World’s Most Crowded Surf Spots 

In 2024, surfing is more popular than ever, which means the world’s best surf destinations are becoming increasingly crowded and competitive. And while I don’t want to get too negative, these particular spots are some of the craziest and most frustratingly crowded on Earth. 

Table of Contents

Lower Trestles 

Trestles is widely regarded as the most crowded surf spot on Earth. But it’s also the most high-performance and user-friendly. It’s a wave that all but makes you surf well, and a good one at Lowers provides an open canvas you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. However, the famous Lower’s cobbles on south swell days (when Lowers is firing), you’ll share the line-up with 80-100 surfers, many of whom rip and seldom fall off. Seriously, I’ve never seen somewhere with such a high concentration of top-level surfing.  

The Superbank 

If there was anywhere as crowded, if not more so than Trestles, it would be the Superbank. Located in Southeast Queensland, The Superbank is one of the best rights in the world. If the sand is right and that sand is met with an east coast low or cyclone spinning down from Fiji, it translates into double-up tubes, breaking for nearly 1km. It’s a wave you can take off on a 1ft whitewater and have that same wave grow and warp into a head-high drainer. 

That said, on any given day at Snapper and the Suerbanlk, there can be 200+ guys out there. The only way to get a good one here is to surf all day and do run-around laps of Rainbow Bay. The plus side to surfing Snapper, though, is that people often fall, especially if the sands are good and people don’t take off or get too deep in the tube—basically, you’re waiting for people to fall the whole session. 

Snapper Rocks

Anchor Point

Anchor Point is the wave that put Morocco on the world surfing map. It’s an extremely fun wave, with a beautiful canvas for tubes and turns if the swell’s right. Those oh-so-lovely green/brown walls are the stuff of dreams and the go-to for European surfers looking to escape the frigid winter further north. However, from dawn to dusk, Anchors is packed. The lineup comprises locals and frothing travelling surfers, which creates a colourone of testosterone and aggression. Out of everywhere I’ve been in the world, this is the most aggressive, unfriendliest line-ups I’ve ever surfed. Locals always get their waves. 

Winkipop 

Winkipop is Bells Beach’s refined, more high-performance, and, let’s face it better, cousin. A long right wall and a super high-performance break that allows you to practice anything. Being one of the best spots in Victoria and so close to one of the world’s best surf towns, Torquay, it’s always crowded, and you’ll be hard-pushed to snag a good one on a good day. Also, when it is good, surfers from Melbourne and across Victoria descend up on Winki for a taste of Victorian point break gold. 

Pipeline

There is nowhere else on Earth more hierarchical and crowded than Pipeline. The North Shore has long been ground zero for crowds and aggressive lineups. Today, the North Shore is less localised than it once was, but a strict hierarchy and swarm of professional surfers still descend upon Pipeline all winter long. The only waves I got at Pipe were when it was 2ft onshore, where it turns into a normal a-frame peak. Plus, you can still claim you’ve surfed Pipeline. 

Jbay 

Jbay is the right-hand point break by which all other right-hand point breaks are measured. It’s a fast, hollow point that races across the rocks, known locally as the “bricks”. On normal days, the point is split into various sections, which all have their own characteristics and intricacies that make them tick. They only really link together, and the biggest swells. As you’d expect, it’s always crazily crowded, with 80+ guys out there on the good days. At least the crowd makes you feel better about the sharks. 

Anchor Point Taghazout
Anchor Point

Pavones 

I only surfed Pavones for the first time recently, and jeez, it was one of the most intense crowds I have ever experienced. It’s a fun wave and very user-friendly meaning not only does it attract advanced surfers, but also intermediates. Throw in frothing groms and locals, and you have the recipe for a frustrating surf. Plus, the best section of the point only works at high tide. On the best days, I counted between 40-50 surfers in the water. That said, if you can get a good one on the luscious inside section, you might ride the longest left of your life. Check out my full guide to surfing in Pavones. 

Coxos 

Coxos is one of the best rights on Earth on its days, Ericier’as jewel in the crown. On long-period winter swells, Coxos is a fright train barrel, with the possibility to get two and even three tubes on the same wave, It’s that good. But as you’d expect, it’s a fiercely contested and somewhat protected wave. 

The locals in Eirciera still are territorial, particularly after their town became an International surfing reserve to protect it from development. The trade-off for the protection (and the international attention it garnered was the prevention of coastal development that could have destroyed some breaks altogether. However, Coxos is such a good wave, locals are still intensely protective of their priceless gem. Read more about surfing in Ericeira. 

Pavones
Pavones

Uluwatu 

Uluwatu is one of the world’s most famous waves; a mystical and iconic break that has been attracting surf trippers since the 70’s. Its a huge playing field, split into three main sections: Temples, The Peak and Racetracks. The length of the wave is just as well because any time it breaks (which is every day during the dry season, there are 300+ surfers in the water, all day. For more information, read my full guide to surfing in Uluwatu. 

Lance’s Right

Lance’s Right is another iconic Indonesian break; famous for its electric blue double-ups. You’ve seen the clips, right? However, when a long period swell looks to light up Lance’s or Hollow Trees, as it is sometimes known, all the charter boats in the area descend upon the place. When I was there in 2023, the best day of waves came with three boats and fifty surfers in the line-up. 

Final Words

While it might seem all doom and gloom when it comes to the world’s most crowded surf destinations, these aren’t the only spots on Earth. Granted, they are crowded for a reason, and if you can snag a good one at any of these spots, it could be the wave of your life. But if these spots seem too much, res-assured, there are thousands of miles of untapped and unexplored coastline you can go off and hunt waves in. Second, to, I’ve been to all of these places, and let’s just say all of them have waves closeby you can surf with little to no one out. I’ll let you go find those, though 😉 

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