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.

Virgin Islands Surf Breaks


St. Thomas - Caret Bay

Surf Location Look for a sign that says “West Carat,” follow the dirt road. One bay over from Hull Bay.
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest, West
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction South
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A long, hollow, fast and powerful right and left reef break
The Surfers Semi-crowded on weekends.
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Easy to difficult depending on swell size
Skill Level Experienced and up
Bottom Reef with sand
Watch Out For… Sharp rocks and coral, localism
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

St. Thomas - Hull Bay

Surf Location On the Atlantic side of St. Thomas, follow posted signs
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest, Northeast
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction West, Southwest, South, Southeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A hollow, fast, powerful and ledgy right and left reef break
The Surfers Can get crowded on good days and weekends
Boards Short to longboard
Paddle Out Easy to difficult depending on swell size
Skill Level Experienced and up
Bottom Reef and coral
Watch Out For… Sharp rocks and coral, sea urchins, riptide and undertow
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

St. Thomas - Botany Bay

Surf Location Take a boat from Hull Bay, west about five miles
Best Swell Direction North, Northeast
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction Southwest, South
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A hollow, fast and powerful right-hand point break, can get really long
The Surfers Semi-crowded on weekends
Boards All boards work well at this spot
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Experienced and up
Bottom Reef and coral
Watch Out For… Sharp coral, sea urchins, riptide and undertow, heavy localism, sharks
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

St. Thomas – Santa Maria

Surf Location Take Highway 30 past the University, stay on your left and go up the hill for a couple of miles. On the right is an old iron gate, next to that is a path down to the beach.
Best Swell Direction Anything out of the north
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction Southwest, South, Southeast
Best Surf Season November-March (Winter)
Wave Quality Sometimes breaks between 5 and 6 feet
The Surfers Not crowded at all
Boards All boards work, but you will probably have more fun here with a longboard
Paddle Out Easy to difficult depending on swell size
Skill Level All
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Sharp rocks
Water Condition Secluded beach with Caribbean clear water
 

St. John - John Folly’s

Surf Location Drive from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay, take that toward Salt Pond Bay. About 3 miles in you will see a lagoon, to the right is the mouth of the bay.
Best Swell Direction Southeast, East, Northeast
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction Northwest, West, Southwest
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A hollow, fast and powerful right reef break, can get long
The Surfers Semi-crowded on weekends
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Experienced and up
Bottom Reef and coral
Watch Out For… Sharp rocks and reef, sea urchins, sharks
Water Condition Clean and clear
 

St. John – Turner Bay

Surf Location About a 5-minute walk from Cruz By
Best Swell Direction Southwest
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction Northeast
Best Surf Season Spring and Summer
Wave Quality A hollow, fast and powerful left reef break, can get 10 feet and up, doesn’t break too often
The Surfers Semi-crowded on weekends
Boards Short or longboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Pros
Bottom Reef and coral
Watch Out For… Sea urchins, riptide and undertow, sharp rocks, sharks
Water Condition Pristine
 

St. John – Cinnamon Bay

Surf Location 15-minute cab ride from Cruz Bay, 3.9 miles east of Mongoose Junction off of Route 20. The beach is about ¼ of a mile away from the parking lot, and there is a flat, paved track that leads to the beach. Located in National Park – longest beach in park at 1 mile in length.
Best Swell Direction North, Northeast
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction South, Southwest
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality Not very consistent and a bit mushy
The Surfers A few locals and tourists from the campground
Boards A longboard is your best option
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner
Bottom Reef and sand
Watch Out For… The staghorn coral will light you up
Water Condition Warm and clear
 

St. John – Little Reef Bay (Parrot Bay)

Surf Location Take Route 104 to Fish Bay Road, continue to the Marina Drive and Reef Bay Road. Take a left onto Reef Bay Road and go up the hill. Turn left at the top of the hill, drive 1/4 mile, park across from the house with the new green metal roof. The path to the beach starts at the utility pole.
Best Swell Direction Southeast
Best Tide High
Best Wind Direction Northwest
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality Western end of the beach holds the best waves. Good option in summer months.
The Surfers Friendly locals, occasionally on weekends
Boards Short or longboard
Paddle Out Easy to moderate
Skill Level Beginner
Bottom Reef and rock
Watch Out For… Sea urchins, scattered coral heads
Water Condition Clear and clean
 

St. Croix – Judith’s Fancy (Judith’s Cove)

Surf Location Access is through a gated community
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest, Northeast
Best Tide Mid to High
Best Wind Direction Southwest, South, Southeast
Best Surf Season Winter
Wave Quality A fast, powerful and ledgy right and left reef break, one of the best breaks on St. Croix
The Surfers Semi-crowded on weekends
Boards Short or longboard
Paddle Out Easy to difficult depending on swell size
Skill Level Experienced and up
Bottom Reef with sand
Watch Out For… Sea urchins, riptide and undertow, sharp rocks, sharks
Water Condition Warm and clear
 

Water Island – Sprat Bay

Surf Location Take the ferry from St. Thomas to Water Island. From there, it’s about a mile walking east (or you can try to hitch a ride).
Best Swell Direction Southwest, South, Southeast
Best Tide Mid and High
Best Wind Direction North, Northwest, Northeast
Best Surf Season Summer
Wave Quality A hollow, fast and ledgy right point break, can get long
The Surfers Semi-crowded
Boards Short and longboards
Paddle Out Moderate (about 10 minutes)
Skill Level Experienced at point, beginners in bay
Bottom Reef and coral
Watch Out For… Sharp rocks and coral, sea urchins, sharks
Water Condition Clean
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