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Posted on 16 October 2014

Dreaming of duck diving through some tropical, turquoise waters this year? So are we. But not all of us are so lucky to live within a stones throw of the equator, where ‘wetsuit’ is just another weird, foreign word with no bearing on day to day life. Not all surfers live in the tropics, and cold water surfing has been booming in recent years. O’Neil hosts their ‘Cold Water Classic’ every winter, picking a different chilly location each calender year. With new wetsuit technology, a flask of rum, and a beach sauna waiting for you there is absolutely no reason not to get wet and frosty and catch a cold wave or two. Below we have compiled The Top 5 Cold Water Surfing Destinations:

Bikini Empire’s The Top 5 Cold Water Surfing Destinations:

1. Surf Tofino, British Columbia. Our home break. The first place we ever really got pummeled by fall swell, Tofino makes it to the top of our very bias list. A cool town with numerous beaches beckons, and post surf there is micro-brewery to warm up at, aptly called Tofino Brewing Company. Located about 3 hours from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Tofino sits at the tip of the Pacific Rim National Park, with countless breaks. Even more available if you can buddy up with someone with a boat. Best time to surf is the fall, when the big storms hit, but nice waves can be found all year. Looking for a board rental, lessons, or advice on what break to hit? Head to Live to Surf a great surf shop thats in the same parking lot as an awesome coffee shop and taco truck. Nuff said.

2. Surf Tasmania. Away from the crowds of Australia and Indonesia is the cool waters of Tasmania. Some of the best surf in the area is close to Hobart, making it accessible to visitors. Shipstern Bluff, also known as Devil’s Point, on the tip of the Tasman Peninsula is Australia’s heaviest wave and regarded by professionals as one of the most dangerous and wildest rides in the world.

3. Surf Iceland. The surfing community is buzzing about this cold water destination. No lineups and miles upon miles of empty beaches make zipping into a thick wetsuit worth it. In Spring and Fall, the waves are consistent and the water temperatures are on par with England or Scotland. Many local surfing companies take prospective surfers to the best, and safest breaks.

4. Surf Norway. Magic Seaweed calls Norway’s wave battered coastline “a rare surfing frontier.” Almost no infrastructure exists in the way of surf rental shops or surf communities next to good breaks, but since the 1990s and constantly improving wetsuit technology, the surfing craze has hit Norway. Super short days in the winter leaves only a short window for wave riding, but find some secluded break and you’ll be happy you made the journey.

5. Surf Nova Scotia. On the east coast of Canada is the Province of Nova Scotia. The capital of Halifax gets battered with Arctic swell and storms all winter long. Lots of wind means kitesurfers galore as well. Winter can get a little gnarly, so stick to the Spring and Fall for nice sized waves and less chance of ice storms.

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