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Where to Surf in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago is a dual-island nation in the Caribbean just off the coast of Venezuela.


The main, larger island is Trinidad with Tobago floating at about half its size above the northeastern shorelines.


This country is known for its amazing bird population, providing a home for nearly 500 species, 50% of which can be found on Tobago alone.


Another item that makes this place so talked-about is the beaches it has to offer.


They’re exactly what you’d see on a travel agency billboard – crazy blue water, white sand beaches, and perfect palms that edge the roads.


While T&T is not widely known for their surfing, many who are local or have been to the island consider the destination one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets.  





Trinidad and Tobago Surf Guide


Waves in Trinidad and Tobago

The best time to surf in T&T is between the beginning of winter through the end of spring.


This is when wind swells will form from the northeast to create typically hollow but powerful waves anywhere from 4-8ft.


With two separate islands and 100% border exposure to the ocean, there will certainly be a spot for everyone from first timers to experts. 


Surf Culture at Trinidad and Tobago


Similar to many island nations in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago was introduced to surfing by visitors who made the journey in search of new waves.


Rumor has it that in the mid 1960s, right when surfing began taking off in the United States, pioneers from the Torquay and Plymouth regions of the United Kingdom traveled to the country – stoked and with boards in hand.


For days this group of unknowns, whose story has been passed down for generations, scoured the island of Tobago top to bottom without any luck.


On their last day just as they were ready to call it quits and head home, the team hit Mt. Irvine Bay towards the southwest corner of the little island and hit the jackpot. 

A local waterman by the name of Nicholas Northangel watched as the foreigners caught wave after wave, flying across the faces and shooting out of tubes.

Fascinated and eager to do the same, Northangel purchased a longboard while on a trip to Barbados and lugged it home to try out in his backyard ocean. The sport quickly began trending as more and more locals realized how exciting it was, and even better, that they could partake pretty much whenever they pleased! 


Gear Needed to Surf in Trinidad and Tobago

Water temps in T&T don’t ever dip below 80°F, so when it comes to gear, we’d suggest surfing in as little clothing as you’re comfortable.


If you’re just beginning or hitting a spot with a jagged walk out you may want to think about water shoes; and on the same note, if you’re going to be taking on some bigger waves, a helmet is never a bad idea just in case you get sent headfirst into the bottom. 


Best Waves in Trinidad and Tobago


Las Cuevas — Trinidad

Las Cuevas is a spot along the northern shore of the big island off to the left.


It’s an exposed beach break that forms mainly from groundswells and unlike most spots on the island is most reliable in the fall.


When active, Las Cuevas can provide some pretty nice A-Frames with super long rides into shore. 

  

Mount Irvine — Tobago

Mount Irvine is an exposed reef break located towards the bottom left corner of Tobago.


Here, offshore winds blow from the southeast to create clean waves that can get pretty big during the winter.


The spot is notorious for great surfing but beware of fire coral that lives on the floor.


Balandra — Trinidad

Balandra Beach is a cove on the northeast side of Trinidad.


The curve shape of the shore helps trade winds create a consistent swell that has earned this spot the title of most reliable on the islands.


Waves here are similar to the ones you’ll find at Las Cuevas with lengthy lefts and rights. 


Airports — Tobago

Airports is located near Mount Irvine in the same bottom left corner of Tobago.


Waves here are typically a good mix of windswells and groundswells, are work the best in mid-late January.


The spot doesn’t get super big, so is perfect for average-level surfers as well as beginners closer towards the shore.  


Toco — Trinidad

Toco sits on the northeastern point of Trinidad and is one of the most scenic spots to surf at on the islands.


The water here is bordered by huge, lush cliffs that are incredible to look back on while you’re out in the lineup.


Waves at Toco can reach above 8ft in season, and even when the swell is relatively calm, it’s no place for beginners.


You’ll want to pack your shortboard and get ready for some serious tube time. 


What To Do in Trinidad and Tobago When the Waves Are Flat 


If the forecast lets you down and there aren’t any waves during your stay, Trinidad and Tobago has plenty other options to offer for thrill seekers and beach bums alike.





Check out Fort King George, explore the Trinidad rainforest, go on a bird watching tour, hike up Englishman’s Bay, or partake in pretty much any other watersport that doesn’t require waves!

The Bottom Line: Surfing in the Trinidad and Tobago

Being a dual island nation, there’s no question there is someplace for every surfer on Trinidad and Tobago.


Whether you’re giving the sport a shot for the first time while vacationing, or make the journey for the sole purpose of surfing, get ready for breathtaking views and some really fun waves. 

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