top ten surf destinations for november

21 November 2010 21:06:00 AEDT

The Northern Hemisphere comes alive this month. Serious Aleutian lows are reaching their most powerful in the North Pacific at present. Hawaii is yet to peak but for many of the sometimes fickle reefs and shoals of Micronesia, the wind and swell combo does not get any better than right now. In the North Atlantic, the far northern points and breaks of The UK and Scandanavia are breaking with regular form and yet the water is just warm enough to permit you to get away wth a 5mm suit. Leave it another month and the midnight sun catches you - limiting your amount of daylight per day to only a few hours. Last but not least, some of the rarest surf of all comes alive with the Sorocco winds that whip across the Mediterranean. Fabled mysto reefs along the coast of Italy are firing up as are forgotten capes and reaches all along the Egyptian coast - tread carefully young traveller, here there be dragons.

Okay, the Top 10 Surf Destinations For November

10. Haifa - Israel

The Mediteranean, she is a harsh mistress. Often this far eastern coast of the largest enclosed body of water on Earth is a windblown sideshore mess. Strike it lucky here though and you're in for a treat. Haifa or Backdoor as it is known is one of the more popular breaks in the region so rarely will it be uncrowded but the average Israel surfer is a fairly mellow soul. Be prepared to do some serious waiting if you plan on surfing here, time your visit around the main dominance of the Sirocco winds typically around either March or November.

These winds will ensure any swell bouncing around the Mediterranean will be at it's maximum. Haifa is a fairly standard beach break entry, classic on it's day but very sandbank dependant.

9. Harmonthep - Egypt

Splendid isolation rarely gets this good, especially when a 4 foot westerly swell is coursing across the med. Harmonthep is one of several quality left hand points that work along this most ancient of coastlines. Tricky offroad access required rewarding the surfer with splendid isolation . Harmonthep is a reef / sand / point setup all rolled into one. The element that happens to be working will be dependent on the swell size and direction. A solid NW swell will yield best results typically.

It doesent matter how modern your board is, there is something timeless about exiting the surf in Egypt and walking onto the sand...a camel merchant smoking some indescibable substance puffing slowly as you pass by.

May Isis look over you young traveller...

8. Capo Manno - Italy

A very good right hand point that is well known accross the Med, it's reputation makes it crowded and localised. It recieves plenty of swell from the western quarter and is shielded from north west winds. It has a powerful bowly and hollow section and can give out a ride of nearly 200 metres on the best days. Watch out for the sharp rocks and urchins.

7. Avatoru - French Polynesia

A north facing reef pass on the Rangiroa Atoll. There are a lot of options in the area around here. Just look for a reef pass and a clean northerly vectored swell. Boast can be a little tricky so best to plan well in advance.

6. Tjornuvik Bay - Faroe Islands

Seriously for the devoted surf traveller, freezing water and fickle waves. Needs a big northeasterly to wrap into the bay. High chances of ending up a bull seals biatch!!

5. Thurso East - Scotland

Nias of the north as it has been described in the past. Thurso East is a classic wave that holds its place respectively on the world waves score board and lets face it, if you're travelling to northern Scotland to surf then this is the wave on your mind. But still it remains suprisingly uncrowded. Entry into the lineup is a fairly quick and uneventful affair, on the small days just walk accross the reef and a well timed jump in and sprint paddle will see you into the lineup with dry hair. On the bigger days jump into the Thurso River to the left of the break and let the peety brown conveyor belt carry you around the outsideand onto impact zone. The takeoff into this wave isn't the worst, but once in you will be treated to a long fast barrel floating somewhere not too far above the kelp covered reef. The more west there is in the swell the better the barrel tends to be. If the swell is more north easterly the wave will be more walling but still fast.

4. Point Carew - Alaska

Cold water surfing is coming of age and Alaska is proving to be a haven for isolated perfection. Carew Point rests on the extreme western edge of Yakutat Island. A lot of quality options in this area with waves all year round. sumemr will be your best option for both light and of course temperature.

Your gear will be very important. Heated suits / Drysuits, skis and back up teams. you don't want to be spending a lot of time paddling in this water, wind chill brings it down to negative celcius territory very quickly. Surfing at its best on slack tide

3. Bridges Right - Kiribati

A top shelf right hander that works best in a clean 2m NW swell. Easy paddle from the beach. nice take off with an excellent speed wall section. Long rides all the way into the bay. NE winds will fan this break into a speedy barrel

2. Arno Arno - Marshall Islands

Also known as 'Chuckies'. This break is on the Arno Atoll, just to the east of the capital, Majuro. Ample lagoon anchorage for your boat. The wave works on a shallow reef pass that offers a right hander to the south and a left to the north. Really comes to life in a solid swell that grinds along the reef face close to the channel in a beautiful arc for about 200 metres.

1. P-Pass - Micronesia (Pohnpei)

Gem of the Western Pacific. This wave is but one of the hidden secrets of the mysterious island of Pohnpei. remote corners like this are still a little pricey when it comes to travel so plan well in advance. A boat will be required only a short distance from the main town.

Most people coming here to surf will be guess at the Pohnpei surf club. If you arrive via other means, the guys here should still be able to help you out for reef transfers etc. no trip to Pohnpei is complete without a visit ot the mysterious ruins of Nan Madol. an ancient ruin of stone buildings built with incredible skill - there is simply nothing like it in the Pacific and it begs the question.

Was Pohnpei the ancient seat of power in the Pacific - are the legends of the lost continent of Mu true? Are the stone works of Egypt and South America he handiwork of the decendents of Mu and Pohnpei? You will have plenty of time to ponder these questions as you steam through your 10th barrel of the morning at P-Pass.

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