Surfing in Latvia
Latvia is a country located in Northern Europe and bathed by the Baltic Sea . Its landscape is marked by long beaches as well as dense, sprawling forests. Together with the neighboring countries, Latvia is putting the Baltic surfing on the map. The surf conditions are usually harsh and waves are often crappy, but still the surf scene in the country is growing steadily. Most Latvian surfers come from a kitesurfing or windsurfing background, two activities that are very popular and better suited for the windy conditions of the baltic coastline. Despite having an extensive coastline, the main factor for the inconsistency of waves is that Latvia is located in an unstrategic position and only receives relatively weak windswells. Surf started in the country a little over 10 years ago and the reason why the amount of surfers in the country is increasing is due to the arrival of smartphones that give easy access to livecams and forecasts. Nowadays, Latvian surfers are better informed and are able to know where and when the waves will be pumping. Surfing in Latvia will never be mainstream and the only reason to surf in the country is for the novelty of catching some waves in the Baltic Sea.
Climate in Latvia
The climate in Latvia is continental with warm, dry summers and very cold winters. January is the coldest month and temperatures during winter can be quite cold and far below zero. The weather is often windy and humid due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea. In summer the weather can be warm with average temperatures around 20-25°C and sometimes higher, reaching 30°C or more. During this time of the year the weather is mostly dry and sunny. Rainfall often happens during autumn in the form of heavy thunderstorms that can occur in the afternoon. The best time to surf in Latvia is also the coldest during autumn and winter. During summer the baltic sea is usually calm and it’s rare to have any decent sized waves that can be ridden. If you are surfing in Latvia make sure you have a good wetsuit, boots, gloves and a hoodie.
Best surf spots in Latvia
The best surf spots in Latvia are Liepaja (Ziemelu Mols), a small village named Pavilosta, Pape and Uzava.
Meal price range
Simple meals start at $8 USD. Mid-range meals start at $17 USD. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $40-60 USD.
There are one or two places where you can rent gear. Boards start at $12 USD for 2 hours. Wetsuits at $7 USD.
Prepaid SIM cards
LMT is a good choice.
SIM cards can be purchased from the mall, kiosks, official retailers.
Prepaid packages start at $7 USD.
Rīga has plentiful -train, tram, trolley and bus- and cheap public transport.
Taxis are easy to find in all the cities and towns.
BalticBike borrowing allows you to pick up and drop off bicycles from various points around Rīga and Jūrmala for $3 USD an hour.
$0.90 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Unfavorable swell, cold water.
How to prepare
Citizens from 62 countries, including the US, and Australia, can enter Latvia without a visa for up to 90 days.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella.
Things to know
Language & Currency
Latvian is the official language. Russian is the most common second language, you’ll find English speakers in the touristy areas.
The currency is the euro (€).
Best time to go
The best time to surf in Latvia is also the coldest during autumn and winter.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, ear plugs, gaze, alcohol, and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Check surf pictures of Latvia at #surflatvia.