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7 Top Surf Breaks in Christchurch


Where to surf in Christchurch.

Yes, even the South Island’s largest city has some exceptional surf breaks to hit! Whether you want to learn how to surf or are an experienced surfer looking for your next challenge, there are surf breaks found along the coast of Christchurch to suit! What we love about most of the surf breaks in Christchurch is that most of them are fun rides for both beginners and experienced riders. What’s more, they are easy to access from Christchurch’s seaside suburbs. So check out this list of some of the top Christchurch surf breaks!

While you’re here, you might also be interested in 10 Christchurch Must-Dos and 9 Best Backpacker Hostels in Christchurch.

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1. Stoke Street – Sumner Beach

For one of the most accessible surf spots in Christchurch, try this surf break on Sumner Beach. Located on the sandy beach adjacent to the end of Stoke Street, the Stoke Street surf break is ideal for beginners or experienced surfers that don’t want to go too hard out. It’s best to hit this break at low to mid-tide, but if you are surfing at high tide, watch out for rocks. Some local surf schools do lessons here, so it’s a great place to learn.

Location: End of Stoke Street, Sumner Beach
Best swell: From north to east
Best offshore winds: West to southeast
Eli Duke on Wikipedia

2. Breakwater – Sumner Beach

One of the most popular surf breaks in Christchurch, Breakwater is also located on Sumner Beach at the southeast end. The best waves are off the tip of Break Water, but they can get pretty crowded on big days. This break is ideal for both beginner and advanced surfers, best surfed from low to mid tide. Beware of rips by the boat ramp and watch out for rocks at high tide.

Location: Off Break Water, Sumner Beach
Best swell: From north to east
Best offshore winds: West to southeast
Bernard Spragg. NZ on Wikipedia

3. Mussel Rock – Sumner Beach

One last break at Sumner Beach, the Mussel Rock break on the west side of Cave Rock is a good one to hit in summer. At high tide with an east to southeast swell, the break produces fun right-handers off the rocks. These waves can be surfed by beginners to advanced riders. Be aware of rocks and rips by the estuary mouth.

Location: West of Cave Rock, Sumner Beach
Best swell: From east to southeast

4. Taylors Mistake

One for the intermediate to advanced surfers, Taylors Mistake is a stunning beach with a powerful beach break. It can get pretty crowded when it’s on so watch out for other surfers. Otherwise, the beach is just a good place to hang out and have a picnic. This surf spot also features in 7 Places to Surf in the South Island.

Location: Taylors Mistake Road, 4km south of Sumner
Best swell: Northeast
Best offshore winds: Northwest to southeast
Francis Vallance on Flickr

5. New Brighton

Another popular beach to access from the city, New Brighton is a great surf spot for beginner to advanced surfers. The beach breaks are best tackled at high tide. Be aware that the beach and waves can get pretty crowded in good weather. And watch out for drifts through the pier. Check out more things to do in the area with 11 Free or Cheap Things To Do in New Brighton.

Location: New Brighton Beach, either side of the pier
Best swell: Northeast to southeast
Best offshore winds: Northwest to southwest

6. Spencer Park

A great spot if you’re looking to get away from the crowds, Spencer Park is ideal for both beginners and the advanced. The waves are best at high tide and can even have waves when the other Christchurch surf breaks are flat. Be aware that there are sometimes strong side drifts.

Location: 15km drive north of New Brighton, beach adjacent from Spencer Park
Best swell: Northeast to south
Best offshore winds: Northwest to southwest
Emma Kelland on Wikipedia

7. North Beach

Your final option in Christchurch is North Beach, home of surf legend, Mike Fanning. North Beach is a little further up the beach from the New Brighton Pier and has a surf lifesaving club. The best breaks are at high tide, with wave suitable for beginners to advanced. Dangers here are strong side drifts.

Location: North Beach, 2km north of New Brighton Beach
Best swell: Northeast to south
Best offshore winds: Northwest to southwest

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