Whether you're an East Coast surfer looking to escape the crowds during hurricane season, or someone looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, there is one location that offers powerful left and right-handers, barrels, few crowds, and isn't too expensive or far from the mainland United States. You don't need a wetsuit, either. Sound too good to be true? It's not.
We're talking about surfing in the Bahamas.
While the Bahamas isn't famous for being a world-class surf destination, the islands have great waves.
When are the waves best? What are the best surf spots to go to? How expensive is it? We'll discuss all this — and more — in this travel guide to surfing in the Bahamas.
No crowd, and going off. Photo: Ben Hicks
The Basics: Surfing in The Bahamas
Located in the southeastern part of the United States, the Bahamas is comprised of:
The capital of the Bahamas is Nassau.
English is the native language, and although the US Dollar is widely accepted for all purchases.
When is the Bahamas surf season?
Like the East Coast, the Bahamas is dependent upon two factors for pumping, offshore waves:
Because of these two factors, the best time to surf in the Bahamas is from October to April.
Hurricanes in the Bahamas
The hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30.
At any time during this window, powerful hurricanes spin through the region.
When hurricanes reach shore, they are undoubtedly devasting, but when they stay far offshore, they produce some of the region's best waves.
In order to plan a strike mission to surf in the Bahamas during hurricane season, you'll need to be flexible, understand which surf spots pick up the right swell direction, and you'll need a little bit of luck.
Cold Fronts in the Bahamas
When strong cold fronts from the North Atlantic ocean send offshore rollers into East Coast communities, that swell sometimes filters into the Bahamas.
Similar to hurricane season, in order to score during a cold front in the Bahamas, you'll need flexibility and a bit of luck.
How To Get To the Bahamas
Most flights to the Bahamas leave from Florida. The islands are less than an hour's flight from Miami, and about an hour and a half from Orlando.
While it's a visa-free destination, a passport and the expected departure date are required for entry.
Places to Surf in the Bahamas
With so many islands, cays, and islets within the Bahamas, there's no shortage of places to surf. It just depends upon the swell direction on that given day.
The best places to surf in the Bahamas are:
Surfer's Beach (Gregory Town)
St. George Island
North Palmetto Point
Rock Sound Airport
Overall Cost of Surfing in the Bahamas
Like with any surf trip, the cost of surfing in the Bahamas can widely vary.
That being said, you will need to pay for items such as:
board bag fees (unless you rent boards in the Bahamas, which is an option for beginner/intermediate surfers)
bus or car rental
food (because food is more expensive in the Bahamas, we recommend bringing snacks yourself)
travel insurance (we always recommend travel insurance because accidents, like falling on the reef, are never planned)
The Bottom Line: Surfing in the Bahamas
The Bahamas can be a surfer's paradise — empty crowds, warm water, left and right-handers blessed by offshore winds.
But in order to score on a strike mission, it's important to understand the swell direction and maintain flexibility mentally and with travel accommodations. Doing so will ensure that you have a surf trip to remember in the Bahamas.