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Surfing Events You Cannot Miss in August

by Octavia Drughi

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It seems like it was only yesterday that summer started and already August is just around the corner. Luckily, the swell is pumping and the waves are firing, so this is the best time to get out and be where all the action is!

But what would a surfing trip be like without the chance to meet like-minded people, watch pros putting on a show and stealing some moves, and getting jiggy on the dancefloor? Clear your calendar and get ready for some wild beach parties and surf festivals! See your favorite pro athletes compete, dance to the beat, and get involved in sustainability efforts to make sure that future generations can have just as much fun as you are now.

From WSL Qualifying Series and long-awaited stops on the Men and Women’s Championship Tours to rocking beach parties and dog surfing competitions, we’re here to tell you where and when you need to be this August.


World Dog Surfing Championships

When: August 4, 2018

Where: Linda Mar Beach, San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA


Photo credit: today.com

This summer, how about hanging ten with man’s best friend? After all, there are some animals that can surf with just as much style and grace as most of us. And there are quite a few of them, such as surf dog Ricochet, that don’t do it just for fun but also to raise money for charity. These dogs are changing the world, one wave at a time.    

Also known as the Norcal Surfing Event, the first edition of the World Dog Surfing Championships was held in 2016. That’s when Abbie Girl won the competition, an Australian Kelpie with two Guinness World Records – the longest competing and most awarded surfing dog.  


Photo credit: kqed.org

North California’s premier dog surfing event welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes to enter in the Tandem Dogs Surfing Heat or the Tandem Dog/Human Surfing Heat. The event is divided into four dog weight classes. The championship is free to watch, but there is a $25 entry fee for competing dogs.



In addition to the dog surfing competition, the annual event also features Dog Disc-Ball & Fetch Water Competition, mobile pet adoptions, and a beach dog fashion & costume contest.


Boardmasters Surf and Music Festival

When: 8-12 August, 2018

Where: Newquay, Cornwall, UK


Photo credit: visionninegroup.com

The UK’s most famous surf and music festival returns to Newquay and this year, it is expected to be bigger and better than ever. Get ready for five full days of surfing, extreme sports, a wide variety of music, and laid-back vibes on the Cornish coast: “Boardmasters brings like-minded souls together for a unique festival experience…”

Boardmasters hosts the biggest surfing competition in the UK, part of the World Surf League (WSL) qualifying series. There will be the Men’s Quicksilver Open, the Roxy Open, and a Men and Women’s longboarding competition. Let us not forget the Boardmasters Young Gun Invitational, which will bring forth the next generation of grommets.

The surfing, skateboarding, and BMX competitions will be held at Fistral Beach and are free to watch. A mini ramp will be set up on the beach, where the best skaters and riders in the UK will go crazy. The competitions will take place throughout the duration of the festival, starting on Wednesday, August 8 and ending on Sunday, August 12.


Photo credit: newquay.co.uk

On August 10, the party moves to Watergate Bay. Only a 15 minutes’ drive from Fistral Beach, this is a great beginner surf spot. International bands and DJs will put on a wild performance on 12 music stages.

This year’s headliners include The Chemical Brothers, Lily Allen, Annie Mac, Years & Years, Catfish and The Bottlemen, Rag’N’ Bone Man, Kano, Craig David Presents TS5, and George Ezra. In total, there will be 29 epic acts from six music genres.

As always, there will be a Surf Village, beach bar, morning yoga on the beach, paint fights, and disco aerobics. The festival is organized in partnership with the Surfers Against Sewage environmental organization, and a ‘green brigade’ will be in charge of separating and recycling all the garbage left behind.


Billabong Pro Tahiti

When: 10-21 August 2018

Where: Teahupo’o, Tahiti


Also known as Chopes, Teahupo’o can be roughly translated as ‘the place of broken skulls.’ That should be descriptive enough, but in case you need more information about this deadly yet captivating wave, here it goes…

Teahupo’o isn't a wave, it's a war zone […] A freak of nature that some bastard decided to call a surf spot.” – Gary Taylor, surf journalist.


