Secret Surfing Gems
Secret surf locations for all skill levels are along Jamaica's 635-mile-long coastline. Trade winds provide the year-round surf, and the tropical atmosphere keeps the water warm. These are the top six surfing spots in Jamaica.
Boston Bay in Port Antonio parish is the most popular surfing beach in Jamaica. The bay has surfable waves yearly, and there are always a few local surfers. The waves are mild, making this an excellent area for beginners. If you need help getting up on the board, several surf schools are on the beach.
Some of Jamaica's top surf places are on the island's southeastern coast, including Zoo near Bull Bay. Zoo is a prominent local surf spot best suited to intermediate riders due to the reef break-producing waves with a short ride on a barreling right. Before Hurricane Ivan, which wrecked the reef here, Zoo was widely regarded as the best site in Jamaica for surfing.
Jamnesia, headquartered in Bull Bay (also known as Copa Bay) near Kingston, is the most well-known surf camp on the island. It is also regarded as where surfing first gained popularity on the island. Jamnesia was started in the 1970s as Jamaica's first surf school by the Wilmot family. Elishama Beckford, a Bull Bay native, was the first Jamaican professional surfer and had a famous worldwide career. The bay features consistent year-round surf, with massive waves and long rides on the right reef break.
Surfers flock to the Saint Thomas Parish at Makka near Yallahs to ride the swells. The little beach has world-class water tubes allowing surfers to enjoy long rides on breaking waves. The Makka Pro Surf Contest, Jamaica's first professional surf tournament, is held here annually and is one of the largest surfing events in the Caribbean. Surfers from all over the world travel to Jamaica for the festivities.
Bay of Runaway
Runaway Bay is an excellent site for surfers of all levels and is located on Jamaica's gorgeous northern coast, near the tourist town of Ocho Rios. Before paddling out, check the wind pattern because onshore trade winds can change the quality of the waves. The bay's exposed point breaks can produce choppy waves that can be dangerous, so use caution.