Whilst the Cocos Islands’ lagoon is known as a great kitesurfing destination, the ocean side offers fun waves to surf. There are plenty of local die-hard surfers, although with such a small population the surf break rarely feels crowded.
Surfing on the Cocos Islands is a little different to the mainland. Rather than going by the swell the surf is dependent on the tides. This is mostly because the surf breaks are on top of reef, and a low tide results in exposed rocks and coral – local surfers will speak from experience when they warn you to not mess with the reef.
If you are travelling to the Cocos Islands, make sure to bring your own board as there are no hire facilities on the island – That is probably part of the reason why there are mostly un-crowded waves. Reef booties are advisable, unless the aim is to go for the tough, barefoot, island-life look.
The Cocos Islands offer two surf spots, catering for different skill levels.
The Spot – More of a beginner wave, kid friendly (in the shallows) and less consistent swell. Features left and right hander breaks, and can still be fun for the more experienced surfers when some size comes through – also a favourite for the mini mals.
The Shack – More suitable for intermediate/experienced surfers. This break features a clean left hander and is best surfed on a mid-tide. Too low and surfers will be face to face with a number of ‘bommies’ (shallow rocks). Too high and it will feel like paddling against a seemingly everlasting current.
Feel free to drop in to the tourist centre during your time on island to ask questions or pick up a local map so you know where the surf breaks are.