Where to Surf in December?

Matt Rode

by on

Updated 329d ago

For most of us, December is holiday season, which means food, festivities, and a break from work. It also typically means time spent with family, so if you are going to travel for surf this month, it will likely be during the first two weeks. If you are looking to give yourself an early Christmas present, here are a few zones worth looking into.


Once again, the Caribbean makes our list of surf zones poised to fire, courtesy of a north swell chugging out of the Atlantic the first few days of December. Puerto Rico in particular will see a nice run of straight north swell with light offshore winds for a number of marquee spots on December 1. Start the holiday season off with some tropical barrels, and you won’t even notice the swells that pop up on the forecast later in the month, when you are tied down with family events.

There's swell on the way to the Caribbean right now. Check the forecast HERE.


We don’t often think of surf in the southern hemisphere in December, but the exotic island nation located off the coast of southeastern Africa is actually looking at swell from two directions during the first 10 days of December—a southwest groundswell for the west coast, and a northeast cyclone swell for the east coast. If you are up for adventure, Madagascar’s untapped potential and diverse wildlife might be just the ticket for an out-of-the-box December surf trip.

Want to know when to go? See HERE for a spot guide.


© 2020 - MAriss Balodis.

While numerous zones in the northern hemisphere historically pump in December, Morocco is an option that many overlook. Storms blow out of the north Atlantic with regularity, setting up swell trains aimed straight toward the northern coast of Africa and Morocco’s fabled right-hand points.

In addition, Christmas isn’t widely celebrated in the Muslim country, so there won’t necessarily be tons of local holiday-goers taking to the lineup. And while Morocco is a popular destination for European surfers, many will opt to stay home with family this time of year, meaning that December can actually be a great opportunity to sneak a handful of low-key sessions right in the middle of swell season.

Watch our live cam of Anchor Point HERE.

Northern California

Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

© 2020 - Christian Habberstad.

California sees pretty much non-stop swell the first two weeks of December, primarily from the west and northwest. With no shortage of waves, the major consideration will be wind, as we are looking at everything from light east to raging south. Fortunately, northern California is full of nooks and crannies that work in pretty much all wind directions. Fly into SF, grab a car, and head north, and you can spend the first half of December surfing virtually alone.

Check all the spots in NorCal HERE.