Top 5 Places to Surf in September

Matt Rode

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Updated 43d ago

I know the new generation loves Dear Suburbia and Lost Atlas and all of that hi-fi action, but for my money the greatest surf video of all time was September Sessions—and ever since that little gem was released, I’ve always associated September with good waves.

Normally, that actually isn’t too far from the truth, as September can downright pump. It is the start of fall in the northern hemisphere, which tends to mean good wind, great weather, and a mix of late-season south swells and early season pulses from the north. We might still be recover from the flurry of swells during the second half of August (Chopes for the world tour event, XL+ Cloudbreak, a swell for Namibia, and any number of other zones that were going off last month), but it’s time to shake off that exhaustion and dive back in.

Here are five spots worth checking out during the first half of September.

The US East Coast

Don't take our word for it, here's Brett Barley giving a walk through the local.

Confidence is still low on exactly what Hurricane Dorian is going to do, but most forecasts agree that it is going to continue to track towards Florida and provide at least some swell for the East Coast. Whether that turns out to be onshore, short-period, head-high junk or an all-time hurricane swell remains to be seen, but one thing is pretty close to certain—the East Coast won’t be flat for Memorial Day weekend.

Spot check: New Jersey


The latest Indonesian wave to be threatened by overzealous development, Nias’s Lagundri Bay has been the focus of a lot of controversy over the past two weeks, as plans have been revealed (and construction initiated) to build…something…on the edge of the reef. Depending who you talk to, this project is either a road and seawall that will ruin the wave at Nias, or an innocuous walking path that will do little more than bolster tourism in the village.

Either way, the surfing experience at Lagundri Bay is about to change in some shape or form, so if you want to score it once more time for the memory bank, there’s a pretty consistent run of moderate swell lined up for the first two weeks of September. Just bear in mind that a QS event will be in town starting September 6.

Forecast: Lagundri Bay

The North Shore

Yep, that’s right—after two weeks of fun, west typhoon swell to close out August, the Seven-Mile Miracle is looking at another early season pulse of swell (north, this time) during the first week of September. It won’t be huge, or even XL, but considering that the North Shore can often resemble a lake this time of year, we’ll take it.

Spot guide: Hawaii


As if we didn’t get enough Teahupoo last week, the world’s heaviest reef pass has another stack of large to XL+ swells pointed straight at it. Don’t be surprised if your Instagram feed continues to be full of azure Tahitian slabs for the first half of the month.

Related: Teahupoo goes XXL

The Cook Islands

Here’s one we don’t talk about very often. Tahiti’s neighbour to the west will pick up the same series of swells as Chopes, but with only a fraction of the fanfare. If you are looking for a tropical escape to a wave-rich zone, the Cooks could be cooking. Find yourself an empty corner of reef that’s protected from the wind, and you might just ring in the new season with a year’s worth of barrels.

Spot guide: Cook Islands

Cover shot: Nicola Lugo