There are only a thousand or so locals in Montanita and they're among the friendliest bunch of surfers you'll find.
After pounding right-hand breaks, you can get to know them during apres-surf events on the village's bar strip.
13. Honolua Bay, Maui, Hawaii
Finding this right-hand point break is tricky.
Locals may respond to requests for directions with "go back home," but this is a world-class ride with the added bonus of whale spotting from your board.
12. Trestles, Orange County, California
The combination of easy paddle-outs and consistent high-quality breaks make the Trestles one of the most revered destinations in Southern California.
Five spots make up the Trestles and provide a variety of left- and right-handed barrels -- the best surf (and the biggest crowds) are found at Lower Trestles.
"There's no other wave in the world that allows for such high performance surfing, and the fact that the A-frame is located in Orange County -- the heart of the surf industry -- makes it the epicenter for progressive aerials and surfing," says Surfing Magazine editor in chef Taylor Paul.
11. Sultans, North Male, Maldives
A consistent reef wave that's absolutely pumping in the spring, the rocks at Sultans can be hazardous, so going with a live-aboard outfit such as Surf Atoll is recommended.
The expert wave spotters can also deliver surfers to other fine points among the Maldives' 1,190 coral islands.
10. Lance's Right, Sipora, Mentawais Islands, Sumatera Barat, Indonesia
Near a seaside village on the tiny, beautiful Indonesian island of Sipora is a killer right tube that's worth the time, money and effort it takes to find it.
Warm water, mechanically consistent waves, a cove lined with palm trees and dozens more world-class waves nearby -- no wonder the place is called "perfection" by avid surfers.
9. Cloud Nine, Siargao Island, Philippines
This dramatic and powerful reef break, which crashes onto shallow razor-sharp coral, offers right and left death rides.
Fearless surfers will experience a slice of paradise or hallucinations as waves wrap over them like a liquid cocoon.
Skin and sometimes bone are often ripped to shreds by the ocean bed.
8. Puerto Escondido, Southern Oaxaca, Mexico
With a long, blessed surf season from March to December, this Mexican state attracts surfers with its powerful barrels and surrounding sandy point breaks.
"It's the main attraction when surfers head south of the border," says Paul, who recommends basing out of Puerto Escondido and driving to various points along the coast.
7. Hossegor, France
This Atlantic surfing spot has been dubbed the "surfing capital of Europe."
The rich and famous have mansions and holiday homes near the beach -- previous owners include the likes of surfing songwriter Jack Johnson.
People come from miles around to watch the pros ride tubes, which can rival Hawaii for heavy walls breaking on an unnervingly shallow sandbank.
6. Maverick's, California
The wave of legends is surfed by only the gutsiest of board riders.
The mammoth peak forms as a result of hair-raising storms out at sea and reaches bone-chilling heights of 25 meters.
The only way to reach this wave is by boat or jet-ski; come at it at the wrong angle and you're fish food.
In 1994, skilled Hawaiian big-wave surfer Mark Foo died surfing this point.
Those surfers who do conquer its peak join a small club of overachievers.
5. P-Pass, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
P-Pass (short for Paliker Pass) is known for its incredible right-hander.
"It's just flawless, blue, reef-pass tubes," says Paul.
Due to a remote location and the relatively high cost to reach it, the spot remains largely uncrowded despite its superlative rides.
4. Uluwatu and Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
This paradise island attracts expert surfers from Australia and Hawaii, plus beginners from across the globe -- all can enjoy these perfect glassy faces.
3. Teahupo'o, Tahiti, French Polynesia
"Teahupo'o is one of the most perfect and feared waves in the world," says Paul about this unique Tahiti reef break.