The history of International Surfing Day officially began in 2005 with Surfing Magazine, a magazine publication that ran from 1964 until 2017, and The Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping oceans clean and encouraging people to surf. A day that encourages people to be conscious of the environmental impact of marine life and to promote ocean protection by instilling a love for surfing. Surfing is a lot of fun, and it’s sometimes referred to as “walking on water” because it allows you to glide through the water with nothing but the board under your feet. That being said it is not the easiest of support and requires balance and a whole lot of core strength. There is an assumption that surfing is none existent in the Middle East however we are here to tell you that this is not the case.
North Coast, Egypt
The North Coast of Egypt, which is only an hour’s drive from the city of Alexandria, is a hotspot for surfers. With the richness of waves provided by the Mediterranean Sea one surf school accredited by the International Surfing Association (ISA), Surf Camp Egypt took advantage and started promoting the sport nationally. We chatted with Omar Sobky, founder of Surf Camp Egypt, who told us that surfing is thriving in Egypt with a lot of demand for the sport, through the surf school the team is working to build awareness and advocate for the sport.
Located 19 kilometers from the famed beach city of Agadir and a hotspot for beginners and professionals, Taghazout is a city that is known for the variety of surf camps and shops. The Berbers (the oldest inhabitants of North Africa who have been living on lands stretching from the Atlantic coast of Morocco to Siwa Oasis in Egypt) make up the majority of the population in this modest fishing village. The water can get particularly cold but the waves are well worth it.
While Lebanon may not be the first place that springs to mind when considering a surfing holiday, it is becoming increasingly popular nowadays according to culture trip. Along the country’s long, rocky coastline, the old seaside town of Jiyeh, noted for its sandy beaches, is a rarity. Lebanon had a surf community prior to the 1970 that is now growing once again.
Algeria has a coastline of approximately 1,000 miles, much of which is still undiscovered by surfers. The Djazair Surf Club is based in Annaba, which offers generally consistent waves throughout the year. Algeria joined the International Surf Association as the 85th member in 2014.
Ras al Hadd, Oman
Oman has a lengthy coastline that runs along the Indian Ocean, which is often regarded as the world’s best wave-generating ocean. The best wave sites change depending on the season: huge swells in the south in the summer, and waves in the northeast in the winter. Oman’s inaugural surfing tournament was recently held in Ras al Hadd for the extraordinary waves it provided.
So, for a gorgeous view, a killer workout, and a whole lot of adrenaline just from the site of the waves, you can enjoy surfing in the Middle East.