The surf world is huge. From the sandy beaches of California to the tropical waters in Tahiti, pros from all walks of life come together to ride the waves for recognition and tons of cool prizes. If you enjoy surfing or love the thrill of watching others, perhaps your next trip should be to a surfing competition. Held throughout the summer, pros and spectators alike gather together for fun, excitement, and some friendly competition.
If you have never been to a surf competition before, you are in for a real treat. Not only do you get to watch some of the best surfing experts kill it, but you will also get to connect with other beach and surf lovers from virtually everywhere. The beach is lined with tents, signs, and stands customized by companies like Instent for some of the top surf brands. You can learn how to build your own board, sign up for surfing lessons, and learn about hot new products on the market. It certainly does not stop there. Set in a beach environment you also get to take in the beautiful sun, ocean breeze and indulge in famous boardwalk foods and beverages.
Sound like fun? While many beach towns host surfing competitions each summer, you can find some of the best action in these top destinations listed below:
Huntington Beach, CA
If you are looking for a ton of live-action, lots of crowds, and plenty of things to do, then you will want to start planning a trip to Huntington Beach, CA this summer. They have a Vans US Open of Surf and it is nothing you want to miss. Not only do you get to watch some of the areas best male and female surfers shred some waves, but you can also catch BMX and skating events.
Looking for a more tropical setting? Then your surf trip starts in Pipeline, Hawaii. There is always some action going on at the Billabong Pipeline Masters at Oahu’s North Shore. Some tourists are even fortunate enough to reserve a house lining the beach for a front-row seat to the competition.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
The east coast has its fair share of surfing competitions to watch as well. The Vans Pro at the Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championships is an event you won’t want to miss. With 55 years of experience hosting such an event, travelers won’t be disappointed. Spectators get to watch the women’s and men’s pro event, an amateur competition, swimsuit contest, cornhole, flag football, BMX, paddle races, and partake in the festivities by taking a ride on a zipline along the beach.
Watch the World Championship Tour at the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Though the crowds are a lot smaller, you will still have a blast at this amazing event. The competition is held on a barrier reef not too far from the beach. You will need to bring your own snacks and drinks, however, because there are no concession stands, vendors, or booths present. The small, intimate, environment is worth seeing and the waves are some of the largest you will ever see as you watch the surfers up close and personal. If you are looking for some fun and excitement, however, you can head over to the channel at Teahupoo for a nice cold brew and a good time.
Belmar, New Jersey
You cannot mention beach towns and surfing without mentioning the great state of New Jersey. If you are looking for a laid back surfing competition to spectate, Belmar, NJ is an option. This small, intimate beach town has pro divisions for men and women and this year the Eastern Lines of Surf Shop will be hosting an awesome event there in September. You won’t find many vendors or concessions on the beach, but just a few feet away the boardwalk is packed with restaurants ranging from pizza to fine dining.
Traveling to spectate surfing competitions can be a thrilling experience. Surrounded by people who just want to have a good time in the middle of the beach with great food, drinks, and entertain, what else really matters? Once you experience just one, chances are you will find yourself hooked. With a few destinations in mind, now you can begin planning your surf travel adventure.