St Lucia surf can be surprisingly good. On an island that’s probably better known for the jaw-dropping Pitons peaks and its honeymoon hotels, there are some pretty good breaks that can work at any time in the year. It’s generally better for intermediate surfers.
An introduction to St Lucia Surf
St Lucia isn’t somewhere that usually comes to mind when you brainstorm the top surf spots in the Caribbean. It’s not got those fabled sandbanks of the Bahamas, nor the endless points that beckon on the windward coast of Barbados. Truth be told, the isle is a bit more of a honeymoon honeypot, with five-star resorts to suit the just-married crowd.
But linger a little and there are breaks to be had. The island does get swell, and plenty of it. Go windward – the east coast – and there’s seemingly non-stop action from the Atlantic in the NE and N swell directions that pump summer and winter, but really hit a peak when the wet season is ushered in around June. Those trades once made the island a major stopover for merchant vessels crossing to the Americas. Today, they give Lucia some of the finest windsurfing spots this side of Greece.
For those coming without the sail in tow, we can point the way to a couple of half-decent reefs and sandbar breaks that have fair consistency. On the whole, we’d say this is one of the rare Caribbean isles that’s suited to middle-skill surfers more than experts. There aren’t big barrels and bowl sections. It’s mainly wrap-around peelers that are good between sessions by the side of the hotel pool.
This guide is just one part of our complete guide to surfing in the Caribbean
St Lucia Surf at a glance
What’s in this guide to St Lucia Surf?
Where is St Lucia?
St Lucia is a part of the Eastern Caribbean. It’s actually one of the easternmost of the whole island chain – only Barbados and it’s cracking surf breaks are further out into the Atlantic than this. To the north is the lesser-know paradise of Martinique (a French overseas territory. To the south is St Vincent and the Grenadines.
There are two airports to fly to in St Lucia: The Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) and George F. L. Charles Airport (SLU). The first is the larger of the two. It has regular direct flights from the UK and the contiguous USA, especially from New York. The latter is mainly served by inter-island flights from other destinations within the Caribbean.
Citizens from LOADS of nations get visa-free access to St Lucia for up to three months at a time.
St Lucia surf spots
The general rule with St Lucia is that the east coast gets more swell since it’s got the exposure to the Atlantic Ocean but the west coast possesses the higher-quality breaks. That’s really why the season (which we’ll talk more about later) runs through the winter, when the swell direction is more NE than direct E, helping sets wrap around into the leeward reefs and keep the trades offshore.
The beaches of protected Pigeon Point are a hotspot for vacationers and have some of the more affordable resorts on the island to their back. They also host a peeling left-hander point, which works on good summer windswells and direct NE winter pulses, peaking when there’s a decent element of south in the trade winds to match. The wave is over rocky reef that gets pretty sharp at points but it’s usually a tame enough beast for the intermediates out there. Tends to favor longer boards since it lacks a bit of power.
There’s a sleeping beast that waits to kick into action on HUGE storm-season (August-November) swells at Winjammer. It’s on the outer reef a little like a bombie, capable of handling double overheads and strong winds. The reef is shallow and the take-off is fast and heavy into a wall of water that’s crazy unpredictably. There are rare smaller days when it will come to life, with a neat A-frame peak that only has a rideable right into the bay. It’s a fickle spot though.
Sucking up any NE winter swell that comes down from the stormy north Atlantic, Commaret Point is arguably the most reliable spot on the whole of St Lucia. It’s actually the name of the headland that protects Rabbit Beach, with Rouge Point helping cut out the crossshore south winds a little below. There’s a jump-off point on the outer reefs that can take you straight to the outside section where there are lots of peaky waves of different shapes and angles to enjoy when its larger. When its windier, stick to the inside of the bay, which is surprisingly not that rocky and can offer peeling lefts that cruise neatly close to the sand when its groundswelling on big periods. The only issue with Commaret Point is the access – it’s 4WD stuff down some gnarly mountain paths.
Where to stay when surfing in St Lucia?
Naturally, St Lucia has cracking hotels – this is honeymoon territory extraordinaire, remember? The downside is that many of the finest stays are near the dramatic Pitons in the south. Here are better options for accessing the surf, which tends to cluster around the north and eastern edges of the island.
Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach All Inclusive Resort
The Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach All Inclusive Resort is a classic Caribbean resort hotel that’s for couples only. It’s got stylish villa rooms and seafront access, and will put you literally steps off the left hander at Pigeon Point.
The Landings Resort and Spa
The Beachfront Villa is a highly-rated self-catering option if you’re coming to St Lucia as a family or a group and want to be near the surf breaks. You can drive from here to all the spots mentioned above, but a 4X4 is probably a good idea.
Step-by-step guide to planning your St Lucia surf trip right now
Step one: Book flights to the St Lucia surf…We use Skyscanner and only Skyscanner for this. The reason? We’ve always found it the best site for comparing deals from basically ALL airlines and somehow seems to offer deals that beat going direct.
Step two: Book your surf lodge. There’s Booking.com. That has consistently unbeatable rates for hotels and a nifty map feature that lets you check how close EXACTLY that hotel is to particular breaks. Or Book Surf Camps, which is the numero uno online booking platform for fully-fledged surf-stay packages.
Step three: Book surf lessons and other activities For advance booking, you can use GetYourGuide or Viator. To be fair, though, we usually just leave this until we’re there – it’s easy to book in person in most surf destinations.
When to surf in St Lucia?
There’s actually the potential to surf all year in St Lucia but any local will tell you that it’s a proper waiting game on most of the better breaks. If you want to up the chances that you’ll catch something, come in the winter months, when the Atlantic ground swells are doing their thing in the NE channel – the same pulses that are pushing heavy sets into the East Coast of the USA and that. Summer can be good for windswells that push E and curl around into Pigeon Point and that, but it can be too windy for anything clean then too. For the big wave at Winjammer, it’s usually a case of holding off for storm months like July, August, or September.