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Combining Surfing with Backpacking


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Written by: Chris Stevens

There are many sports that have an element of travel to them – footballers go on tour, divers hit new locations, runners compete in different marathons.
But surfing sits top of the pile when it comes to travelling sport lifestyles, the very nature of it revolves around travel – chasing swells and finding the best beaches for the conditions.
This ethos of travel runs deep and surfers are some of the most well-travelled individuals you’ll ever meet – most of whom carry year round tans and sun bleached hair.
So what is it about the surf lifestyle that sits hand in hand with the world of travel?

Exotic locations

Pick up a surf magazine and you’ll be greeted by sun-drenched photos, clear water and board shorts. As soon as you begin to surf you instantly start day dreaming about life on the beach, somewhere warm, with a board tucked under your arm. Yes, this seems to fit the stereotype of a surfer – but hey, stereotypes are there for a reason!
Pretty much all the world class surf breaks are situated in amazing locations around the globe – the island of Hawaii, the reefs of French Polynesia, the rugged coastline of South Africa and the archipelago of Indonesia.
It’s only natural for any surfer to want to travel!

Likeminded people

When you surf, you instantly become part of a network of likeminded people. It’s much like the backpacking bubble – surfers attract other surfers and you’ll find pockets of them dotted along the beaches across the globe.
When you’re on the road you’ll meet heaps of other travelling surfers and share stories, beers and chat in the line-up too. You pass on the stoke, you trade tips on where to head next and what the swells are doing – you become part of the club…actually tribe is probably a better description!

Constant search

And that tribe is nomadic by nature – always scouring the swell charts, planning the next trip and hunting out new, un-crowded waves.
You’ll rarely find a surfer content in being in one place – unless of course that place is slap on a beach with pumping waves!
Even as a beginner surfer you’ll be looking for the next excuse to paddle out on your travels!

Open access

It’s a sport that pretty accessible to all ages and budgets. Surfers range from 2 to 80s and beyond. It’s a sport that embraces diversity – be it age, race, gender or background.
And it’s pretty cheap on the wallet too – a few surf lessons to get you started won’t blow a hole in budget anywhere near what learning to scuba dive will, and a hiring a board in somewhere like Indonesia is about the same price as a meal.
And if you invest in your own kit it essentially becomes free – beaches and the ocean are public property, go nuts!
You’d be surprised how cheap a month of travel can be if you spend all day enjoying the ocean!

Get involved

With surf camps and surf adventures scattered on almost every coastline around the world learning to surf will no doubt be on many travellers’ bucket lists – so get involved and see where it takes you.
We guarantee that as soon as you feel the rush of gliding along a wave or enjoy a sunset bobbing in the ocean you’ll be hooked and frantically rearranging your itinerary to include some serious beach time!

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