Big Wave Surfing Around the World

by Jane Sophia
Big Wave Surfing Around the World

Where in the world you can watch ghastly waves and enjoy big wave surfing around the world?

There is a certain class of surfers who reach out only to monstrous waves. They don’t care for the ‘so-called’ popular surfing spots in the world.

Those surfers feel the challenge only when they see waves that rise as high as 25 feet minimum.

Big Wave Surfing Around the World

In this post, I will tell you which are the places in the world you can watch witness giant waves. At some of these places, you can watch 40 feet to 100 feet waves!

  1. Nazare, Portugal


Do I have to say any more apart from this video? Someone caught these waves in their camera, and someone can be seen riding these waves at breakneck speed!

Nazare is where, one can see waves rise up to 100 feet! No other place in the world can match Nazare.

It is none other than the Atlantic Ocean at its ferocious best here.

The giant swell in the ocean is called ‘breaking waves’. Below is an example of a monstrous wave.

Though, the breaking waves are seen in every sea and ocean, there is nothing like them as in Nazare, Portugal.

The reason for this kind of oceanographic activity will further surprise you. There is a submerged canyon that causes the upwelling. It is known as Nazare Canyon.

Go to Nazare, a small town in western Portugal, and visit Praia Do Norte beach, to shoot those ghastly waves in your camera.

The killer waves of Portugal are in the Guinness Book.

To watch the brave surfers in action, especially during a surfing championship, the event pulls thousands of tourists from various parts of the world.

Do you know which is the vantage point to see 80 feet waves safely? It is none other than the lighthouse!

Another viewing platform is the remnants of a Fort of Sao Miguel Arcanjo.

Were you able to make out the fort on the edge of the cape? You can call the jutting huge rock as a ‘promotory’ also.

Onlookers watching the ghastly waves from the safety of the lighthouse.

Nazare is surely a surfers’ haven.

How to reach Nazare, Portugal?

Fly up to Lisbon from wherever you are. It is the capital of Portugal. From Lisbon city, buses are operated to Nazare. The driving duration is only 30 minutes.

As the surfing hotspot, there is a surfing training school in Nazare. Wise move-eh?

  1. Waimea, Hawaii


Oh, the video was brilliantly captured. Both the waves, and the number of surfers riding the huge waves, are clearly seen.

Waimea Bay is located on the main Island of Hawaii. (Big Island) You have to go to the northern coast of the island to reach Waimea bay that is famous for giant surfing waves.

The 30 to 50 feet waves here are due to the swelling of the ocean floor.

Visitors to Waimea bay need not return with just seeing the monstrous waves. They can see around two volcanic mountains on the island.

Maina Key, and Kohala are the two volcanic mountains, the visitors can hike up to the crater. Both the volcanoes are dormant now.

  1. Teahpoo, Tahiti

TeahpooOur attention shifts to the South Pacific Ocean that hosts the Polynesian islands.

Tahiti is one of them, and it is an overseas territory of France. Consequently, it is known as the French Polynesia.

Teahpoo is located on the southwest coast of Tahiti. This surfing haven is actually, a fishing village.

There is no comparison between Teahpoo and Nazare but still, you can see giant waves that rise up to 25 feet!

(I wonder how one can physically measure the height of a breaking wave?)

In spite of being such an obscure and remote destination in the South Pacific Ocean, it is the site of an annual surfing competition, hosted by an Australian surfing accessories manufacturing organization.

Teahpoo also hosts a bodyborading competition. Bodyboarding is almost similar to surfing. Instead of standing on the surfboard, you lie flat on your stomach in bodyboarding water sport.

See a video of the thrilling bodyboarding below.

There are a few technical words being used in this part of surfing world. ‘Pillow break’, and ‘left break’, ‘reverse break’, and, ‘barrels’.

The inner curve of a wave is called a ‘barrel’. Below is an example.

The barrels are much loved by the champion surfers. I mean, newbies should stay away.

On this Tahitian island, the presence of reefs just below the surface of the water cause the waves to swell considerably.

2024 Olympic competition in Teahpoo, Tahiti.

Tahiti that belongs to France is located at a staggering distance of 15,800 km from Paris. The Olympic authorities have chosen Teahpoo as the venue for the 2024 Olympic surfing competition.


Teahpoo has an alias that goes by the spelling, ‘Tehupoo’.

  1. Bishop Rock, California

Bishop Rock is part of Cotes Bank, located some 150 km from San Pedro, Los Angeles. Cortes Bank comprises a series of submerged mountain tops that arise from the sea floor abruptly, causing giant waves.

Are these submerged mountains called, ‘underwater canyons’?

During low tides, a small portion of the mountain tops is visible. Waiting for such oceanographic activity, surfers, garb the opportunity to ride on the ghastly waves.

 I think, the authorities can let out alerts of upcoming monster waves well in advance.

I guess the waves rise up to 25 feet here. This is the maximum limit for the bodyboarding adventure.

I noticed the big waves don’t generate big barrels, as we saw in Tahiti.

However, 100 feet waves were reported here that can create spectacular barrels that the surfers love.

The Pacific Ocean is ‘swell’, as people say to praise.

  1. Peahi, Hawaii

The Central Pacific Ocean is in action here at Maui, Hawaii.

Due to the sight of monstrous waves, Peahi (the exact location for surfing the giant waves) is also called the jaws’.

I think it is an apt name.

Peahi is located on north Maui, one of the islands in Hawaii.

There is an observation platform that you have to reach by walking 2.5 km from the Hahana Road, Paia, Maui.

  1. Mavericks, California

Big Wave Surfing Around the World

Mavericks is a big wave surfing spot in California. If you drive for 40 km from San Francisco towards slightly southwest direction, you can get to a small coastal town called, ‘Half Moon Bay’, facing the Pacific Ocean.

Mavericks is just outside Half Moon Bay.

Here, the waves usually rise up to 25 feet normally. Occasionally, even 80 feet waves have been recorded.

Winter is the best time to see the ghastly waves. A surfing competition will be held and only invited champions of surfers of big waves can participate.

Spectators sit and watch from the top of an escarpment.

These are the 6 places in the world where you can watch monstrous waves.

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