Barbados Surfing and Windsurfing Locations
Barbados, located 13.1° North and 59.9° West is the most easterly of all the Caribbean islands. This location makes us open to every bit of weather activity that generates a swell. A "swell" is the term surfers use to describe a wave that is coming in and it is usually generated by a low or high pressure system, tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. During the winter months of October to April snow systems that move off the north-eastern seaboard of the USA into the North Atlantic, push large and powerful swells to our west, north and east coast. In a “nut shell” you can surf in Barbados almost every day in the year. There is surf for all levels: beginners, social, competitive and World Champions!
The south to south-east coast of Barbados is perfect for the beginner. Quite often however, depending on the weather system, the south coast can receive large swells and can become an advanced surfer’s dream. The east coast where the world’s famous “Soup Bowl” at Bathsheba is located is the most consistent on the island, producing rideable waves almost every day. However due to the North East Trade winds that blow all year side to onshore on this coast, conditions are made bumpy most days. The fifty to seventy-five days a year that the wind swings out of the south–southwest with a 3 - 15 ft north to north-east swell running creates the most amazing waves found anywhere in the world. This makes Barbados the ideal playground for the world’s best surfers, including ten time World Champ Kelly Slater who stated in his autobiography “Pipe Dreams” that “Soup Bowl” is his fourth most favorite wave in the world, and on Feb 4th 2005 catching Soup Bowl at its all time best, Slater said “it was the best day of surfing in my life”.
Nonetheless, winds will change and you should check to find where the best waves are. Typically the prime spots are as noted on this map.
Lessons and Rentals
The most ideal spot in the Caribbean and probably the world to learn to surf is on Barbados' south to south–east coast. Burkies Surf School located at Ocean Spray Beach Apartments, Surfer’s Point, Inch Marlow is situated in this area. There are four surfing spots here; Long Beach to the east, Surfer’s Point, South Point and Freight’s Bay to the west are all within a 2 mile radius. All are world class surf spots for learning, with Freight’s Bay probably the best to learn to surf.