Some people are not content to spend their summers sitting idly by on the beach. They want to get in on the action and ride the cresting waves. Surfing is enjoyed across the globe and is one of the more popular reasons to take to oceans near and far.
Although surfers can get the rush of adrenaline from navigating wild waves at just about any stretch of coastline, the following are some of the more popular areas in the world to ride some waves.
* Oahu, Hawaii, United States: Some say surfing originated on the islands of Hawaii, and this area of the Pacific certainly produces some of the world's biggest waves. Thousands upon thousands of surfers flock to Oahu to test their skills on the "Pipeline," one of the heaviest and tallest waves in the world. What makes this area particularly thrilling is the Pipeline rolls over a shallow base of razor blade table reef, making this a surfing spot best left to the professionals.
* Botany Bay, Australia: Australia boasts some of the best beaches and best waves -- the perfect ingredients for surfing. Botany Bay, located a stone's throw from Sydney, offers a combination of rich blue water and awe-inspiring waves. This is a key surfing location for those visiting the "Land Down Under." Surfers also may want to check out Gold Coast City on the southeast corner of Queensland for more epic waves.
* Bali, Indonesia: The Mentawi Islands of Indonesia, which include the popular tourist location of Bali, consists of a chain of islands and islets tailor-made for surfing. The best time to visit is June through September, when surfers are sure to find the biggest swells.
* California, United States: The coastline of California also offers some impressive waves. Surfers on the San Mateo County coast can find the legendary "Mavericks" off of Pillar Point Harbor, where the waves forming because of storms can reach 25-meter heights. Big Rock also beckons adventure seekers. In addition to jagged rocks and thrilling waves, surfers should beware of sharks.
* Capetown, South Africa: Noordhoek Beach in Capetown is a spectacularly beautiful beach, surrounded by lagoons. In addition to its idyllic backdrop, the beach offers thrill seekers some amazing waves. Surfers may find themselves sharing the water with dolphins, and visitors to South Africa also can take in Jeffreys Bay, one of the most sought-after surfing destinations in the Indian Ocean.
* Vancouver Island, Canada: Vancouver Island is unofficially known as the surfing capital of Canada. Tofino, on the west coast of the island, is surrounded by a rainforest and chilly waters. The waves off this coast are suitable for surfers of varying ability, making this a picturesque tourist spot.
Although the Pacific Ocean is known to produce some historical waves of record, the Atlantic also boasts its share of epic waves. Bundoran Beach in Ireland, Watergate Bay in England and Fuerteventura, Spain, which is part of the Canary Islands, are a mecca for surfers in these parts of the world.