FERRY + HOTEL
At one stage, St Ouen’s Bay was seen as the surf capital of Europe. In the 1960s, thousands of people packed the bay to watch the British Surfing Team riding boards made locally by one of Europe’s only board manufacturers of the time, Freedom Surfboards.
Since then, the surf scene has snowballed, and the island is home to some of the best surfing beaches in Europe. Strong swells that build up strength and speed over the Atlantic Ocean accompanied with the warmest waters in the UK and the picturesque views of the Channel Islands make Jersey a paradise for both new and experienced surfers.
Luckily, travelling by ferry, you have the option to take a car packed full of all your surfing equipment so if you are loyal to your surfboard and can’t justify a trip without, you don’t have to leave it behind! However, if you don’t have your own equipment, there are plenty of spots around the island that can sort you out. The Splash Surf Centre has a good range of sizes for wetsuits and boards to suit all ages and abilities.
Jersey holds an abundance of beaches that are great for all types of surfers from newbies to professionals, with many of them surrounded by great cafés and accommodation for the ideal surfing break.
St Ouen’s Bay is one of the main surfing locations in Jersey with its three-mile stretch on the west coast of the island. The unique sand banks mean that the waves are great for learners, but also produce more challenging, larger swells for the more experienced surfers.
Not only does St Ouen’s have great waves, but it also has many eateries lined along its sands to provide a great base for surfers to refuel and energise. One of these being The Watersplash, a chilled beach bar and diner with the perfect relaxed atmosphere for pre and post surf bites.
St Brelade’s Bay provides a more sheltered option than the bays on the west coast. The south-facing bay is a beautiful place to perfect those streaks when storms are brewing and the waves are too strong over on the west coast. Its beauty makes this bay a tourist honeypot in the summer so this surf spot is best for stormy winters and those cloudier days where only those brave enough venture outside.
For those looking for a bit more variety on their surfing break, there are many other activities you can get involved with, whether that be cruising at top speed on a ‘blokart’, exploring the wonders of the Jersey marine life on a coasteering adventure or paddling out in a kayak to cruise the gentle Jersey waves (or battle against the stronger ones). Click here to read more about kayaking in Jersey.
If you struggle to leave your board behind, you can try out kitesurfing with Windmadness, the one stop shop for all things wind-related. Windmadness is conveniently a mobile service which means you can pick where you paddle out from, depending on wind strength and tidal patterns.
Most surf schools will also have the option to go SUP-ing (stand-up paddleboarding) if the waves are gentle enough. SUP-ing is a great way to work on your balance and co-ordination while standing up and taking in the sites of the beautiful sea around you.
Located in the centre of St Oeun’s Bay, this surf school offers lessons for all ages and levels, perfect for families and summer camps. Here you can opt for lessons, events or simply hire out a board and catch some solo waves.
Jersey’s longest running surf school is nestled in the Le Braye slipway area of St Ouen’s Bay. The surf school not only holds surfing lessons, hire and courses, but also has its own yoga studio and café-bar for those wishing to get involved with something a bit different.
Jointly managed by brother and sister, Scott and Grace, Laneez Jersey is operated from a petite white hut situated in Le Port car park along St Ouen’s Bay. Alongside the opportunity to surf and coasteer, the hut is a great hang out space with coffee, boardgames and refreshments and a friendly feel to it so everyone feels welcome, whether you’re an experienced surfer or a complete novice.
Right opposite the Wetland’s Centre on the Grande Route des Mielles, Little Joe’s offers it all from summer camps to private lessons and after-school clubs. You can also pick up some goodies at the shop there such as uggs, vinyl and surf clothing. If your surfing adventures build up an appetite, there is an onsite restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner: think perfectly poached eggs on toast, mouth-watering burgers and fresh salads.
A surf school, shop and restaurant situated just south of the middle of St Ouen’s Bay, The Surfyard is a great place to get up out on the Jersey waves. With many options ranging from private lessons, group sessions, summer camps and performance coaching, you will find something to suit you and your style, whichever pace you want to go at.
There’s no time like the present to book your journey and get ready to surf those Jersey waves. Have a look at timetables and start planning your water adventure now.