Where to now? Um, this Mentawai set up will do fine, thanks. – Photo Shield

Finding it hard to get motivated after a fun Easter break surfing and eating way too much?
Easter is a great time of the year for surfers all over Australia, however, I must admit sometimes it can be hard to get excited about the rest of the year ahead and the lack of holidays and/or days off scheduled from now until year’s end.
So what better way to get amped, than planning how to treat yourself during the rest of the year with a surf trip or two?
But where are you going to go? Surfing is so reliant on so many different weather related variables coming together. That is part of the appeal, right? The search factor, chasing particular setups that work under certain wind and swell directions in particular months is critical information when weighing up any potential destination for a surf trip.
The stoke attained scoring a particular wave that only breaks in a unique combination of conditions, paddling out and being rewarded with an uncrowded line-up because you did the research and timed it perfectly, is extremely rewarding.
Obviously though, some set ups are more fickle than others. Knowledge is power. So with that in mind, let me suggest some of the best surf locations to visit in the remaining 8 months of 2016, taking into account swell and weather variables when mapping out the best months to visit.

April – Maldives boat charter.

A great month to book a boat charter in the Maldives. The surf season in the Maldives runs from March to October. The season has kicked off with a bang this March. There has already been several quality mid range swells and there has been very few surfers around.
Check out our early season blogs from North Male and theCentral Atolls and you will be blown away. Our surf guide on the Cobia, Bob Fawcett, has been frothing about the quality start to the 2016 surf season. Things don’t look like letting up.
April is renowned for light winds and mid range swell before the crowds hit it in the southern hemisphere winter months. April is great time to try a boat charter. We have numerous options available here.

April is a great time to book a Maldives charter. – Photo epicswells.com

May –  Mentawai Land Resort

I recommend our epic land camp in the Mentawai … the Mentawai Islands in Sumatra never let you down on the wave front. The whole region is a surfer’s paradise of crystal clear water, incredibly scenic backdrops and the most consistent waves you can find.
The Ments are renowned for consistently head-high surf breaking over perfect shaped Indo reefs. We have a great land option called Aloita Resort. Two speed boats take you out to a series of lesser known, uncrowded sets up nearby, well away from the crowded Playgrounds region.
There’s something for all standards of surfer in the Ments. Check out The Perfect Wave Mermaids blogs at Aloita Resort this month for an idea of what to expect. Peak surf season runs from May through to October. There’s always waves.

Scarecrows May 11, 2015. Never crowded. 10 mins from Aloita Resort. – Photo Grant Davis.

June – Mentawai, Telos or Banyaks boat charter

Still in Indo. It is peak season by June. Book a boat charter in The Mentawai, The Telos or Banyaks.  There’s always swell. Less crowds in the Banyaks too.
No other type of surf trip offers the same potential for surfing such quantity of quality waves in such close proximity. It is no secret that numbers are down across the board in the region this year, so what better time to go? We have some good deals right now.
Escape crowds, traffic, the groms, the mortgage, work, bills and responsibilities for 10 to 14 days and go.

July –  Sri Lanka

Renowned for being like an uncrowded, undeveloped version of say the Gold or northern NSW points, Sri Lanka’s sand bottom point breaks will leave you with nothing but memories of long, workable and often hollow little barrels.
Sri Lanka serves as a reminder that waves don’t have to be big to be fun. Sometimes nothing stokes a travelling surfer more than consistent, workable, long walls.  In July, Aragum Bay and the nearby sand points at Pottuvil, Peanut Farm and Okanda are usually full with sand.
The old fishing village at Aragam retains much of its original charm and is a perfect base to stay, surf, socialize and eat well.

July. Pottuvil Point doing a fine Snapper impersonation minus the crowd. – Photo Newsham.

August –  Fiji

Catch plenty of late-winter swells in Fiji. There’s multiple set ups in Fiji to suit all boardriders, from learners to full on tube riders. We can sort you a package so you can surf Cloudbreak, Restaurants or Wilkes Pass if you’re keen, or you can head down to  Fiji’s Coral Coast and enjoy less peeps in the water.
It’s a great alternative option, ideal for hard-core single surfers, couples or family surf holidays. There’s still plenty of south swells that make their way up from those deep Tasman low-pressure systems, so it is quite a consistent time to go.

August. Catch a late winter south swell on the Coral Coast. Frigates.

September – Bali

Believe it or not, after a dozen or so trips to Bali in the last 25 years I am still surfing new locations every trip. It is still a surfer’s paradise in the sense that the swell is consistent, there’s plenty to do for the family and food and accom are still relatively cheap.
September for me is a great time to leave Australia. Winter is over, yet the waters cold, the banks are generally straight after all the winter swell and the spring sea breezes have kicked in. Yet the Bukit is still offshore all day every day, the East Coast rights are often good in the morning, the Kuta/Legian/Seminyak beachies fun at high tide and we have an incredible excuse to go surf and socialize for a week with Tex Perkins and Phil Jamieson playing six shows in seven days.
Find out more info on Surf secrets in Bali here.

Bali, September. The Bukit still has its moments. Padang firing. – Photo Christie.

October – the Philippines

Typhoons in the North Pacific send plenty of swell towards the Philippines with more consistency then it is often credited with. Cloud 9 delivers neat barrels, and there’s still dozens of unnamed reefs waiting to be surfed.
Shark Island veteran Steve Hare swears by the barrels in the Philippines. He literally stops me in the street glowing after every trip. I have seen Steve get way too many deep tubes out the Island to doubt the man. Still lots to scope out.

Phillipines. October. – Hmmm. Now that sure is worth searching for. Phillipines secret set up.

November – P-Pass

Often referred to as the world’s best right, P-Pass offers a near perfect tube ride. Don’t get put off by the pictures in the magazines though, maxi swells only hit Pohnpei a few times a year. Most days are a very accessible 3 to 6ft.
Allois is an incredibly accommodating host and he has fast boats to whisk you out to the break or somewhere else if required. Get in early as there are limited spaces. Swell season is similar to Hawaii – i.e. October through March, but word is that the wind is generally quite light in November.
Take the trip and tick P-Pass off your bucket barrel list! Read a blog: What to expect at P-Pass.

P-Pass. November. Perfect 4ft days at P-Pass look hard to beat. – Photo Swilly.

December –  PNG

Surf season in PNG is from Oct/November to April, but December is generally quite consistent. Crowds are never an issue and we have plenty of accommodation options ranging from traditional surf camps set in idyllic surrounds and surf charters on board the epic PNG Explorer.
There’s a variety of reefs, points and even some random beach breaks that deliver during the predominant North Swells.
Read a blog: What to expect in PNG.

December. The colours or the cylindrical shape could get you to PNG for Christmas. – Photo Peel.

Written by:
Ben Horvath

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