Barbados isn’t short of great reasons to visit, and one of the very best is the island’s world-class surfing. Lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and lined with unspoilt, sandy beaches, you just know you’re going to have a great time from the moment you land.
The Surfing Championships
In early September 2015, Barbados plays host to the annual National Surfing Championships, where wave-hunters of all ages compete in a range of hotly contested competitions. They start surfing young in Barbados – with contests for under 10s and under 12s among the free spectacles you’ll be able to enjoy.
Boys and girls are separated in the under-16 and under-18 categories, while adults get their chance in the Open Men’s, Open Women’s and Masters events. And if you’re devoted to your long board or stand-up paddle board, you can watch like-minded contenders do their thing too.
Experience the Beauty
This highlight of the Barbados surfing calendar promises plenty of action, and takes place in a stunning setting. On the island’s rugged east coast, the beautiful fishing village of Bathsheba is a real must visit, and a popular choice for visitors and locals alike. The east coast is reckoned to be the island’s prime surf spot due to the on-shore trade winds and crashing Atlantic waves, and the scenery isn’t bad either. Dramatic cliffs, golden beaches and coral reefs make this place surf heaven, and Bathsheba’s magnificent bay is known as the ‘Soup Bowl’ to surfers around the world. The conditions are no picnic, though, so don’t even try to swim there.
The Soup Bowl challenges the most experienced surfers, but there are plenty of other spots on Barbados to try out your skills. Some, like Accra Beach, Silver Sands and Skeetes Bay, are more suitable for beginners, while the likes of Salt Ash, Duppies and South Point attract a more confident crowd. It’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll be able to find some decent breaks somewhere around the coast whenever you visit, making Barbados bankable for surfers and spectators virtually all year round.
Enjoy the Surroundings
You can catch the National Surfing Championships at the Soup Bowl on the 5th and 6th September. When you’re not watching the rollers break, Bathsheba is a lovely place to just hang out and soak up the idyllic island lifestyle. You can chill in Bathsheba Park, or cool off in the shallow inshore pools; a favourite pastime of the locals, who you may see enjoying a rum punch or two, the famous national drink of the Bajans. There are said to be around 2,000 rum shops on Barbados; pretty good going for an island just over 20 miles long and 14 miles wide.
While you’re in Barbados, be sure to experience some of its other unique attractions. The Fish Fry in Oistins, on the island’s south coast, takes place Thursday to Sunday nights throughout September. This decidedly laid-back night out is all about food, drink, dance and looking out across the ocean, as well as being a great way to get to know the friendly Barbadian people.
So, whether you go for the surf or simply to relax, there’s nowhere better than Barbados to be at one with nature.