They say the best surfer in the water is the one who can ride an array of surf crafts in any type of wave or condition. Enter Craig Anderson, arguably the world’s most stylish surfer, who manages to look silky smooth on any piece of foam you place beneath him. What’s even more impressive is Craig makes every wave look effortless, no matter what the setup – remember when he snowboarded down the face of a 12ft set out Kanduis on a 5’4 Hypto Krypto? Craig’s been around the world – the joys of being a professional free-surfer – and has surfed lineups the average human would gladly remove a kidney to surf.

We recently spent a week on Tavarua with Ando, and in between Cloudbreak sessions and sunset beers, we asked Craig to reveal his Top 5 Bucket List surf destinations. I mean, with all the stamps in his passport you’d think the list below would reveal the world’s most far-flung surf locations, right? Turns out, sometimes the best waves are the ones right under your nose! Slabs and sand-a-plenty below.

Pacific Palms, Forster – The super clean and clear water makes Pacific Palms a perfect summer surf destination. There’s a lot of national park area with empty scenic beaches within them. Get the right winds and swell direction and the place turns into a playground!

Ulladulla – To be honest, you don’t need to venture too far from your backyard to get great waves and have fun. The South Coast has a lot of amazing reef and beach breaks. Pilgrims vegetarian cafe and Hayden’s Pies are a must stop as well, Berry and Milton being some of the nicest country towns you can stop in. 

Mentawais Boat Trip – You can’t really go past a boat trip to the Mentawais, it’s the one surf trip every surfer has to tick off their bucket list before they kick it. You putt around the Indian Ocean for 10 days, pulling up at the most incredible, often empty, surf spots! The Mentawais has to have the biggest variety of world-class waves in the one region. 

Newcastle – I might sound biased as I live here, but I think Newcastle has some great waves and it’s a pretty cool city to drink a beer and grab some food. It’s super easy to get a park at the beach and there’s always a fun wave on the stretch from Merewether to Bar Beach. 

Fiji – A three-hour flight from Australia and a 20-minute boat ride out to Cloudbreak/Restaurants. Incredible tropical location with left-hand barrels – it really doesn’t get much better. And if you are staying at Tavarua, it’s five-star luxury living!

Photos: John Respondek
Fiji Surf Photo: Nate Lawerence
Fiji Sunset Photo: Chris Searl