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Some beaches are made for chillaxing, and others inspire a little more action. Silver Rock, at the southernmost tip of Barbados, is definitely in the latter camp. This beach is blessed with the optimum wave and wind conditions to make it a world class surfing, windsurfing, paddle surfing and kite boarding destination, especially November through July. Even if you’re not adept at these watersports yourself, kicking back and watching the parade of oceanic thrill seekers is bound to get your adrenalin pumping.
The beauty of Silver Rock’s waters is there are pockets that cater to different activities and ability levels. The reef break on the right produces small but steady swells ideal for surfing lessons or novices. The inner lagoon area is perfect for beginner to intermediate windsurfing. Those that want the added rush of waves can head to the outer reef for a choppy windsurfing or kite boarding challenge. On calmer days, you can try SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) or take things up a notch with its wavier cousin paddle surfing. Boogie boarding is another fun option, but you definitely have to be a strong swimmer to take on these waters.
With superb conditions like this, it’s not surprising that the Silver Rock/Silver Sands neighbourhood has become a minor mecca for watersport enthusiasts and has developed a casual, cool surfer vibe accordingly. It’s not particularly crowded or touristy (in fact, it’s primarily a residential area) but you’ll often see cars with board-filled roof-racks snaking there way through the side streets. There are a handful of hole-in-the-wall shops that rent equipment and offer lesson packages plus several small guesthouses, apartments and boutique hotels that cater to this niche.
In some circles, Silver Rock is known as De Action beach, as this is where internationally renowned windsurfing champion, former Olympian and Barbados beach culture ambassador Brian Talma has set up shop by that name. Brave beginners, curious families, active tourists or fearless experts can rent a full range of equipment, learn the ropes and push their limits here. You can also grab a casual bite or drink at their colourful in-house beach bar.
Nearby Surfer’s Bay Bar & Grill is another funky laid back ocean-front eatery with simple fare and refreshing cocktails. They occasionally have live music, bonfires and show movies (often surf films or cartoons) on an open-air screen. On the swankier end of the spectrum, Silver Point hotel has a two-tiered restaurant/bar with a stunning view over the beach where you can sip, sup and be wowed by the kite boarding ballet.
It’s too rough for families with young children to venture in the ocean at Silver Rock, but there is a wide playing field and well-equipped playground at the recreational park right by the beach. Even if they can’t swim, the little ones will be mesmerized by the flying surfers and colourful sails out on the ocean – but careful, you might be creating future ocean daredevils in the process.
Silver Rock beach is located in Christ Church within a labyrinth of small streets that are easy to get lost in. Make a wrong turn and you can’t necessarily just drive around the block to get back on track. Head east out of Oistins, past the turn off to Miami/Enterprise beach. When you eventually come to a small oval roundabout, drive straight through and keep your eyes peeled for De Action signs, which will point you in the right direction to the beach.