Remember the tense festival scene in the James Bond classic “Thunderball”? The Bahamas, in addition to being home to the Junkanoo Festival – where revellers don elaborate costumes and body paint and sing and dance in the streets while disorienting international spies – hold some pretty amazing surf. At the eastern edge of the Bahamas island chain lie the islands Eleuthera and Great Abaco, two long strands of sand and coral jutting out into the Atlantic. Maybe it is time for a break while waiting for Ontario to open for sports betting and go and have some fun. Bahamas is easy to reach from Toronto Persons and Quebec Airport.
Bahamas surf weather forecasts and temperatures
Eleuthera has a deep 3,000-foot trench offshore, so swells arrive unimpeded with full force. Surf forecasts favour October through April when the islands draw in surf from storms spinning off the US east coast. Conditions August through November light up with the occasional tropical disturbance or hurricane. Surf reports for May through July are generally flat, except for local wind swell. Air temps hover in the 70s Fahrenheit in the winter and can feel much cooler thanks to the prevailing seabreeze. Summer temps are consistently well into the 80s while water temps remain steady at roughly 80 degrees.
On Great Abaco, the surf spot Garbanzo picks up both windswell and groundswell. It’s a right and left reef that favours winter surf. Surfers Beach on Eleuthera is pretty consistent too and turns on with offshore south winds and deepwater northeast groundswell. James Point, also on Eleuthera is a good left and right that favours north swells and south winds. Works on mid-tide.
Bahamas surf lessons by professionals
To explore the islands, Bahamas Adventures has tours and trips via their boats. They will take you on a surf trip through the best breaks at the right tide, wind and swell. Email for pricing. Their learn-to-surf program is quite popular, scouring the island for the best beginner conditions that day. Learn to surf trips leave port at 10am and return at 2:30 pm. Group lessons including boat transport begin at CA$80 per person.
Since the islands are a maze of coves, beaches and jungle you’ll need a guide to know where to go. SUP-focused but surf accessible, Siren Surf Adventures hosts gal groups, singles and families in specialized adventure camps in the Bahamas. The camp is highly customizable and their chef will cater to any dietary restrictions.
Pappa Surf offers SUP lessons and special SUP Yoga classes. The group caters to all age ranges and has a great reputation with families. Personalized SUP lessons with one teacher and one student starts at $80. SUP Yoga is CA$80 for a 90-minute class.
Bahamas hotels and camps for surfers to stay
The Surfers Manor adjacent Gregory Town in Eleuthera offers funky, brightly colored rooms and tropical décor. The hotel has a casual vibe so you don’t have to worry about getting sand in their communal garden areas or on the bar and restaurant floor. But the big selling point here is Surfers Beach, one of the most consistent spots in the Bahamas. The reeling lefts and consistent rights are just a short walk away down a narrow nature trail. Rooms start at CA$130.
The Rainbow Inn, a little farther down the road from Surfers Manor, is a delightful tropical and casual stay. Their light rooms with open windows and white drapes give off an island plantation vibe despite being composed of small cottage units. Each stay has a kitchenette, air conditioning and access to their famous salt water pool. Rooms start at CA$180 and they also offer all-inclusive packages.
Rooms at the Unique Village hotel come with open balconies and unobstructed views of open beach and ocean. This resort is made up of 10 hotel rooms and a few villas. A great surfer option as this hotel offers quick access to the beach and the surf breaks of southern Eleuthera. Rooms start at CA$150 and include all the standard modern amenities.
Bahamas is a great place for water sports vacations.
Bahamas surfing guide prepared by Bryan Dickerson (wavepoolmag.com) for Dailystoke.com’s travel desination guides.
Photo by Gregory Culmer