It's a sign of the times that seemingly all surf shops must now come equipped with a Slayer espresso machine operated by a pretentious barista. No longer contented to simply fondle a few handshapes and leave with bar of wax, surfers--particularly urban-based surfers--also need an exotically sourced pour-over from a third-wave coffee purveyor and a selection of artisanal baked goods, while they scope out new surf crafts. It's clear that the needs of surfers have evolved quite a bit since the post-war years of Kivlin, Quigg and company, content to eat canned meats and retire to improvisational thatched-roof shelters after hours of riding waves on the North Shore. Today, it seems that coast-adjacent, dense, urban areas best meet the needs of the contemporary surfer.

In the gig economy, cities--regional and global centers of industry, commerce, and culture--are where the jobs are. Modern cities have become walk-able, gastronomic and booze-centric, tolerant and progressive playgrounds for a Millennial generation primed to live and work in a more communal, stimulating environment. And when you stir in an accessible coastline and roughly a hundred days of ridable waves per year, a city can also provide a surfer a dynamic and balanced existence.

So in case you're considering a relocation opportunity, we pored over job statistics, surf reports, and city guides--taking into consideration surf proximity and quality, employment opportunities, and quality of life--to narrow down the world's best surf cities. The list we've assembled includes ten world centers, economic hubs revered for their cultural institutions where one can find a steady job and consistent-enough surf to satiate the most wave-obsessed among us. These are cities where, even if you're resigned to only surf with the weekend warrior crowd, you'll never be bored--provided you haven't handed over all your disposable income to some pretentious barista.

Next on the list…

Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil

WAVES:

If you follow professional surfing, your impression of Rio's surf quality has perennially been filtered through a lens of derision. Inconsistent. Imperfect. Dirty. Crowded. The truth is, however, that the Rio coastline--which boasts miles of puntable, wedgie beachbreaks--is a relative surfers paradise, with warm, turquoise water, consistent swell, a thriving beach culture, and ease of access to it all that could only fail to satisfy the most spoiled Top-34 surfers among us. Yes, surfing is quite popular in Rio and the lineups can get clogged. But with miles and miles of peaks breaking along various sandbars at a variety local beaches like Ipanema, Leblon, Arpador, and Barra, there's abundance of places to get your fins loose.

JOB MARKET

Starting in the mid-2000s, Brazil's economy began growing at a rapid clip, earning Rio international intrigue, huge foreign investments, and the opportunity to host both the Summer Olympic games and the World Cup. But after a precipitous drop in oil prices, political and economic turmoil has rattled the country, and Rio is now in the midst of a financial crisis. With the city government on the verge of bankruptcy, Rio's meteoric rise has stalled for the time being. That being said, the city is still home to a variety of growing industries looking for highly skilled talent. If you want to live and work here, step one is to earn a four-year degree. And step two is to learn Portuguese. With emerging media, electronics, engineering, computer and banking sectors, Rio's long been cultivating a large ex-pat community of highly skilled labor. If you have the passion and drive and can speak the language, gainful employment awaits you in Rio.

QUALITY OF LIFE:

As Rio limps through its current state of economic woes, income inequality–which has been a perennial bugaboo in this part of the world--is on the rise, as is crime and rates of HIV/AIDS. Despite its recent setbacks, though, Rio remains a richly eclectic, artistic, and romantic city, where surfing pairs nicely with a nearly tropical climate.  And beyond the urban trappings of the second most populous city in Brazil--acclaimed restaurants, thriving arts and culture scene, madcap nightlife--there are giant green mountains, rainforests, and miles and miles of sandy beaches, all making it easy to see how Rio earned the nickname, cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city).

Median Income: $7,540

Top Industries: Manufacturing, electronics and computing, engineering, financial services

Median Home Price: $300/Sq. foot

Median Rental Price: $560/month for a 1BR in city center

Population: 6,320,000

Water Temperature Range: 71-80F

Surf Spots:  Barra de Tijaca, Ipanema, Leblon, Arpador

Check out other cities on the list

10 Best Surf Cities in the World: San Francisco

10 Best Surf Cities in the World: Cape Town

10 Best Surf Cities in the World: New York City

10 Best Surf Cities in the World: Honolulu

10 Best Surf Cities in the World: Tel Aviv

10 Best Surf Cities in the World: Lisbon