The Intermediate Surfer's Post-Lockdown Bucket List

Matt Rode

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Updated 363d ago

The past decade has seen a massive shift in how we consume surf media. Smartphones carry content with us everywhere we go, events are live-streamed around the world, and a continuous flow of online content has replaced the surf video.

But all of this access comes with a downfall—a glut of A+ footage that has desensitised us and given us an unrealistic picture of what surfing actually is. Sure, it’s fun to watch the world’s best ride endless tubes at Skeleton Bay or air drop into oblivion at Peahi, but for most of us, surfing will never involve those waves or that level of performance. What we see on the screen is reserved for the top 1 percent, the handful who have the talent to fully utilise the world’s best waves.

Spot guide: Hawaii

Fortunately, our planet is full of a helluva lot of waves that are equally perfect for the average surfer. And while we're all locking down right now, to help the world get rid of the coronavirus, there's no reason we can't mind surf the time away, and think about the trips we're going to take when we are ready. So, here are four waves to visit post-lockdown that will make the intermediate surfer feel like a pro in the drink, and hopefully help up your game in general.

Lagundri Bay—An Intermediate Surfer’s Dream Barrel

Lately clips from Nias don’t get run unless they are of the triple-overhead, backless variety, but let's say, uhhh around 5-to-10 percent of the time, Nias is somewhere between head high and double-overhead—and at that size, it’s just about the easiest barrel in the world.

A relatively mellow roll-in gives way to a spacious, perfectly paced barrel that breaks into a wide open channel. For the surfer who doesn't have the gumption to drop in at Chopes or the ability to navigate Cloudbreak’s fickle foam ball, Lagundri Bay is the perfect place to log tube time.

When to go to Nias? Check our spot guide HERE and sign up to MSW Pro for extended forecasts

Pasta Point—A Lefthand Point That Just Begs to Get Belted

Point breaks are long and symmetrical and dreamy, but many of them are a challenge to surf well. J-Bay is the classic example of a perfect wave that mercilessly exposes the imperfections in your surfing. But there are a handful of points out there that are as easy and fun to surf as they appear to be—and Pasta Point in the Maldives is a great example.

A user-friendly left-hand reef point that is best at around the head-high range, Pasta Point offers up section after crumbly section where even the most pedestrian of surfer can release his fins. The fact that it breaks in tropical water in front of a luxurious resort just adds to the illusion that you are living like a pro.

All you need to make the call for Pasta Point, HERE

Colorados, Nicaragua—the Ideal Blend of Sandy Power and Consistent Fun

First row to a sneaky keg.

First row to a sneaky keg.

© 2021 - El Ugarde

Beachbreaks tend to fall into two categories—heaving and soft. The staple pro-level beach breaks like Hossegor, South Straddie, and Supertubos provide an endless supply of barrels, but they are extremely heavy, break over shallow water, and are challenging as hell due to swinging peaks and slabby drops.

Meanwhile, the average beach break that most people get to surf on a daily basis is a soft but uninspired, offering up corners but not many chances at a barrel. Playa Colorado is the perfect combination—a relatively user-friendly series of sand-bottom peaks that rarely gets bigger than slightly overhead, and offers proper barrels without a prohibitively heavy entry. The fact that the wind blows offshore all day is just icing on the cake.

Thinking of a post-lockdown trip to Nicaragua? See HERE for more details

Sunset Beach—Big Wave Training Ground

If you don’t charge, but still want to know how it feels to drop in on a 10-foot board, Sunset Beach is the place to get your first taste of power. While Sunset is by no means a mellow wave—ask anyone who has taken an XL west swinger on the head—it’s an accessible, deep-water peak that maxes out at around 25 feet (on the face) and typically feels bigger than it is.

Even on medium-sized days, when the bowl is in the double-overhead range and only a handful of sets are feathering outside, riding a gun is entirely justified at Sunset—which is why virtually every big wave charger on the North Shore earned their chops there, and continues to paddle out anytime the swell is too small for the outer reefs but too big for everywhere else. For the intermediate surfer looking to break into the world of XL waves, Sunset is the traditional place to start.

Forecast: Sunset Beach

Cover shot of Nicaragua by El Ugarde.