Less wind, more waves: Surf!

In the years I have lived on the island, this has been one of the least windy winters in quite a few years.

We’ve had our fair share of cold weather this winter, especially in December, when temperatures dropped to around 75 degrees.

This was reported to be the second coldest December in recorded history.

The US and UK have been experiencing extremely cold weather and have been battling snowstorms, yet somehow this last month the wind has failed to materialise for us here in Cayman.

On the upside, there have been more waves than usual.

Although many would not think it, there is actually some decent surfing to be had on Grand Cayman, and I’m not talking about the artificial wave pool at the skate park.

The waves aren’t big by world standards, and they aren’t very consistent, but there is still fun to be had on two to three foot waves that roll in to our shores from time to time.

One of the most popular spots would be at Sand Cay in South Sound, where when swell arrives, so do quite a handful of keen surfers, desperate to get their fix.

The parking lot next to the community centre (with access to the beach) suddenly fills with cars and trucks, with boards inside or on the roof, and a great little surf community atmosphere develops for the duration of the waves.

Sometimes you haven’t seen a fellow surfer since the last swell, so you have a little catch-up while waxing your board and then paddle out to the break to catch a few.

I had a great time catching some waves on my SUP (stand-up paddleboard) on a Friday evening after work at Sand Cay with a group of fellow stand-up paddle surfers, then to another lesser known location on Saturday morning with friends to catch some really nice waves on the short-board, followed by another afternoon SUP at Sand Cay, and another short-board session on Sunday morning.

Not bad at all for an island that is not known for its waves!

One thing to be aware of if you haven’t surfed here before, is that the surf breaks on the island are reef breaks.

This means no sandy bottom when you wipe out, but rather some nice chunky iron shore teaming with urchins!

I’ve picked my fair share of urchins out my feet and hands after some heavier falls, but it’s all worth it for the feeling you get from catching a few waves and revelling in Mother Nature’s ocean playground.


  1. Hey Andrew,

    I really enjoy reading your articles and know the feeling of waiting for the next swell to get the fix and meet up with mates who you see when there are waves.
    Its cool that you are writing about surfing here as we are not known as a surf destination, but do get waves.
    As the surfing community gets bigger I would like to put in a request for an article about the rules of the line up. As a guidline for new surfers and maybe a reminder for older crew how it works when we are surfing:-) I just feel that sometimes people go sit in a line up and just try to catch as many waves as possible not caring that the guy next to them has been waiting for a wave for the last 20 min.
    I really think we do have a great surfing community out here and everyone is very stoked everytime we have waves, but a litte guidence on how the line up works will increase the respect in the water and increase the fun for everyone!
    Here is something I found http://www.surfline.com/surfology/surfology_borl_04.cfm and a few more topics on surfology on the left.

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