Do you love putting on a soggy wetsuit first thing on a frosty winter morning? Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this article isn't for you.

If you're looking for any excuse to ditch the neoprene for boardshorts and bikinis though, welcome to our article on the best warm-water surf destinations right now. Below you can learn all about some of our favourite tropical surf zones in the world.

Come on in… the water’s fine.

Sri Lanka

Rippable waves for all levels on the south coast of Sri Lanka, in Ahangama

Sri Lanka is a teardrop-shaped island in the Indian Ocean and a paradise for warm water surf enthusiasts. It's a tropical haven where azure waves meet 1,600 km of coastline to serve up year-round surfing opportunities. Aromatic spices, rickety tuk-tuks and ancient fishing traditions are on full display. And with water temps around the 27-29°C mark, you'll quickly forget that wetsuits are even a thing.

Why go?

  • Unique culture: Sri Lanka boasts a rich culture and heritage, influenced by Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and British settlers. From ancient temples to bustling markets, there's always something new to discover.
  • Two coastlines: The island boasts two coastlines, each with their own unique surf spots. You can roam between the southwest and eastern coasts as you see fit, but we recommend timing your visit to align with the appropriate swell season.
  • Affordable Travel: Sri Lanka is renowned for its cost-effective travel, which means you can make the most of your time here without blowing your budget.

When to go?

The best time to visit Sri Lanka for surfing varies depending on the region. The southwest coast is most favourable from November to April, whilst the eastern shores come alive for surfers between May and October. Pick your preferred travel time and book your ticket. There'll be waves no matter what time of year you arrive.

Where to go?

This depends on your skill level, but on the southwest coast you can't go wrong with Hikkaduwa, Weligama or Ahangama. The eastern side, on the other hand, is home to Arugam Bay, a world-renowned surf spot famous for being one of the dreamiest righthanders in the world.


From mellow and rippable to fast and hollow, Maldivian waves cater to all tastes and skill levels. Stefano aiming for the barrel vision on last year's boat trip.

The Maldives are a scattering of over a thousand islands and 26 ring-shaped atolls in the Indian Ocean, each of which is a true spectacle of nature. There are quite literally pristine white beaches, coral reefs teeming with marine life and world-class surf breaks everywhere you look. And with three different atolls regions and 90,000 square kilometres to roam, there are countless named and unnamed surf spots to suit every surfer's needs.

Why go?

  • Exquisite scenery: The Maldives boasts a stunning landscape of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters and endless blue skies. If you bring to mind the picture of a tropical surf destination, there's probably an island in the Maldives that'll match it.
  • Quality surf breaks: The sheer amount of surf breaks available across the atolls means that no matter your skill level, you'll find a wave to ride. Quality surf breaks are plenty and intermediate and more experienced surfers can challenge themselves with some of the world's most playful waves and best barrels.
  • Charter boards: Like great surf explorers such as Jim Banks and Martin Daly, you too can tap into your inner surf pirate during a Maldives surf trip with a charter boat. There’s just something about rounding the corner of an island, only to find a perfect wave reeling off a distant pointbreak with no one else around…

When to go?

After doing a few Maldives trips already, we can say with certainty that our favourite times to visit (in order to dodge the crowds and still score) are March and April and October and November. Less storms, less crazy swells and definitely less people.

Where to go?

The North Atolls have famous waves, but they also attract lots of other surfers. The Central and South Atolls, on the other hand, are less populated with heaps of great spots. And because you won't be bumping elbows with a bunch of other frothers, you can almost always find an empty lineup.


What's better than sharing a line-up with friends? Fun surf sessions in Gerupuk, Kuta Lombok.

This archipelago, comprising over 17,000 islands, is a warm water surf destination par excellence. Revered globally amongst surfers both young and old, Indonesia is best known for the famous breaks of Bali and the Mentawai Islands, but roam a bit further and most of the islands have a thriving surf scene. With its tropical climate, surfers can indulge in warm waters year-round while admiring the rich cultural heritage that sets this region apart. The only drawback? What makes Indo so endearing is also what attracts the ever-growing crowds to these aforementioned spots.

Why go?

  • Hidden gems: While it might seem redundant to mention spots like Lombok as a 'hidden' gem, the truth is that it's still relatively uncrowded compared to Bali. Couple this with a plethora of unexplored islands in the region and you have plenty of room to get lost (in a good way).
  • Cultural heritage: Beyond the waves, Indonesia boasts a rich cultural heritage that often differs from island to island, giving the entire country a diverse and vibrant feel.
  • Consistent swell: Indonesia is one of the most consistent warm-water surf destinations in the world for swell year-round, which equates to great value for money if you're looking to book and surf your brains out!

When to go?

Indonesia experiences two main seasons: the wet and the dry. The dry season (April to September) is the most popular for surfing, characterised by consistent waves and sunny days. The wet season (October to March), while subject to increased rainfall, is actually an awesome time to visit given the waves are still good but most peeps have cleared out.

Where to go?

Bali, while deservedly renowned, is becoming an increasingly popular surf destination. For surfers seeking less densely populated surf spots, Lombok is the hidden gem to explore. If you are looking for consistent uncrowded surf, the Mentawais in the shoulder season (March/April and October/November) are also a great option if you’re not looking for massive barrels but still want to score fun waves. Indonesia calls for exploration: roam the islands and chances are high you will find a wave just for yourself!

Wrapping up

If you're keen for a warm water surf vacation, these spots can't be beat. Not only can you enjoy the sun on your skin, bath-like ocean temps and consistent waves, but you can also indulge in the local cultures and cuisine. The best thing about surfing these spots though? Probably that so long as you're surfing, you're not at work.