When travelers think of Jamaica, they envision beaches, golf, dining, music, and a laid-back atmosphere. However, not everyone thinks of surfing or kitesurfing, even though Jamaica has some of the best waters in the region. As one surfing expert said: “Locked in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, far from Atlantic Ocean swells, it seems unlikely that Jamaica would contain many surfing beaches. But thanks to wind swells from the northeast, the island’s north and south coasts, along with its eastern tip, are blessed with surprisingly good surfing spots.”
Clients of Isle Blue select from a curated collection of luxury villas that range from waterfront properties to hillside hideaways, and yet most visitors have at least one or two days of beach fun in mind. If you have booked a stay in a luxury villa in Jamaica, why not work with us to help you arrange a day or two of surfing or kitesurfing as well?
The best surf season is from December through March and then again from July through September. It is considered a very easy environment in which to surf, with skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced. There is very little “traffic” and most of it is limited to local enthusiasts on the weekends.
There are excellent spots all over the island, and below we offer some tips for choosing the right spot for your needs:
This is noted as one of the most consistent beaches for strong and good waves, but it is also for the skilled surfers only. This is because it can be tricky to get into the bay due to the coral, but with world-class tubes, it is the only spot where professional contests are held.
Also on the north shore (where Makka Beach is located) are a few of the other popular surfing spots. There is Boston Beach which is where the majority of local surfers can be found. It is close to Long Bay that is said to be the most reliable producer of good waves. West of these spots is the Outback, which is for the advanced surfers only.
The famous “Zoo” is located near Kingston as well as the equally famous beach known as “The Lighthouse”. If you want to see the birthplace of Jamaican surfing, these are the places to visit. They are both good for intermediate riders, but if the idea of encountering reef sharks scares you, the Lighthouse is not for you!
This is at the southeastern end of the island and has some good waves for the intermediate to skilled surfers.
If you would rather take advantage of the consistent winds of Jamaica in order to learn how to kiteboard or kitesurf, you will want to plan a trip between November and April when the winds are the most consistent. Head out in the mornings if you are a beginner, but wait until the afternoon if you are already skilled in this watersport.
You can bring gear, but why struggle when almost all of the north coast beaches have shacks for rentals and lessons. Negril and Ocho Rios are some of the most popular, but Bounty Bay is the perfect flat water classroom for the beginner. Doctor’s Cave Beach and Cornwall Beach (both near Montego Bay) are also great for the beginners.
With its amazing beaches, surfing and kitesurfing in Jamaica are a must-do activity. It is easy to arrange, and your Isle Blue concierge is happy to help you make plans. Whether you are looking for the nearest beach where kitesurfing is available or you want to find a surfing instructor, we can help. If you have questions about watersports in Jamaica, give your concierge a call to discuss your options.