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Catch a wave into the wild world of surfing!

Prepare to paddle out into the thrilling seascape of destinations where surfing culture is king.

Are you stoked to see which shores attract board riders from all over the planet?Hang tight, the surf safari begins here!

Countries where surfing is most popular:

  1. Australia
  2. United States (particularly Hawaii and California)
  3. Brazil
  4. South Africa
  5. Portugal
  6. France
  7. Indonesia
  8. Japan
  9. Spain
  10. Peru
  11. United Kingdom

#1 Australia

ChensiyuanBells beach surfers, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

Surfing in Australia is a cultural hallmark, with coastlines like the Gold Coast carving out a global reputation. The Aussie love for surfing is amplified by world-class waves, surfing legends like Mick Fanning, and iconic events like the Bells Beach Pro.

From casual beach-goers to professional athletes, Australians are drawn to the surf, making the country a premier destination for surf enthusiasts worldwide.

#2 United States

Pedro Szekely from Los Angeles, USA, Kelly Slater (6020584199), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 2.0

The United States, especially Hawaii, the spiritual home of surfing, and California, with its legendary surf culture, ranks highly in surfing’s popularity. Icons like Duke Kahanamoku and the world-famous Pipeline wave have cultivated a deep-seated surf culture.

American surf spots are embedded in the sport’s history, influencing surf lifestyle and industry, and continuously attracting surfers of all levels.

#3 Brazil

TMbux, Lopes Mendes – Surfing – panoramio, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 3.0

Surfing in Brazil surged with figures like Gabriel Medina elevating its status. Brazil’s extensive coastline offers diverse waves, from Florianรณpolis to Rio de Janeiro, passionately embraced by locals and visitors.

Brazilians’ enthusiasm for the sport is evident in their competitive successes and vibrant beach culture, securing Brazil’s spot as a top surfing destination.

#4 South Africa

South African Tourism from South Africa, Learning to surf with Ocean Adventures, Durban beach front. KwaZulu Natal, South Africa (19892576863), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 2.0

Surfing is deeply ingrained in South Africa’s coastal culture, with iconic spots like Jeffrey’s Bay and Durban’s Golden Mile providing world-class waves that attract surfers globally.

South Africa hosts several international competitions, including the famous Billabong Pro surfing contest at Jeffreyโ€™s Bay. The country’s diverse and challenging wave conditions have produced numerous top-tier surfers who excel in international circuits.

#5 Portugal

Bengt NymanPeniche Portugal February 2015 13, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

Portugal is a premier surfing destination in Europe, known for its consistent and varied surf spots like Nazarรฉ, which is famous for some of the biggest waves ever surfed.

The country’s extensive coastline allows for a thriving surf culture, with numerous schools and camps promoting the sport. Portugal regularly hosts major surfing competitions, drawing professional surfers and spectators from around the world.

#6 France

Brigittebourger Brigitte BourgerLa horde – Surfers riding a wave in Paea, Tahiti, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

France boasts a strong surfing culture, particularly along the Atlantic coast in regions like Biarritz and Hossegor.

These areas are known for their reliable waves and have become hubs for the European surf scene. France hosts annual international competitions such as the Quiksilver Pro France, contributing significantly to the local economy and the popularity of the sport.

#7 Indonesia

nugroho.dewanto, Surfing hours – panoramio, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 3.0

Indonesia’s surfing scene thrives due to its idyllic islands like Bali, known as a surfer’s paradise with world-class waves and a vibrant surf culture. The archipelago’s vast coastline offers diverse surfing spots, attracting surfers globally.

Surf tourism has flourished, playing a vital role in the country’s economy and embedding surfing into Indonesia’s coastal lifestyle and international reputation.

#8 Japan

takacchi, Surf in’ – panoramio, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 3.0

Surfing in Japan has gained momentum, particularly following its inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. With a coastline that stretches extensively around the archipelago, Japan offers a variety of surf spots that cater to all levels.

The increasing local interest and international events have elevated surfing’s profile, making it an essential component of Japan’s coastal recreational activities.

#9 Spain

Bengt Nyman from Vaxholm, Sweden, Surf 8527 (23961828733), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 2.0

In Spain, surfing has seen a rise in popularity along its northern coastlines, with regions like the Basque Country and Cantabria emerging as surf hotspots.

Favorable wind patterns and swells provide excellent conditions for surfing throughout the year. The sport’s growth is nurtured by surf schools and festivals, integrating it into Spain’s diverse sporting culture.

#10 Peru

Bruno Ahlgrimm, BA Mancora 371@20140102, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 2.0

Peru’s surfing heritage is rich, claiming historical significance with ancient cultures that possibly introduced the earliest forms of surfing. Today, Peru offers exceptional surf spots like Punta Hermosa and Mรกncora, known for their ideal wave conditions year-round.

The country celebrates its surfing history and continues to nurture talent, evidenced by its surfers’ strong performances in international competitions.

#11 United Kingdom

Surfing in Fistral Bay by Steve Daniels, Surfing in Fistral Bay – geograph.org.uk – 2598038, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 2.0

While not traditionally known for surfing, the United Kingdom has a burgeoning surf scene, especially in Cornwall and Devon where the Atlantic swell provides consistent waves.

The UK hosts several national surfing contests and has a growing community of surfers who brave the often chilly waters. Initiatives to improve surfing infrastructure and promote the sport are enhancing its popularity and accessibility across the country.


Which country is Surfing played the most?

Surfing is played the most in Australia, renowned for its extensive coastlines, vibrant surf culture, and hosting world-class surfing events attracting enthusiasts from all over the globe.

Which country watches Surfing the most?

Australia watches Surfing the most, with a population deeply passionate about the sport and a long tradition of producing world-class surfers who dominate international competitions.

Where was Surfing originally played?

Surfing was originally played in Hawaii, where it developed into more than just a pastime — it was a fundamental aspect of Hawaiian culture. Dive into the waves of history with our Surfing history article for a deeper look at the sport’s origins.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When heโ€™s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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