Virgin Island Surf Guide
There are a few surf spots in the Virgin Islands. Many of the surf spots can be fickle to swell and wind direction, but when those conditions are right, they can be world class! Usually surf is more consistent in the winter months (November to February but can extend into May), when strong North Swells from winter storms off the US East Coat produce about large swells, the North facing spots will break.
In summer, usually around August the swell energy shifts and the islands get wind swell or hurricane generated ground swells, so you can get lucky and find some world class surf. During this time of the year, the SE facing spots will work. The tidal range is minimal (only about a foot) so most spots work at any given tide level.
I’d say the average wave size in winter is about 3 feet, so with a SUP / Paddleboard you will catch more waves vs. a surfboard. Here are a few spots. We respect “secret spots” so we only list spots that have are widely known and have been pubslished before.
ST.JOHN SURF SPOTS
Cinnamon: Needs a big swell from the North to work, easy, safe wave for beginners.
Reef Bay: St. Johns most popular spot. Reef buttom, so not suited for beginners. It is a steep hike down with a paddleboard. Make sure you stay clear of surfers or pick an uncrowded day.
- Johns Folly: Drive from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay towards Salt Pond Bay, about 3 miles toward it you will reach a sharp turn, theres a bus stop there and a small lagoon, at the mouth of the bay to the right you will see the wave if its breaking. Coral bottom righthander for experienced surfers. Starts working at about 3 feet and can hold bigger swells.
- Johnston’s Reef (access from Cinnamon or Jumbie): works in winter with long period North Swells, quite a long paddle out, easier on a paddleboard vs. shortboard. Since it is so far out it gets more wind, so
- Fish Bay: Works with a South Swell. There can be waves on both ends (Ditliff Point in the West and Cocolobo Beach in the East). Access and parking is a bit more difficult so usually uncroweded. Use Reef Bay forecast.
- Nanny Point (North of Ram’s head and Drunk Bay) is most exposed, getting swells from East and South.Unfortunately it gets a lot of wind, too. On days with little wind it can be great. Drive past Estate Concordia until the road ends. It’s a long drive from Cruz Bay, so in case you go there and the wave is not working you can still throw in some sight seeing and do the Ram Head or Drunk Bay Trail…..
SUP SURF SPOTS ON ST. JOHN
with a SUP you can always find some nice waves to play around in, in winter months mostly on the North Shore (Hawksnest, Cinnamon and the likes) and in winter months on the South Shore, there are some nice little waves around the points of Klein Bay / Ditliff and Fish Bay which almost always work with a SUP.
TORTOLA SURF SPOTS
- Apple Bay / Capoon’s. Capoon’s Bay, a.k.a. Little Apple Bay, holds a perfectly symmetrical A-frame reef that should provide a buzz, as does the mushroom tea sometimes served at Bomba’s Shack, just in front of the break. The Stand Up World Tour actually stopped their for the Location X race in 2012 (see photos below)
- Cane Garden Bay (needs a really big Northeastern swell to work) Can be up to 15 feet.
- Long Bay Beach (west of Apple Bay): Family Friendly beginners wave. Surfable in 3-8ft swell.
- Long Bay, Beef Island: A beach break with a sandy bottom, surfable in 3 – 8ft. Left and right peak
- Coutins Bay: A left break that can hold up to 12′. The spot is only accessible by boat.
- Josiah’s, most consistet beach break, you will almost always find something rideable with a SUP. This beach is a bit off the beaten track and usually not so crowded so a good choice for SUP.
VIRGIN GORDA SURF SPORTS
- Yacht harbour is an A-frame reef break that can be great on a large NW Swell
- The East facing shores of Virgin Gorda can have rideable waves in summer from hurricane swells
ANEGADA SURF SPOTS
- Loblolly Bay: most exposed to swell. On days with little wind there will be a long lefthander and a hollow righthander, but it is a long paddle out.
- West End: on days with little wind or wind from the South there can be a long righthand pointbreak
ST. THOMAS SURF SPOTS
- Hull Bay Needs Northern Swell. For experienced surfers only. Beware of the Locals….
- Water Island (Sprat Bay in the South East), Hollow, fast point break. Can be reached via boat or long walk from ferry dock and a long paddle out, so usually less crowded. Works best with any South Swell and Wind from the North. Starts working at about 3 feet
JOST VAN DYKE SURF SPOTS
- Sandy Spit. Left hand wave right in front of Sandy Spit (East End), coral bottom for experienced surfers. Don’t get caught on the inside. Works in 4-15ft. Reachable only by boat. Wind is usually howling out there and can mess up the swell.