Related blog post: Great surf on our Belize island
Related blog post: Video of surfing our wave in Belize
Long Caye enjoys the only surf break in Belize that is both accessible and safe (not breaking over live coral). Because of the Belize Barrier Reef which blocks ocean swell, only shoals outside the reef will form a wave. It turns out there are only 3 spots like that in the entire country, and ours is the only one of the 3 with a surf center nearby (equipment and instruction).
Related blog post: Slickrock awarded one of top five surf destinations
Our point break is almost always active at the end of the ring reef where the channel entrance intercepts the swells driven by Caribbean trade winds. The swells break on the end of this reef as it opens to form the channel between Long Caye and a neighboring island, and peel off to the right in long, running breaks that can go for several hundred yards. The bottom topography under this break is eroded coral rubble, with no live or sharp coral faces, creating a safe (but hard) bottom surface for the inevitable wipe-outs and swims.
Surfing, like all of the activities we offer from our island, is not available without purchasing a Belize trip package which includes hotels and meals in Belize City before and after the trip, transport to and from our private island resort, accommodations and meals on the island, soda and beer on the island, and surf, kayak, and windsurf gear and instruction.
Visit our blog for a recent post on surfing conditions in Belize.
Surfing at our island is great for intermediate and advanced surfers alike. Although our wave is excellent for surf kayaks and experienced surfers, our break is not ideal for beginners, and therefore not for beginning surfers. This break is on a reef of broken coral rubble, not sand. Since beginners often fall, this could result in a serious injury. Reefs are not recommended for beginners.
However, beginners with good athletic ability and some experience may be able to get small rides on surf if conditions permit. Guests with surfing experience must first demonstrate kayak surfing ability before they are cleared to use the boards in surf. Experienced surfers can catch the bigger breaks further out and often get very long rides when conditions are good. Surfing with Slickrock boards is subject to trip manager/guide approval.
It is rare that we have conditions for beginners, but possible on some trips. Not all of our guides surf, so surfing lessons are not available for beginners every week. Persons under the age of 12 are not authorized to use any of our surf boards at any time, and those between the ages of 12 and 15 may use our boards only at the lead guide's discretion.
If you want world-class, immaculately groomed long fetch overhead barrels - you should consider a destination such as Tavarua or the Mentawais. However, if you're a surfer planning to go to Glover's for the reefs and kayaking, windsurfing, etc. - you also might be rewarded with some very fun, VERY uncrowded tropical surf.
Related blog post: A whole new meaning to “surf’s up”
6’10” Epoxy Fish by Yancy Spencer
6’10” & 7’10” Funboards by Blue Surfboards
7’6” MBB Thruster by Channel Islands
9’0” & 9’2” Performance Epoxy Longboards by Colbalt
Surfers may also bring their own board, which we will gladly carry out to the island. One can ride a variety of boards on the break, everything from long boards and fun shapes on mellower days (or for the less experienced) and our wave is also great for the modern fish shapes on bigger days. True short board thrusters occur on bigger days for those in the know. A fish is probably the all-around best bet as it works in most size waves, including smaller, mushier days. Another good option would be the new hybrid "mini-tanker" boards with higher volume/less length in the 6-7 ft range. Our wave is not a consistent short board break but it is a very consistent long board break; any board over 7’ is going to perform well on our wave.
Booties are required to wear at all times in the water. Our packing list on the Adventure Island at Glover's Reef info sheet (you can request this document to be mailed or emailed to you) includes a discussion of booties. Surfers should bring booties that are thin enough to allow for mobility on the board, yet thick enough to buffer the rock/coral from harming their feet. Some booties made specifically for diving are big and too cumbersome for surfing.
Good waves can be found all year, it depends on the weather out to sea which creates the swells that form the best waves. Winter and spring are windy seasons and Long Caye will usually see a good break of four feet or higher during this time, but occasionally the seas do flatten out for a few days at a time. December through March may be the best time to plan for waves, though we have had flat spells during these months as well. Last season, even the month of May had decent surf for 3 out of 4 weeks.
Our waves are generated by the Trade Winds, which blow all season long and is different than many surf destinations that rely on a "storm season" from either the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. This is relatively short period wind waves and usually originates a few hundred miles from the island. As such, it never really goes "flat" for long periods, usually not for more than a few days, although sometimes the waves do arrive with those same onshore trade winds. Like any surf destination, you never can truly predict what the weather will deliver on any given week.
Our wave is a right hand break which starts out in 8-12 feet of water, getting progressively shallower the longer the ride, ending in about 3 feet depth. Moderate to steep on the initial drop, there can also be a slight reform where one needs to cutback to make a second section where the wave walls up again with a fun, punchy, fast, inner section. Because of the shallowness of the break, this wave is not recommended for first time beginners as there is the risk of falling off the board wrong and hitting the bottom. However there is little risk of being "pounded" by the wave inside because it loses most of its force in the shallow water.
Swell in the winter is almost always near/moderate fetch trade-wind-driven waves. The Trades blow a near constant 10-15 knots (or more), so often times surfable wave conditions also have "onshore" wind and chop It’s a rare day to have super glassy conditions - although it does happen. The biggest sets we ever see are 6-8 feet. Normally they are 4 feet high.
Also, because of the reef the wave is very consistent; it’s common to have a 4-6 foot face on the initial drop. Rides of 50 yards are possible on good days when it’s connecting. This is a very uncrowded break, so except for having to share with our other guests, you can catch all the waves you want!
You can see our surf break in the photo at left.
Perched on the brink of the continental shelf, our island base of Long Caye lies on the slender coral ring of Glover's Reef, an atoll 35 miles offshore from Dangriga, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. We’ve made sure our entire Water Sports Center blends into the undeveloped, natural atmosphere of this tropical island, unspoiled by the modern world.
Glover's Reef wind and waves Looking for wind or wave information for our island? Follow the link above to a satellite buoy station with wind and wave information, located 31 miles WNW of our island, right in the area where we cross the Blue on our way to Glover's Reef.
Questions? Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 390-5715