17 Jan 2012Blog

Surfing in Barbados

by Monique

Surfing in BarbadosWhy Barbados is good for waves?

Barbados has some of the best waves year round that peel along each coast and as a result offer a vast number of surf spots all over the island. Barbados has beach breaks with sandy floors, point breaks with hollow, clean lefts, long left-hand reef breaks that are great for beginners or long-boarders and epic right-hand reef breaks where you can sometimes achieve stand-up barrels. Barbados sits near the bottom and just off to the right of the Caribbean Island chain, with the open Atlantic Ocean on the East coast and the Caribbean Sea on the West coast.

When is the prime time for waves?

The ideal time for surfing in Barbados is from November to April, when cold-weather fronts moving along the eastern seaboard of the US produce ocean swells which spread over a thousand miles and results in waves. This is also a busy time for visitors so the line up and some surf spots can some times be quite packed.

For the locals, hurricane season which is from June to November is also a prime time for waves and is when deviant tropical depressions can stir the water to produce some awesome waves on the South and East coast of the island. Lucky for us, Soup Bowl tends to have some sort of wave year round, give or take a couple weeks a year where ‘the Bowl’ resembles the calm West coast waters.

Local talent making it big…

Barbados has already produced top-class surfers who rank high on the International stage and continue to do so with the likes of Chelsea Roet, Chelsea Tuach, Bruce Mackie, Josh Burke, Che Allan and Dane Mackie, to name a few.

Who teaches surfing here?

There are a number of surf schools on the island but these are my recommendations:

Boosy’s Surf School: The instructor, Christian Boos, provides his students with an informative introduction to surfing that is safe, professional and fun! You’re guaranteed to stand up on a wave on the first lesson!

Surf Barbados: Surf Barbados has the experience and knowledge to bring to you the best Barbados has to offer with accommodation, surf lessons, surfboard rentals, surf tours and even car rentals for surfers!

What the pros have to say about waves in Barbados

I’ve been going for over 20 years, and I’d put Soup Bowl as one of the top three waves in the world. It’s got a really good curve and allows all sorts of maneuvers and airs. The only problem is that there are sea urchins all over the bottom — just don’t fall and you’re fine.

Kelly Slater

When Soup Bowl turns on, it’s one of the best breaks in the world.

Torrey Meister

Everyone is so nice here.I’ve never surfed a place with nicer locals. In Hawaii, a lot of people will flat out tell you to leave if you’re not local.

T. J. Barron

How does the line-up in Barbados compare to Hawaii?

Sometimes it may feel as though every surfer on this little island gets in the water at the same time, but having said that, no break is as congested as those in Hawaii (and may it always remain that way!).

Water temperature

The truly amazing thing about Barbados is we have warm waters year round. Although the waters do cool quite a few degrees from November to April as a result of the cold front coming in from the States, you will often hear locals say how ‘cold’ the water is. Of course, surfer’s from anywhere else in the world other than the Caribbean would beg to differ!

Check out some local surfers at various surf spots around the island…