doesn’t know all secret spots, but there are better ones then on the top 20 for sure. Jules

  • Jesse

    I love how people read a ranking from a mainstream publication and expect anything but mainstream spots we’ve all heard of already, then blab about secret spots. The only valid argument for this thread is why some other mainstream spot didn’t make it, otherwise it should be obvious why your spot didn’t make the list

  • Jules

    Wheres Hossegor ?? #frenchie

  • Cal

    where’s Bells in australia??? should be in top 20 or 30

  • Pulseguy

    I surf a spot in Mexico that is surfable probably 330-340 days a year and pretty much always has half the day windless. It ranges from waist high to double overhead, has a right and a left, and a sometimes gnarly beach break about 300 metres away.

    The wave is seldom fast, and sometimes is mushy. A big, big day has 20 boards, but 8 is more usual, and I’ve surfed it alone on good days many, many times.

    The people are super friendly, and single girls always wear bikinis. (Local tip – if she’s wearing a rashie, she’s got a boyfriend or an esposo.)

    It will never make anyone’s top 100 because no one is getting epic rides, but it is on one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, and it is fantastic.

    • Matteo

      Scorpion bay?

  • Santoro

    I`m from Peru and will wait this edition and hope that you consider Cabo Blanco and Panic Point spots from the north of Perú.

  • sebastian bustamante

    im also from peru and you should consider: cabo blanco, panic point, san gallan, chicama, la vuelta spots and plenty more

  • miguel campos

    here in da dom rep. we have great breaks all year round , in da south in the north, and the east. tubes, long rides , peeeeeerfect waves, no hasle from the locals and no crowds. come and join da fun. encuentro beach, cabarete north shore dom. rep. nov 1st master surf reunion . yah man

  • Christopher Croft

    OBX ? please , even the gulf is more consistent than that windy , choppy , knee to waist high place . granted when the stars do align theres a sandbar all to yourself .

    • Dirk Diggler

      you just made yourself out to be a kook – kook.

  • Alessi

    please make another book of top 100 with new waves being discovered