How to Learn to Surf on Barbados

barbados surfing 1

There are tons of great things to do near Divi Southwinds Beach Resort on Barbados. If you’ve never been surfing before, this is the perfect place to start! The dream-like Dover Beach has soft golden sand and calm waves, and Barry’s Surf School, located just a short walk from the resort, has plenty of options for surfers at all levels. Intro to Surfing lessons ($75), teach the fundamentals of surfing. Barry’s experienced instructors help you learn the ropes quickly. The Surf Stronger package ($195), designed for intermediate surfers, offers three days of instruction for two hours a day with a guide who will help you refine your technique. And for surfers who want to surf on their own, Barry’s Surf School also rents dozens of types of boards so you can shred the waves your style.

This summer, we sent Kara Phelps, the communications specialist for Divi Resorts, to learn how to surf with Barry. Here’s her take:

barbados surfing barry's surf school signHi there! In June, I was lucky enough to travel to Divi Southwinds Beach Resort on Barbados. While I was there, I also tried my hand at surfing for the first time. It’s a fantastic experience—I couldn’t stop talking about it to my friends back home.

From Divi Southwinds, if you walk east along the St. Lawrence Gap for a few minutes, you’ll see signs pointing the way to Barry’s Surf School. A small hut set back from the road, it would be easy to miss if it weren’t for the signs. It’s much more visible from the beach—you may opt for a beach stroll instead! The distance from Divi Southwinds is about the same.

I took an Intro to Surfing lesson, which took place on a bright and warm Thursday morning. Lessons are taught all week, but Barry’s Surf School recommends that you sign up for your lesson in advance, as they can fill up quickly. Divi Southwinds staff at the Activities Center can easily arrange your lesson for you. Our surf instructor, Simon, gave us rash vests to protect against the surf and handed us nine-foot blue epoxy boards—easy to control in the water, he said. Then we hit the sand.

Wait, what? That’s right, the sand. The instructors start their beginners’ lessons with about 20 minutes on the beach, familiarizing their new students with the moves they’ll need to make once they’re out on the water. We learned how to paddle properly, how to gracefully keep from falling off the board in the surf, and how to stand up once we caught a wave.

Soon enough, we braved the ocean, paddling out on our boards against the surf. The waves on Barry’s section of Dover Beach are regular and fairly calm—the perfect place for beginners to get their sea legs for the first time. Our instructor Simon, who’s been a surfer for eight years, chose the waves for us and launched us back toward the beach, one at a time. We’d ride our wave as far as we could, trying our best each time to stand up. The other students cheered us on. Then we would paddle back out and do it again.

The motion needed to stand up is smooth and measured, almost like yoga or tai chi. Any sudden moves, and you’ve got a face full of salt water. I experienced plenty of that, and it was frustrating at first, but by the end of the two-hour lesson, I had managed to stand up on three separate waves. Simon said that most beginners at Barry’s Surf School are able to stand up during their first lesson. Once you get the hang of it, it’s exhilarating! I can’t wait to try it again. Thanks Barry and Simon!

To book a lesson at Barry’s Surf School, visit, call (246) 256-3906, or ask the Front Desk at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort to make arrangements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.