The Most Crowded Waves

The surfing population is ever-increasing and some breaks are at the point where demand is far exceeding supply. We look at the most crowded waves on the planet, breaks where getting a wave on your own is not just difficult, but almost impossible.


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“Crowds here are like nothing I’ve ever seen in the world when you’re surfing,” Kelly Slater announced on Instagram after surfing the Superbank in 2014. “It’s really, really tough for one person to get space in the water and it’s mostly not fun.”

The wave was created after the dredging of the nearby Tweed River, the extra sand joining three previous distinct breaks to make a wave that is almost a mile in length. The result is one of the longest and most perfect waves in surfing, but that comes with crowds often exceeding 300 surfers every time it breaks.

Uluwatu was the first break to be discovered in Bali back in 1971, and it still holds a famed place in surfing lore. The wave sits at the end of the Bukit Peninsula, and its quality waves have attracted surfers from all over the world for decades.

In the last 10 years, though, the pace of development near the break has also increased tenfold, adding to the crowds at the wave. In the prime season of May to October, the waves of Uluwatu remain as perfect as ever (as seen in the clip of French surfer Adrien Valero above), but you’ll invariably be sharing them with at least 75 other surfers.


Photo: Mike Coots

You’d think a reputation as the world’s most dangerous wave would keep the crowds to a minimum, but Hawaii’s Pipeline still attracts a fearsome crowd each time it breaks.

Up to 100 surfers composed of Hawaiian locals, professional surfers and glory-hunting travelers jostle for a piece of Pipeline’s dramatic and dangerous tubes. The crowd factor is almost as intimidating as the wave itself.
“I’ve been surfing there for ten years, each winter,” said professional surfer Nic Von Rupp. “And I have only been in the right spot for a perfect Pipe wave once. It takes decades out there to get a spot in the lineup.”

Bondi Beach

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Source: / Author: Ben Mondy


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