In the northern hemisphere, October is synonymous with pumpkins, shades of orange, and Thanksgiving. In the southern hemisphere, October is one of those random months that gets lost in the start of spring and the introduction of summer.
A surf trip in October is a great way to break up the year and get some sea and sunshine. There are plenty of places to surf in October that will leave you grinning from ear-to-ear. Whether you’re a beginner looking to enjoy a few lessons in Sydney, or a seasoned surfer on the hunt for speedy barrels in the Mentawai Islands – you’re in for a treat.
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1. Hossegor, France
Depending on the year, Hossegor hosts the Quicksilver Pro around October. The event attracts surfers from around the world to witness (and take part in) one of Europe’s finest beach breaks.
When the swell works, which it tends to do in October, then you can expect excellent tubes and quick barrels. Most people visit Hossegor to surf the heavy waves at La Gravière and La Nord. However, there’s a tamer wave at La Sud if you’re more on the beginner-end of the spectrum.
If you’re traveling a distance to visit Hossegor for the surf, then you may want to enjoy a more inclusive French experience. A surf camp is an awesome way to enjoy the French culture – and waves!
2. Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Most people think of Tenerife when considering where to surf in the Canary Islands, but Fuerteventura is a top-spot if looking for where to surf in October. Boasting more than 150 kilometers of coastline, much of which is surfable, Fuerteventura serves epic waves consistently throughout the year.
Fuerteventura is also a popular spot to enjoy kitesurfing, which is a great alternative if the wind isn’t playing ball. The northern coast of the island, Corralejo, is where most of the main surf breaks are. Some of these, such as Rocky Point and Flag Beach, are beginner-friendly.
If you’re looking for power then El Hierro is the spot to visit. This is a spot reserved for experienced surfers, with swell breaking both left and right over an intimidating reef bottom. If you’re taking your own board, then you may want to pack two…
3. Sydney, Australia
The stereotype of the Aussie surfer largely stems from Sydney and, more specifically, Bondi Beach. Sydney is revered as a surfer’s paradise with a large number of beaches to choose from, depending on your skill level and mood for the day.
Central beaches, such as Bondi Beach, can get crowded, especially when the swell is pumping. However, some spots, such as Cronulla Beach, are less busy during the week while locals are at work.
Most of the surf spots in Sydney are consistent throughout the year, with certain waves only suitable for experienced surfers, such as North Narrabeen Beach. Whichever beach you choose to enjoy, beware of rocks, rips, and, in some cases, dubious marine life.
4. Siargao, Philippines
The Philippines is a popular travel destination for its idyllic appeal and cultural offerings. The surf is just another reason to book a ticket.
Cloud 9 is the most popular wave in Siargao, and it works particularly well between September and November. October, of course, is in the middle of this surfing mayhem and provides waves that extend as high as 12 feet. Not only is Cloud 9 one of the best waves in the world, but Siargao also produces some of the best surfers.
There are also other spots on the island that offer great fun for beginners and intermediate surfers, with board rentals and schools to boot. From beginner-friendly Guiuan in General Luna to Salvacion for intermediate surfers on the hunt for barrels.
5. The Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
We’re both suckers for Indonesia, with the majority of the islands offering unbeatable swell throughout the year. October marks the end of the dry season which makes it your last “best bet” to visit for a surf trip.
There are options of where to surf in the Mentawai Islands, each spot receives powerful swell from the Indian Ocean. While 4 Bobs offers a protected, right-hand wave, Kandui Left gives you a chance to surf quick left-hand waves – and get spat out on the other side of an epic barrel.
Most of the spots that have put the Mentawai Islands on the map are for advanced surfers. The waves are fast, powerful, and demand confidence in the ocean that few beginners own.
6. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
The swell in Santa Teresa is best during October when the currents are low and the waves are fast. While most of the beaches are beautiful to look at, a few stand out for surfers, namely La Lora, Playa Hermosa, and Playa Carmen.
Santa Teresa is a popular choice for a surfing trip for many reasons, including the climate and beautiful surroundings. When you’re not in the water, you can enjoy the warm jungle, festive atmosphere, and locally-grown coffee, perfect for injecting energy for a second, third, or fourth session in the day.
Certain beaches cater for beginners, such as Playa Carmen, while others host more expert riders, such as Mar Azul. Take your pick depending on your level!
7. Chiriqui, Panama
Chiriqui islands in Panama are hidden gems of untouched nature – including spoils of swell. Most of the best spots are only accessible by special tour providers which makes Chiriqui a more expensive trip. With this in mind, it’s mostly experienced surfers that find value in the expense, although there are waves for both beginners and pros alike.
There’s a variety of spots to choose from, including the beach bottom breaks of Lar Barqueta Beach to the right-hand reef break of Isla Silva de Adentro that has promises tubes and long rides. If you’re looking for a rustic and exclusive surf destination in October, then bookmark Chiriqui in Panama!
8. San Diego, California
California dreamin’ in San Diego is best on a surfboard from August through to November. This makes San Diego a great choice for surfing in October. The beaches blow offshore and the waves form near-flawless barrels.
Take note that the water temperature drops slightly in October so a wetsuit is an asset. As with most surf regions, there are certain spots that are best for advanced and others that are better suited for novices.
Advanced surfers will enjoy La Jolla’s Black Beach and Windansea which can be risky to surf if you don’t know what you’re doing. For beginners and intermediates, Pacific Beach and La Jolla’s Shores are better suited.
9. Outer Banks, North Carolina
If you’ve watched Netflix’s Outer Banks then you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from the edgy surfing region. The barrier islands are exposed to storm swell which can make the waves pump under the right conditions.
Although October falls out of the main summer tourist season, you still need to be aware of crowds at the main spots. Other hazards to note include jellyfish and sea lice, both of which can ruin a good surf trip. The water is warm enough to get by in boardies and a costume. However, if you’re anything like me, then a surf vest can come in handy when the breeze picks up.
There’s a lot of coastlines to choose from which can make the choice intimidating. A good place to start is Hatteras Island – you can’t go wrong!
Which Is the Best Place to Surf in October?
October sits precariously on the end of the tourism season, which can make it a difficult time to get away from work but a lot more affordable and less crowded in some of the best-surfing destinations.
The swell cranks in these spots, making each region a fantastic choice for a surfing trip in October. We understand that the world is a big place and there’s a good chance that we’ve left a pearler or two off of this list. If you know of a great destination that you think deserves a mention, then send us a DM on Instagram – we’d love to hear from you!