Apart from its calming beaches and mossy green forests, Seychelles has so much more to offer to its tourists. Amazing waves are one of those things. If you love chasing those waves on your surfboard or are a first-timer, planning to try your hand at surfing, don't worry! Here's everything you need to know about the surf scene in Seychelles:
What Makes Seychelles a Great Spot for Surfing?
Because of its long, shallow continental shelf and relatively poor exposure to South-west swell, Seychelles is not counted as one of the best surfing hotspots. You may not be able to surf your desired type of waves here but it definitely has some hidden gems that will provide you with the thrill as well as the satisfaction you're seeking. The location of Seychelles allows to surf some fun waves in warm water, amid the captivating scenic beauty of these islands. Also, relatively unknown on the surf scene, the place is uncrowded - and there lies the beauty of the experience. However, at the same time, keep in mind that surf breaks are plentiful, waves are inconsistent, summers are flat and a number of wind chops are formed which can kill a good surf session. Seychelles is best for mellow surfers looking for a fun tropical surf trip in a stunning, laid back environment.
Best Time for Surfing in Seychelles
Best time for surfing in Seychelles is April to September, as the waves are waist to shoulder high around this time and bigger swells are less frequent. You will find much bigger surf and more areas to surf during this period. That being said, you can find waves throughout the year, just that the surfing area would change depending upon the time of your visit.
Places suggested for surfing during the South-East Monsoon season (April to August)
1. Mahé Island
The largest and the most crowded of Seychelles Islands, Mahé is one of the two most popular islands for surfing. It has a number of beaches which make for great surf spots, you just need to find out which beach suits you the best. You can rent a car here and look for the best break. The most consistent waves can be found on the East side of the Island, while the west side is a bit inconsistent but gives a better payoff. You can choose your ideal surfing spots according to your level of expertise.
For Beginners: Carana Beach experiences small waves in the right and left direction, making it easy and fun - ideal for beginners.
For Experienced surfers: Anse Bougainville, North East Point, Misfit Baya and Anse Royale are some surf spots with Coral Reef Breaks and thrilling waves, suggested for experienced surfers.
For All surfers: Anse Gaulett, Grand Anse, and Anse Intendance are a few beaches that suits all surfers. However, weak swimmers are advised to stay close to the shore.
2. La Digue Island
One hour away from Mahé by ferry, La Digue is famous on the Seychelles surf scene for its Grand Anse beach which is the most famous surf spot of Seychelles. There are a few other beaches with good waves for surfing; and some calm beaches, perfect for snorkelling. The best waves in this island are located on the South-East part. The outer reef spots, located to North of Grand Anse are a bit difficult to reach which are good if you're looking for a thrilling experience in uncrowded surroundings.
For Experienced surfers: Anse Banane, Anse Source Argent and Pointe Canon.
For All surfers: Grand Anse, Cross Pier, and Pointe Camille.
For surfing during the North-West Monsoon Season (October to December)
3. Praslin Island
Praslin is the other most popular beach for surfing. During the NW Monsoon season, head to Anse Lazio beach to surf. Apart from some fun dramatic waves, it offers arguably the best environment in Seychelles. Beach break is good here, making it a good option for beginners as well as first-timers trying their hand at surfing under guidance. It is easily accessible by bus and is highly recommended during the NW Monsoon period.
Good surf spots throughout the year
4. Silhouette Island
Anse Lascars beach is quite popular in the surf world. With its big, thrilling waves which can go up to 6 feet, it is advisable that beginners refrain from surfing here. This beach stays surfable during both the monsoon seasons and between them, i.e. January, February, March and September.
Currently, iSurf is the only licensed surf school in Seychelles. It is highly recommended for those keen on trying surfing for the first time, and even if you've had prior experience in surfing, iSurf will make sure you get the right location, operator and equipment to let you have the best experience possible. The internationally qualified instructors are supportive and will make sure that you have a great learning experience. iSurf operates from Mahé, though they provide pick and drop facilities for other islands. No documents are required. More experienced surfers can join one of their stand up paddle tours of Mahé's outer islands and discover new waves and some amazing beaches.
Equipment: iSurf also provides rental service for surfing and stand-up paddle equipment. However, these are quite expensive, and it's not easy to find a surf shop on these Islands. Thus it is advisable that you bring your own equipment.
Cost: Cost of a single surf lesson (on-land instruction+2 hours in water) for beginners is SCR 3500, intermediate - SCR 2500, and advanced surf lesson - SCR 2000. The surfboard can be hired for SCR 750 on a full day basis.
Also, if you want your adventurous surfing experience captured, professional surf photography is available for SCR 500. It is advisable to contact the team in advance to check for available equipment, and if you're lucky, they might offer you a discount on your surf lesson!
For Beginners: Never approach surfing on your own, get an experienced friend/instructor to teach you. Spend some time practising on the dry land first and then try your hand at beginner waves and once you're inside water, pace yourself. Keep distance from the experienced surfers as they'll be surfing more challenging waves. Use a big surfboard as it'll help you develop fundamental mechanics and you'll be able to catch more waves in the early stages.
For Experienced Surfers: As an experienced surfer, you are familiar with the waves. Based on your mental calculations, fine-tune your position on the peak. Set a goal with your eyes and reach it. Learn how waves are formed as knowledge and science will help you make better decisions there. Seychelles Tourism Board has launched a series of ''Seychelles Experience Videos'' on YouTube, watch these to have an idea about what to expect and don't miss the interesting details.
With almost 1,000,000 km sq. of water in Seychelles territory, it isn't surprising that the islands provide us with a wide range of water sports activities. Surfing is just one of them. You will be super excited to ride the waves for sure, but keep in mind that on some spots, the waves could be pretty wicked so stay alert and safe. At the same time, don't forget to have fun and just enjoy the moment. Always remember this quote by Phil Edwards: "The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun." Happy Surfing!