The bucket list of surf spots

It’s only a matter of time before we’re pushing daisies, and you certainly don’t want go without surfing the best waves you possibly could, right? So with mortality in mind, here are five surf spots around the globe that you should hit before that big barrel in the sky.

Restaurants, Fiji

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See that left peeling along the reef? Welcome to Restaurants, one of the best bucket-list places to surf before you die; photo courtesy

A machine-like left that peels over a razor-sharp coral reef, Restaurants is routinely cited as one of the best waves in the world. Situated directly in front of Tavarua resort in the dreamy South Pacific, the wave used to be private and was surfed only by guests of Tavarua. That changed a few years ago and its perfect tubes are wide open for anyone. With hundred-yard-long rides and three barrels per wave the norm, Restaurants tops the list of places you have to surf before you die.

Pipeline, North Shore Oahu

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John John Florence at Pipeline, a place to surf before you pass; photo Brent Bielmann/Surfing magazine

No, we’re not trying to kill you. Obviously you’re not going to paddle out to the world’s deadliest wave, call off a pack of locals, and get the wave of the day. However, with a little bit of luck and a 3- to 4-foot swell, intermediate surfers can get a wave at the Banzai. The trick is to get out there early—before the locals paddle out—and scrap for a decent set wave. Stay on your toes, though; even when it’s head-high, Pipeline packs a punch. Your tale of slaying the Banzai Pipeline will be water-cooler fodder for years to come.

Rifles, Indonesia

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One of the best rights in the world, Rifles is definitely somewhere you need to surf before you kick the proverbial bucket; photo courtesy

Located in an isolated island chain off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, Rifles is the gem of the Mentawais. A screaming right that breaks over a shallow reef, on a good day Rifles has a minimum of four barrel sections. The crowds can get a bit hectic, but it takes only one wave to shout, “That was the best wave of my life!” as you kick out into the channel.

Teahupoo, Tahiti

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It’s not always death-defying barrels at Teahupoo sometimes it’s tame enough to tick off the bucket list. Photo by Duncan McFarlane/Surfing magazine

Teahupoo. The name alone strikes fear into the heart of even the most courageous surfer. Yet it doesn’t have to. While the surf mags hype up big swells at “The End of the Road,” there are plenty of days out at the Tahitian reef pass that are user friendly. To live to surf another day, look for a manageable 3- to 4-foot south/southwest swell and get out there at dawn; despite the incredible amount of press Teahupoo gets, to this day it’s still possible to have a solo session as the sun rises over the insanely beautiful Tahiti Iti mountains.

The Superbank, Australia

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Despite the crowds, the Superbank on the Gold Coast of Australia is a spot that definitely earns its rank on your surfing bucket list; photo courtesy Kathie Nichols/

It’s quite possibly the most crowded wave in the world—but for good reason. The Superbank, which consists of Snapper Rocks, Greenmount, Little Marley, and, at times, all the way to Kirra, has to be considered one of the best waves in the world despite the hordes that frequent it. On a proper cyclone swell, the waves are so consistent that you can almost duck-dive two at a time. With all those waves coming in, you’re bound to get a good one where you’ll be ripping down the Superbank until your legs turn to jelly. The smile across your face as you make the half-mile trek back to the top of the point will make all the drop-ins and near-decapitations worth it.

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