Photo credit: Sylvain Labeyrie  via magicseaweed.com

Teahupo’o frequently reaches 30 feet (9 meters) during heavy swells and is famous for its consistent barrels. But the wave holds other records as well. Have you heard of the Millennium Wave? It is the heaviest wave ever surfed, ridden by Laird Hamilton at Teahupo’o in August 2000.

Wait, there’s more!

Often times, Teahupo’o is as thick as its height, which is why it is considered the heaviest and the deadliest wave in the world. While the Billabong Pro Tahiti has not claimed any lives since its first edition back in 1999, the wave itself has recorded five deaths. Just imagine a 20-foot (6-meter) or higher face that breaks over a reef that is only a couple of feet deep (little over half a meter). This is not the place to get wiped out. Furthermore, it is the only wave on the planet that breaks below sea level, due to a drop in the reef’s height.

Take a look at some of the best rides ever at the Billabong Pro Tahiti:

Teahupo’o is located on the southwest tip of the main island of Tahiti, around an hour’s drive from capital Papeete and about 500 meters offshore from the tiny seaside town with the same name. It takes a five-minute boat ride or a 20-minute paddle to reach the break. In the surfing world, the wave is also known as The End of the Road. This is because… well, it is literally located at the end of the road – there is only one restaurant and no hotels, so all the WSL surfers and staff stay with the local families.


Photo credit: tahitiislandstravel.com

Billabong Pro Tahiti is the seventh stop on the Men’s Surfing Championship Tour, gathering thousands of people from around the world coming to watch their favorite athletes take a stab at riding the monstrous glassy waves.


SAE Australian Surf Festival

When: 10-27 August 2018

Where: Tweed Coast, New South Wales


Photo credit: surfingaustralia.com

On the Tweed Coast in northern New South Wales, home to some of the best surf spots on the east coast, the Australian Surf Festival is an annual event that includes four surfing disciplines. SAE Group, in partnership with Surfing Australia and Surfing NSW, will be hosting 17 days of world-class surfing that are expected to attract over 500 surfers from around the country, all competing for a shot at the national title.

Take a look at the 2017 edition:

The festival incorporates the Australian Longboard Titles, Australian Logger Titles, Australian Surfmasters Titles, and Australian Bodyboard Titles. All events will run consecutively. The main base of the event will be Cabarita Beach, which is a 20 minutes’ drive south of Coolangatta. Please take note that this is a ‘fully mobile’ event, meaning that each day will take surfers where the best waves are. Call the event hotline to find out more about the daily locations and running schedule.


Pantin Classic Galicia Pro

When: August 24 – September 2, 2018

Where: Playa de Pantin, Galicia, Spain


Come end of August, the world of surfing will turn its eyes towards Pantin Beach in the Ferrolterra region in Galicia, northwestern Spain. The 2018 Pantin Classic will count 10 days and will welcome over 350 international athletes.

The Pull & Bear Pantin Classic is the oldest Spanish Championship, the second in Europe, and fourth in the world. In 2017, it attracted 67,000 visitors. This year, the 31st edition is expected to hit a new record – “Pantin promises to be more Pantin than ever.”

Take a quick look at how last year’s event was like:

The Pantin Pro Junior will take place between August 24 and 26. On Monday, August 27, the Men’s and Women’s WSL Qualifying Series will start, distributing 6,000 points in the women’s box and 3,000 in the men’s.


Photo credit: worldsurfleague.com

National alternative musicians will hit the stage; there will be various international cuisines to try, as well as outdoor movie projections. Furthermore, Pantin Classic strives to set an example in the surfing world, raising awareness on plastic pollution and the need for sustainable tourism and surfing events.

*Cover photo credit: Lee Kirby

Save the dates and secure your spot at some of the most awaited surfing events of the summer. Make sure you make the most of your trip and work on your skills by also joining an intermediate surf camp!

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