Surfing Trinidad and Tobago

While Trinidad and Tobago may be best known for its carnival culture and party-loving people, there’s a rugged and adventurous side to these islands just waiting to be explored. For surfers, this is especially true as there are some epic waves to be found for those willing to go looking.

To surf in Trinidad you have to venture off the beaten track. All the best surf spots are on the North and East coasts: Toco, Balandra and Blanchisseuse all offer world-class beaches and beautiful waves. These rural areas are dotted with small fishing villages and secluded bays offering a delicious menu of reef, rock and sand bottom breaks. While a four-wheel-drive vehicle is not essential, it can be useful because in some of these areas, where the roads are not really roads!

Both islands are blessed with consistent waves and good conditions year round. But the best times for surfing are the winter months (November to March) when powerful Atlantic storms send swells from far up north. The waves tend to average between 4ft and 6ft and a regular short board is all you will need (unless you are a longboarder).

If you need equipment, there are a number of surf shops in Trinidad to choose from. Beachbreak Surf shops, with locations in West Mall, Starlight Plaza and Shoppes of Maraval are likely to have everything you need. Bombora in Movietowne also carries all the supplies and top brands of an authentic surf shop. These stores are also good places to ask questions and get information about the local surf scene.

If you would like to buy a surfboard, check out Alan Davis Surfboards. Alan is the only shaper on the island and makes world-class boards for amateurs and pros alike. Alan is also the man to contact for ‘ding’ repairs in the event that you have any unfortunate contact with the seafloor.

For beginners or surfers who want to improve their technique, there are a couple of established surf schools that provide personal instruction. Jason Apparicio and Che Lovelace are two standout instructors. These guys have been surfing for many years and know just about everything that there is to know about local surfing. They can provide a guided tour of the best spots for your skill level as well as access to the boards and equipment that you will need.

Tobago is also great for surfing. With warm, blue water, white sandy beaches and perfectly wind-groomed waves, Tobago is a surfer’s paradise. A word of warning though, the waves can be fickle and the crowd can get thick. Also, there’s no real surf shop in Tobago so stock up on surf essentials before you arrive.

While surfing is not a mainstream sport here, there is a vibrant surf culture. T&T surfers are a mellow bunch and there is little, if any, radical localism. Some of the more popular surf spots do get crowded, especially on weekends and public holidays. As with surfing anywhere in the world, treat the local beaches and surfers with respect and you’ll have no problems.

Discuss Surfing Trinidad and Tobago

  1. October 31, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I am looking for some information to help plan a surf trip to T&T. Do you have any recommendations for a good place to stay around Toco or Sans Souci that would be relatively inexpensive?

    • November 1, 2013 at 10:18 am

      Hi Matt,
      Check out Playa del Este Resort or Salybia Resort both located on Toco main road.
      Hope this helps!

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