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Surfing Events You Cannot Miss in July

by Octavia Drughi

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How does your ideal summer surfing holiday look like? I’m sure plenty of beach time and some world-class breaks to suit your surfing skills are already on your list. But how about throwing some exciting festivals into the mix?

Some of the most anticipated events in the world of surfing are just around the corner. Festivals, competitions, and epic parties are lighting up the most renowned beaches worldwide. Take summer 2018 to the next level by attending WSL and ASP competitions, meeting your favorite athletes face to face, enjoying outdoor movie projections, art displays, and live music concerts. 

Don’t worry about competing; you can watch the pros as they battle for the trophy from the beach. However, that does not mean that you won’t get the chance to catch some waves too. These events welcome well-established athletes, amateur surfers, beach-goers and all those who are passionate about the surf culture and everything it stands for. ‘It’s like Christmas, but for surfers!’ – Jodi Lucas, surfer.

Without further ado, here are the surfing events you cannot miss in July:


J-Bay Winterfest 2018

When: July 2 - 17, 2018

Where: Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa


Photo credit: JBay Winterfest

Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa is famous for many things. It is still on everyone’s lips when discussing shark attacks. How can we possibly forget the venue where Mick Fanning punched a great white shark in the nose and lived to tell the tale? Not only that, but the whole thing happened during a live broadcast. Two years later, Mick had yet another close encounter during the 2017 J-Bay Open, when a three-meter great white shark decided to join the line-up and circle underneath him.

Shark tales aside, J-Bay is most famous for being the best right-hand pointbreak in the world. It is also one of Kelly Slater’s favorite waves. Enough said!

The Corona J-Bay Open is the sixth stop on the Men’s Surfing Championship Tour and will be held between July 2-13 as part of the J-Bay Winterfest. This year, we are thrilled to share with you some exciting news – the World Surf League Women’s Tour will be in town too. This is your chance to see your favorite women in the surfing world up close.


What else can you do during the event? Well, you can either join or simply watch mountain biking, trail running, fishing, and open-water swimming contests. And of course, have a taste of South Africa and experience its wildlife by visiting the nearby animal sanctuaries.

Here’s a sneak peek into how last year’s Corona J-Bay Open looked like:


Night Surf at Newquay’s Fistral Beach

When: 6-7 July 2018

Where: Fistral, Newquay, UK


Photo credit: newquay.co.uk

As soon as the sun sets over Fistral Beach on the 6th of July, 2018, surfers will grab their boards and jump into the cool Atlantic to ride moonlit waves. Night Surf at Newquay’s Fistral Beach is an annual event that brings together some of the world’s best surfers on the coast of Cornwall.


Photo credit: ukprosurf.com

This is one of the only competitive night surfing events in the world and, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, a unique surfing event in the UK. There will be live music and DJs playing in the midst of the night, fireworks lighting up the beach. This year, the one-night surf event is expecting over 190 local and international to compete and a crowd of over 5,000.

Take a look at the highlights of the 2017 edition:


Sumol Summer Fest

When: 6-7 July 2018

Where: Ericeira, Portugal


Photo credit: Sumol Summer Fest

In July, Portugal’s surf hub of Ericeira will be flooded with good vibes. Surf by day and jump to the beats by night in an unmatched summer festival that is dubbed Portugal’s ultimate summer getaway.

Sumol Summer Fest is referred to as a Hip-Hop festival. But, it is much more than that. On the shores of Ericeira, where golden beaches, a skate park, and some of the best waves in the country meet, this two-day event will bring you surfing and skateboarding to the sound of Hip-Hop, reggae, and house music just northwest of Lisbon.


Photo credit: confessionsofashopaholic.net

There will be a DJ battle, while both big-time and local artists will perform on stage. French Montana, Joey Bada$$, Vic Mensa, and The Jillionaire are the headliners for 2018’s edition. When purchasing the two-day pass, festival-goers can opt to stay at the nearby Ericeira Camping site, only a few steps away from the main stage and the cool Atlantic water.

Come and join what will possibly be the wildest weekend of your life. Here’s how 2017’s edition looked like:


International Surf Film Festival Anglet

When: 10-13 July 2018

Where: Anglet, France


Photo credit: surfsession.com

One of the surfing world’s major cultural events is knocking on our doorstep. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of the International Surf Film Festival, an annual event held on the French Basque coast in the European surf hub of Anglet. This pioneering event turned cultural event is a beachside experience you should not miss!

On the Chambre d’Amour Beach, three projection spaces for surf movies will be set up, where 2018’s best cinematographic achievements in the world of surfing will be showing, including The Between Dreams, Church of the Open Sky, Nazare Monster Waves, and many more. There will also be art spaces and concerts, all free and open to the public.

Amateurs and professionals from all around the world will gather over the course of this four-day event. Considered one of the world’s best surf film festivals, the International Surf Film Festival will have a complete jury consisting of members from the surfing world, who will select seven winners that will be awarded substantial prizes during the ceremony on the closing night.


Salinas International Longboard Festival

When: 26-29 July 2018

Where: Salinas, Asturias, Spain

The largest festival of its kind in Europe will return to the coastal town of Salinas, marking its 12th edition in 2018. Ever since it was first held back in 2001, the Salinas Longboard Festival quickly became an event that was being marked on the calendars of pro surfers, amateur riders, and beach lovers alike.


Photo credit: laquillasurf.com

Get your dose of surf culture and relaxation by attending one of the top three longboard events worldwide. You will also get the chance to check out retro surfboards and wetsuits, skating exhibitions, ‘surf market’, food & drink trucks, with live music playing in the background.


Vans US Open of Surfing


Photo credit: ocsurfpix.com

When: July 28 – August 5, 2018

Where: Huntington Beach, California, USA


Photo credit: Rad Season

Surf City USA is getting ready to welcome over 300 world-class athletes over the course of nine days of surfing celebration. The Vans US Open of Surfing is, without any shred of doubt, the most anticipated event of the summer. Of course, the highlight will be the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) men’s and women’s competitions. Up-and-coming surfing superstars and well-established pros will put on their best performance yet.


Photo credit: vansusopenofsurfing.com

What else is there to see (although what I’ve just shared should be enough to get you to come)? Skateboarding and BMX on the beach, sponsor exhibits on the sand where over 20 sponsors will showcase their latest products, including title-sponsor Vans; outdoor movie projections with free admittance, retail store, meet & greet sessions with the athletes, art installations, and live music.

Over half a million people flock to this annual event, the world’s largest surfing competition and surf lifestyle festival. If you’re serious about surfing and what the surf culture entails, then you should definitely attend the US Open of Surfing at least once in your lifetime. For more information, check out the event’s official website.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the highlights of the 2017 Vans Us Open of Surfing:


Make this a summer you won’t forget. Amp up your surfing skills on an intermediate surf camp and don’t miss the year’s best surfing events and festivals!

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