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Surf Breaks In Christchurch

Introduction To

Surf Breaks In Christchurch

Ōtautahi Christchurch is blessed with numerous surf breaks and great beaches to surf, many of which are located right in the suburbs. There are also quality breaks when you venture out further to Banks Peninsula and North Canterbury.

Light winds from the west are the best for the town beaches and it pays to wake early to avoid the prevailing nor’easter. 


Sumner and Scarborough are great spots to head into the water for beginners with generally mellow waves.

Surfing lesson providers are located at the end of Stoke St, which has a gentle beach break.

Other options include Mussel Rock and Breakwater. 

Sumner is also home to the annual Single Fin Mingle longboarding festival.

Best for:

  • Beginners to intermediate.

Good to know:

  • Stoke St & Breakwater: Swells from SE to NE. Offshore in W to SW winds. All tides.
  • Mussel Point: Best in clean E to SE swells. All tides.

Taylors Mistake

Taylors is certainly a break for more experienced surfers. With a powerful beach break and a great wave for short boarders, it's best you know what you’re doing in this spot.

Head up to Godley Head walking track to check out the skills of other surfers for inspiration.

Best for:

  • Intermediate to advanced surfers.

Good to know:

  • Best in E to NE swell.
  • Offshore in W to SW winds.
  •  Low to mid tide.

New Brighton Pier

New Brighton is a great local surf beach with endless breaks along its huge swath of sand.

The long stretch has many peaks down the beach. Rides depend on the conditions but are always fun. Plus, friends can grab great snaps of you from the famous New Brighton Pier.

Grab a private lesson from Hightide Surf Lessons, based in New Brighton to sharpen up your skills.

Best for:

  • Beginners to advanced surfers.

Good to know:

  • Best swells from NE to SE.
  • Winds from NW to SW.
  • Best at mid to high tide. 

North Beach

North Beach has similar surf conditions to New Brighton with ride quality dependent on the combination of swell and wind.

It’s often better in the water than it looks from the shore, so get out there and give it a go!

Best for:

  • Beginners to advanced surfers.

Good to know:

  • Swells from NE to SE.
  • Winds from NW to SW.
  • Best at mid to high tide. 

Banks Peninsula & North Canterbury

For the more adventurous, look up breaks on Banks Peninsula.

Magnet Bay, Tumbledown Bay, Hickory Bay – this unique landform boasts more than 40 bays, so do your research and get amongst it.

Gore Bay located on the coast from Cheviot, in North Canterbury. Swells from north, east and south provide a good chance of surf.

Further north, Kaikōura serves up a range of epic surfing spots.

Learn To Surf Schools

There are many surf schools in Christchurch offering lessons from beginner to advanced with qualified and passionate surf coaches. Lessons vary in duration with wetsuits and surfboards provided.

Surfing is a great sport for the whole family to enjoy or get a group together for a work function or hens/stag party.

Surf schools include: