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Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Surfing Life in the Virgin Islands
Surfing in the VI.... Lets Get Ready!
US Virgin Islands Surf Spots & Information
Surfing season on the US Virgin Islands is November through March. During this time, the waves can reach between six and eight feet in height, with bigger days reaching as high as double overhead. The rest of the year, the waters are pretty flat and unsurfable. The breaks on the US Virgin Islands are all reef breaks, and long coral heads are not uncommon.
Surfing here is generally recommended for experienced surfers, and it’s also advisable that you go out with someone who is familiar with these waters. There are a few windsurfing shops that have shortboards and longboards for rent, but most local surf shops here do not offer board rentals, only sales, so you might want to bring your own board. The steady trade winds off the Atlantic attract a lot of windsurfers, and bodyboarding is also very popular.
Water Island, which is about a 10-minute ferry ride from St. Thomas, has a spot known as Sprat Bay that’s great for swimming and snorkeling. At times, the surf breaks at Sprat Bay can accommodate all skill levels, including beginners. The last of the US Virgin Islands, it’s small (about ½ mile wide and two miles long), with not a lot of development, so it’s a good place to go if you want to escape the crowds at St. Thomas and “lime” (relax, chill). Sprat Bay is about a one-mile walk from the ferry dock. The break is a hollow, fast and fun right reef break that can get long at times. Another spot that sometimes breaks and is okay for beginners is called Santa Maria (in St. Thomas). Santa Maria also attracts a lot of kiteboarders.
Hull Bay on the Atlantic (north) side of St. Thomas is the beach that’s most associated with surfing. When the swells are rolling in from the northeast, Hull Bay will get a four-foot or bigger point/reef break that attracts surfers from all over the island. Other places to surf on St. Thomas include Caret Bay and Botany Bay (which is accessible via boat from Hull Bay), but localism at these spots can be intense. There are problems with theft, violence, and drugs, and in general, it’s not advisable to go off the beaten path. If you decide to explore, keep a low profile, do not bring any valuables with you, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.