Some surf camps are great, some good, others are just plain grotty. mpora.com give us nine of the best camps that can give you a surf trip of a lifetime, here we go:
1. G-Land Bobby’s Surf Camp, East Java, Indonesia
Established in 1975, Bobby’s is the world’s first surf camp and in my humble opinion, still the best. The success of Bobby’s is down to two things: the wave and the isolation.
Located on the very eastern tip of Java in the middle of a national park, Grajagan stretches for a kilometre down a coral reef, offering seven different sections including some of the most perfect waves on the planet.
Being so isolated, it also evokes a pure surfing feeling. There are no nightclubs (the generators and the lights go off at 10pm), no shops and nothing at all to do but surf your brains out, have a few beers in the evening and press repeat for two weeks. Pure surfing bliss.
2. Namotu, Fiji
Namotu is a wave rich Fijian surf camp that was one of my favourite destinations on earth – and that was before 2009, when due to ownership restrictions you were unable to surf the neighbouring wave of Cloudbreak off Tavarua.
Namotu is managed by legendary Australian couple, Mandy and Scott O’Connor whose ability to put you at ease in their lodge is a massive part of the appeal.
Well, that and the fun lefthander out the front, the incredible fishing, great kite surfing facilities and one of the world’s deadliest house cocktails, the notorious Skull Drag.
Now with access to perhaps the best wave in the world at Cloudbreak, one of the world’s best surf camps just got better.
3. Shaka Beach Retreat, Costa Rica
Costa Rica has warm water, a Caribbean and a Pacific Coast, consistent offshore winds, uniform swell and a stable democracy.
Basically anywhere in Costa Rica is better than most place everywhere else, but Shaka Beach Retreat is my favourite in all of Costa Rica.
Private beachside villas are nestled in the tropical gardens with fruit trees which spill onto the ridiculous pretty beaches and great waves on the Nicoya Peninsula.
Great for intermediate and beginner surfers, you can also try one of their yoga packages which adds flexibility to one of the most chilled surf camp experiences on the planet.
4. Nihiwatu, Sumba, Indonesia
Located in the middle of the remote Indonesian island of Sumba, calling Nihiwatu a surf camp might be pushing it.
Surfers are limited to just ten, meaning you have exclusive access to the world class wave (known as Nihiwatu or Occy’s Left) which sits right in front of your luxury villa.
Throw in world-class diving, fishing, yoga, horse rides, five-star food and you see why staying in Nihiwatu goes far beyond surf experiences anywhere else in the world.
5. Island Vibe, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
Island Vibe is a legendary South African backpackers’ surf camp, perched on a sand dune overlooking the Indian Ocean, a five minute drive away from the famous righthand point of Jeffreys Bay.
Directly in front of the hostel is the wave of Kitchen Windows, where most mornings you will see dolphins zipping through the fast right handers. July to October is the best time for waves, while sightings of southern right whales are also a daily occurrence then.
The bar has been a haven for international surfers and travellers for two decades and the town of Jeffreys Bay with ridiculous steakhouses and surf shops is just a short walk away. I’ve had three of my best surf trips of my life here and the Island Vibe atmosphere was crucial to all of them.
6. Pitstop Hill Surf Camp, Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
Located in the Indonesian Mentawai Islands in the region known to surfers as Playgrounds, Pitstops was one of the first, and still the best, land camps in the area.
I’d done many a boat trip through the area, which has the highest density of perfect waves anywhere in the world, but had stayed away from land camps, fearing lack of access and mobility to all the great waves like Rifles and Kanduis.
However, Pitstops overcomes this by having fast boats and experienced guides on hand at all times to whisk you over to the best conditions.
There’s also a fun, quite soft right directly in front (called Pitstops) and it’s a five minute walk to the legendary break of E-Bay. The camp is nestled in manicured gardens, it’s superbly run and the chance of getting seasick is practically zero.
7. Latitude Zero, Telo Islands, Indonesia
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Sources: mpora.com | Author: Ben Mondy