Best Waves for XXL Swells


Riding a truly big wave is worthy of comparison to few things in life.  Maybe snowboarding down a vertical mountain with an avalanche snowballing behind you, wing-suiting over the grand canyon, or trying to .  Big waves aren't for the easily shirked, but most Goliaths that have tested big waters can't put the feeling that manifests to bed.  We're here to help you scratch that itch.

AST is meticulously positioned at surf locations in both Central America and around the globe that cater to all types of surfing.  At each of our camps, dozens of playful waves are available walking distance or by boat.  But in our midst, we've got powerhouse spots that are certain to fire up that hair-raising feeling produced by dropping far down a steep face, and hearing the roaring lip slamming close behind you.  Swell seekers, read on to see the list of our favorite big wave asylums.


Nicaragua La Barra surf




La Barra

La Barra, crossed with other monikers such as "Launch Ramps" or "Puerto Sandino," is not only one of the best waves in Central Nicaragua – it’s easily one of the best waves in all of Nicaragua.  A smooth sand bottom sprinkled with reefy sections give this lengthy, hollow wave it’s near - perfect shape, and it's capacity to hold swell is unmatched in the area.   Sneaking in 2 or 3 barrels can be common on this wave – up to 300 yards of liquid brawn are possible on the right day.

As the wave starts to build, lines connect and produce that seemingly miles – long left.  More size means more room to play, so if you’re seeking out a big day, this is the place to go for the trifecta - size, length, and coverage potential.  Conveniently, it’s a 10 minute boat ride from AST.... and the best part?  No crowds.


Surfing Miramar Nicaragua



Footsteps away from La Barra Surf Camp is Punta Miramar, and reef plus sand powerhouse that peels perfectly down the beach.  With a steep drops and some dreamy barrel sections, this wave holds size well past double overhead and can make for an extremely long left.

Miramar works best on high tide, but when there's the type of swell you're looking for, it works well on low too.  Mind the rocks on liftoff, and once you're past those is smooth sailing.


El Salvador


Punta Roca

Punta Roca, the gem of La Libertad, is the Shangri-la of big swell for El Salvador.  It’s counterpart down the road, Sunzal, holds size well, but is a turtles pace with a tiny section and no coverage compared to powerful Punta. 

A quick rock dance at Punta Roca will sweep you right out to peaky big wave perfection, with hollow lines sometimes connecting the long ways to the softer inside of La Paz on better days.  The rock bottom righthand point can hold 12 foot plus, and is without question one of the best options for bigger days in El Salvador.


surfing las Flores El Salvador


Las Flores

A few hours East of Punta Roca, in the town of El Cuco, is the tropics wave of Las Flores.  Surfing here, you'll find a long wave great for big swell that boasts a hollow beginning and easily makable sections, adding up to 150 yard plus lines on good sized swells. 

AST Adventures is the only hotel right on the point, so if you wake up late from a little to much Flor de Cana, you can lean over the railing and call sets out to your buddies without even having to yell.


Surf Punta Mango El Salvador


Punta Mango

A 10 minute boat ride from Las Flores will land you adjacent to pretty much nothing - barren coastline and empty beaches.  But when you’ve got a S or SW swell, a freakish miscreant comes out of hiding at Punta Mango.  This is a beast that should only house intermediate to advanced surfers, because the smaller the surf, the closer it will break to shore where a myriad of rocks are scattered across shallow ocean floor.  Once enough size is generated by storms from the southern ocean, this powerful right hander has a big enough barrel to swallow a truck.



Check back soon to see some XXL recommendations outside of Central America, where we'll dive into the Mentawais, and the rarely trodden beaches of Samoa.

To see what seasons are good for El Salvador, see our seasonal wave chart.  Nicaragua generally follows suit of that chart, but here’s another reference for you.

As always, contact us for questions, concerns, or to just drop a line to say hi.  Happy hunting.

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