Jamaica is best known for its calm turquoise sea, white sandy beaches and all-inclusive resorts alongside the north coast . However, Jamaica is a land of ever changing elements, culturally and geographically, and the island has been a popular destination for many people from different walks of life.
It is time to explore the southeast coastline of the island, just outside the bustling capital of Kingston - this is where you find the best in Jamaica surfing, in Bull Bay.
The parish of St.Thomas is the home of local surf culture which is still relatively young. Besides a handful of surfers who have passed through the waves, it wasn’t until Billy Wilmot, who started in the 60s as a talented surfer, made it his mission to promote surfing culture in Jamaica. Today he and his family – Jamaica’s first surf family - are running a surf club in St.Thomas, Jamnesia, which is situated at Eight Miles Bull Bay where they provide a home to groom new surfers and welcome visitors from around the globe.
The Wilmot family has been proactive in promoting surfing and claim that the bigger the sport gets, the more support it will get locally and internationally. And this is important both economically and socially. Supporting young talents on the island means opening up new opportunities and it also allows Jamaica to promote itself as a world class surfing destination. There is untapped potential and hope to use the sport of surfing to create a better life not only for themselves, but for their community as well. In the future, the Jamaican surf community will benefit from people visiting the island and sharing their surf experience, video promos and opportunities for locals to travel abroad and spread the word of the Jamaican surfing scene.
The island is ideally located to benefit from the available summer and winter swells that grace the Caribbean with big waves. The north and south coast have perfect surfing conditions for eight months out of the year which makes it an ideal destination for every surfer. Although the Jamaica surf scene is still relatively new, it has already been praised by world class surfers, as well as hobby surfers, as the place to go to when it comes to surfing and catching decent waves.
Still, the island lacks of decent surf shops and surf boards aren’t easily accessible. This will only change if more surfers join the waves on the coastlines of the island and make Jamaica a global surfing destination - something the local community hopes will occur. But Jamaica has so more going on too, and one should not ignore that surfing in Jamaica also comes with the island’s wealth of cultural and entertainment experiences. Think about local sound systems, jerk chicken and a Red Stripe beer by the beach after you ride some waves.
So here is the question, will Jamaica become the next surfing destination? Watch this video and get a real taste of what to expect when surfing in Jamaica.