Going on an overseas surf trip can do amazing things for your surfing. It allows you to watch different surfers, surf in different conditions and experience surfing in a fresh and unique arena. Done properly, an overseas trip can be the time of your life.
Check out these few practical tips to ensure your trip is a worthwhile experience...
Do your research
Quite often people love to rave about their trips. The waves they got, how cheap it was…but a lot of the time people don’t want to admit that they chose the wrong spot. It was actually insanely crowded, each bottle of water was 7 dollars and it was full of tourists…the same type from back home.
Whilst some people will give you honest descriptions, it really pays to research on your own from a variety of different sources. Of course the hostel will tell you its “right on the water” but it won’t tell you that the wave only breaks on low tide, with a swell that comes about twice a year.
Be careful who you go with
The few times I have travelled with people who I am not compatible with has ended up not so well (understatement.) The last thing you want to deal with if you are on the road is a fight over where to stay, what waves to chase, and how to go about it. If you are travelling with just one other person make sure you have the same agendas and standards.
If you travel with a friend who will refuse to stay anywhere without a nice and comfy double bed, you may be in for an expensive trip. If your friend ends up wanting to surf the slab out front, yet you hate steep waves and only brought your longboard, this is going to end up with either a lot of wasted “compromise” time, or a full blown argument.
Make sure you both agree on what it is you want from the trip before departing.
Don’t book too many nights accomodation
Most of my travelling experience I have ended up moving to a new (and better) spot within the first few days. Trip Advisor told me to stay in “Banana Palace” but Trip Advisor didn’t tell me that a bunch of epic locals down the road run a cheap and equally as pleasant hostel…they just don’t have a website.
It always pays to be flexible with your accomodation as you never know what will pop up and where you will find yourself heading. Be flexible, after all – this is an adventure.
Make friends with the locals
Having a locals knowledge, company and advice is worth it’s weight in gold. They know all the little tricks and tips that could transform your surf trip from a windblown and crowded experience to heaven on earth. If the locals approach you, be friendly.
Though I will admit that sometimes people have hidden agendas, often locals (especially in third world places) are equally as interested in you as you are in them. Listen to their advice and take them up on offers. You will experience the country in a completely different way.
Always get travel insurance
I know this sounds obvious but it is so important that you get travel insurance. In fact, not just any travel insurance, but one in which will fully cover the activities in which you are about to partake in. For example, a lot of travel insurance companies don’t actually cover scooter riding unless you have a motor bike licence and/or international licence. An uncommon combination.
If you fall off your scooter in Bali, break and burn your leg, and have to spend 2 weeks in an intensive care unit in Singapore, guess who is paying for that…You. Read the fine print, and don’t forget to check the dates!