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Surfing North Morocco

Despite being in Africa, Morocco has always been an extension of the European surf trail. With 2900km (1813mi) of coastline (the southern 1100km (688mi) of coastline is disputed since the 1975 Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara) located at the ideal latitude, and a perfect NW exposure, travellers have been hitting the Agadir area for decades, soaking up the desert sun and riding clean pointbreaks.

However, there’s plenty of epic breaks in North Morocco which fire all yr round (even in the summer).The North Coast waves rarely gets crowded. Local waveriders are the happy-fews who can afford a board; French ex-pats or those who benefit from the support of King Mohammed VI. Morocco fires in the northern hemisphere winter, but the rest of the year favours the north coast, as it’s more consistent and less windy than the Agadir area. The construction of a major highway between Tangier and Rabat gives more options to check less known spots in between although much of it is a straight sandy beach. Surfers arriving in Morocco in the winter surf season, either fly into the central cities or immediately drive south to the famous waves around Agadir. This is understandable when the weather in Northern Morocco is cold and the 1000kms of NW-facing beachbreaks is usually closed-out, cross-shore and uninviting. The area from Tangier to Rabat is predominantly beach, but there are a few notable spots, particularly Medhiya, which offers wind and swell protection behind long, rivermouth jetties. The same set-up can be found at Doura in Rabat, plus a load of slabby reefbreaks are ridden by the large local contingent. The beachbreaks of Skhirat and Bouznika to the south are places to check in the summer months of smaller swells and crowded beach resorts. Mohammedia has the famous beach peaks of Sablettes, while Casablanca has a few shorebreak-style waves along the extensive, built-up beachfront. Goofies will want to check out Dar Bouazza, a rare left point in a land of rights. There is every chance a travelling surfer will pick up a few decent waves in winter, especially at the protected jetty breaks, but Northern Morocco is generally considered a spring to autumn destination although high summer and winter can be very good if you know where to go.

When to Go

Morocco's coastline has the straightest NW swell exposure in Europe, meaning most of the numerous lows out in the northern Atlantic will produce waves from 3-15ft on the NW exposed beachbreaks. Many beaches max out in winter but that's when pointbreaks and sheltered spots come into their own. North Morocco is more consistent than the south in summer, despite NW winds on the exposed beaches and reefbreaks. In winter, NE trades will make light to medium cross-shores. Mid-April is the landmark for the strong NW "Chergui" blowing out much harder to the South. Conditions will be rideable throughout the summer. During this period, straight N winds blow 40% of the time. Tides vary from 2’ to 6’, but no tide tables are available!

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