Perched on the brink of the continental shelf, our island base of Long Caye lies on the slender coral ring of, 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.
Surfing at our private island resort 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 the island, accommodations and meals during the package, soda and beer on the island, and surf, kayak, and windsurf gear and instruction. The reason is our island is far from everywhere, and the boat only runs two days a week. To charter your own boat out there would cost you about $700!
Transport to the island is part of the package, our Belize map will show you where we are. Just look for Long Caye at Glover's Reef.
Visit our blog for a post on surfing conditions in Belize.
Related blog post: Slickrock awarded one of top five surf destinations
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 the ocean swell, only shoals outside the reef and bordering a break in the reef will form a wave. It turns out there are only three spots like that in the entire country, and ours is the only one of the three with a surf center right there (equipment and instruction).
Our point break is almost always active at the channel entrance between Long Caye and the neighboring island, intercepting swells driven in by the trade winds. The swells break and peel off to the right in long, running breaks that can go for up to a 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.
Although our wave is excellent for surf kayakers at any level, our break is not ideal for beginner boardsurfers. This is because our break is on a reef of broken (hard) coral rubble, not (soft) sand. Anyone wiping out while learning to surf here could sustain a serious injury.
Related blog post: A whole new meaning to “surf’s up”
Guests with surfing experience must first demonstrate kayak surfing ability before they are cleared to use the boards in surf, and we recommend you then graduate to paddleboard surfing before attempting board surfing.
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. Beginners with good athletic ability and some experience may be able to get some board rides if conditions permit.
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.
Request more information on surfing in Belize
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 to 100 yards are possible on good days when it’s connecting. This is a very uncrowded break, so except for having to share with a few other guests, you can catch all the waves you want!
Related blog post: Video of surfing our wave in Belize
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.
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 want to 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 Belize 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 April had decent surf for 3 out of 4 weeks.
Our waves are generated by the trade winds, which blow all season long. These conditions are 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.
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.