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Catch some early morning waves at the beaches around Santa Cruz, Marin County, or San Francisco, like infamous Maverick’s, then make the 3-4 hour drive to one of the seven resorts around Lake Tahoe (Heavenly, Northstar, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sierra, Kirkwood, Mt. Rose) for some renown Sierra powder.
Sunday River has been the first resort open on the East Coast for the last three years running, this means you can satisfy those early season cravings for man-made snow under your skis, then head down to tourist-friendly Old Orchard Beach or seek out larger waves just to the north at Scarborough Beach Park or Higgins Beach.
Choose among the many surf spots along the central coastline outside of Santiago, such as Cartagena or Las Salinas, then take the 2-3 hour trip to La Parva, El Colorado, or Valle Nevado. For truly world-class surfing, venture further south along the coast to Pichilemu and Punto de los Lobos.
Hidden in the southeast corner of this giant island is Thredbo Ski Resort, which has the most vertical terrain in the country. A 2-3 hour drive will get you to Australia’s eastern coast. While the most famous surf breaks in the country are further north, the southern beaches, such as Pambula, trade big waves for fewer crowds and picturesque settings.
On the North Island there are many excellent surf destinations, most notably Raglan in the middle of the western shore. From there it is a 3-4 hour drive to Mt Ruapehu in the middle of the island.
The South Island is home to Lake Wanaka, which has multiple areas and the largest heli-skiing region outside of North America. Or, if you’re willing to venture a bit further south, there is more skiing to be had at The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. From Wanaka it is only 3 hours to the varied and challenging surf at Dunedin on the east coast, or as little as an hour and a half down to waves on the west coast. Be warned though, the South Island’s water is chilly.
Niseko’s powder has made the northern island of Hakkaido well know, but it’s sparse population and endless coastline make it ideal for adventurous, uncrowded surfing. The swell is best during monsoon season (August through November), so an early season ticket to Niseko is a good bet if you want quality surf and skiing. It only takes an hour to reach the beaches from the mountain.