If you dive into the early depictions of surfing as a Polynesian pastime, there won’t be any mention of clothes. For the first few centuries, surfing was the blissfully minimalist art of riding wooden planks on the swells of the South Pacific. The board technology eventually evolved (likely due to recurring splinters in terrible places), but so did the attire. If you’re looking to get back to your roots, to cut down on drag, and to ride waves as unencumbered as a smooth-skinned dolphin, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best nude beaches where nude surfing is entirely permitted.
Black’s Beach, San Diego, California
Nudism aside, Black’s Beach is one of the best surfing spots in all of Southern California. Few spots along this stretch of coast are able to handle swells like Black’s, so it beckons the experienced shortboard riders. However, the clothing-optional section of the beach is a bit north of the best break, so you may not be catching the wave of the day while in the buff.
La Gravière, Hossegor, France
The real world champions when it comes to getting cheeky in public are the French. There are plenty of topless beaches — in fact, read up on the 7 Best Topless Beaches in France — and there’s another batch of options that are entirely clothing-optional. If surfing is your priority, head to La Graviére. It’s not explicitly for nudist surfing but there are nudists and there are surfers. Having your hand in both categories is by all means acceptable. The waves here are fast but the fact that it’s a beach break (as opposed to coral reef) makes it forgiving for your exposed members.
Zurriola, San Sebastian, Spain
Zurriola is located on the northern coast of Spain, and much like France, it’s just one of the many nudist beaches in the country. The waves here are best in the fall and winter months, which is precisely when you may want to cover up, but do as you please. Feel free to get in the water during the summer months with a longboard for some easy paddling.
Maslin Beach, Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide’s Maslin Beach is home to the Pilwarren Maslin Nude Games, one of the best Clothing-Optional Festivals Around the World, so there’s a bit of a thriving nudist community here. Feel free to visit during the Australian summer festival for naked games of tug-of-war, water balloon fights, sack races, and donut-eating competitions, but also come for the surfing. Year-round surfers head into the water with nothing but a board, so you can do the same.
Sandy Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Sandy Bay is widely regarded as one of the best nudist gems in the entire continent of Africa. The sand is a pearl-white, the weather is pristine, and surfing is in order. It’s about a 15-minute walk from the parking lot and is very remote with absolutely no vendors in sight, so be sure to bring all you’ll need.
Los Patos, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Located off the coast of Morocco and Western Sahara, Los Patos presents us with the most tropical and year-round destination for nude surfing. It’s an archipelago of sorts, with tons of waves suitable for both beginners and advanced surfers. Los Patos — translating to the ducks — is a secluded beach below a massive cliff where you won’t have to worry about any suspicious onlookers. The rights here are for the pickings, so be sure to have Los Patos on your next surf itinerary — nudist or otherwise.