Surfing St. Thomas or any of the Virgin Islands isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when planning a surf trip, even if you are looking specifically at a surf trip to the Caribbean. Those that do keep their eye on surf conditions in the Caribbean know that you can’t really plan ahead, you have to do surgical strike missions. To maximize their chances of surf, you are more likely to hit the best Caribbean surf spots like Barbados or Puerto Rico.
Twin Fin Coffee
Roasted Fresh, Delivered to You
Twin Fin Coffee delivers fresh roasted coffee, sourced from some from some of the best surfing regions around the world, right to your door.
Whether it’s Costa Rica or Indonesia that capture’s your surfing dreams, there’s a Twin Fin Coffee to match.
So is there surfing in St. Thomas?
Actually, yes. It just helps if you actually live there to catch it, which is part of the reason for the empty waves when they do come.
St. Thomas Surf Spots
There are four main surf spots for surfing St. Thomas – Hull Bay, Caret Bay, Botany Bay, and Sprat Bay. Hull Bay is by far the most well-known surf break on St. Thomas.
Surfing Hull Bay St. Thomas
When most people talk about surfing St. Thomas, they are talking about surfing Hull Bay. Hull Bay is located on the north side of the island and is generally not on the tourist path, making it a great place to visit even if you don’t surf.
Hull Bay is generally used as a protected cove for fishing boats by the local fisherman. You won’t find much in the way of amenities here.
Of course, every surfer knows that if they see a bunch of boats connected to mooring balls, it is because the locals know that waves don’t break there. So where’s the surf?
Looking out at the water, the wave at Hull Bay will break far out further down the beach to the west. If you are lucky enough to be there when a swell hits and have a board with you (surfboard rentals? please) you will find a long paddle out to a reef break. Hull Bay surf doesn’t tend to get too heavy, until a hurricane swell hits then it can wall up.
But it is shallow, so don’t go taking deep dives or you’ll end up getting dinged.
Here’s a pretty cool video I just found. The surf was a bit of a fluke, but as always, the color of the water in the Caribbean is hard to beat. Beautiful!
Surfing Botany Bay St. Thomas
There is surf at Botany Bay on the far west tip of St. Thomas, but you are unlikely to find anyone else there to share it with. After all, you need a boat, so it helps to know some local who will take you there. Without much of a surf industry on the island, there isn’t all that much demand for boat rides to the break. Maybe you can charter your own and figure it out.
However, it can be worth the trip. Sure the empty waves may prove elusive, but a day on a boat in Botany Bay is hardly a waste of time. The spectacular beauty, lack of development, and solitude make for a great day no matter what.
Surfing Caret Bay St. Thomas
If Hull Bay is off the tourist circuit, than Caret Bay is in the jungle. In fact, getting to the waves requires (at least when I was last there) a bushwack through a jungle trail, down some pretty steep sections, and into the bay without too much of a beach to hang out on.
Surfing Sprat Bay St. Thomas
Unlike the other main surf breaks on St. Thomas that tend to be on the north side of the island and catch swells from storms heading into the northern Caribbean, Sprat Bay faces south and east and can be exposed to the full force of swells forming in the Atlantic.
Of course, like all things surfing in St. Thomas, getting to Sprat Bay is a bit of effort. Sprat Bay is actually on Water Island, a small island just off St. Thomas, across from the main bay at Charlotte Amalie.
There is a small water taxi that will take you to Water Island, that is mostly used by locals getting to town. The small problem is that the taxi will drop you on the wrong side of Water Island and carrying a surfboard to Sprat and its inconsistent waves would be a gamble.
Surfing St. Thomas
If you haven’t noticed, the inconsistent surf and hard to get to breaks have led to a reasonable decision by most traveling surfers to just go elsewhere on their quest for waves. Surfing in St. Thomas is possible, and in fact when I lived there I surfed more than I thought I would. But it is a local’s game, and the empty tropical waves are their reward.
My Own Rum Diary In St. Thomas
Best Surfing in Central America
Read more Roam Chronicles.