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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    MD - VA
    Posts
    3,313

    Barbados surf trek 2011

    Fantastic trip. Just superb. Melanie Pitcher hooked us up with a sweet 2br condo in St Lawrence Gap, 130 usd ea per night. Walk to restaurants, nightlife, 10 min drive to Freights, 45 mins to Soup Bowl & Parlours.

    If you want to know where to surf on any given day & save time on driving the island searching breaks & tides: Melanie Pitcher of Surf Barbados. Vry nice person & totally knows the scoop there.

    BTW, going in, the weather in MIA (of all places) was horrendous, fogged in. AA diverted us to TPA, we sat for awhile, then finally made it to MIA. Bottom line, our arrival in BGI was at 3am....not 255pm the previous afternoon. Yet, our contact was there, waiting, to take us to the condo. Impressive & most appreciated by fried travelers.

    We benefited from a serious swell from the time we were there until the time we departed. We just surfed Freights every day. Freights is 10 mins from the Gap. Waht's not to like about that. It was a daily schedule that you dream of: morning session from 0730 until our shoulders flamed out. We'd then go eat a nice late breakfast at a restaurant, drink tons of water, head back to the condo & crash, then hit a late afternoon session from 3-ish until sunset.

    Waves just going & going & going. All day long, every day. Friggin' fantastic.

    The first two days it was overhead on sets. But not killer pounding heavy water. The paddle out was never difficult. No hold-downs. No urchins, so no need for reef booties.

    The top locals were out on the point taking on the biggest stuff. Here's the thing: they are cool with anyone going to join them there & catching waves. No attitude here. The other neat thing about Freights is that the top guys are surfing the point BUT the lesser ability or even newbie surfers can catch the SAME WAVE 150 yards to the left because it breaks just as clean but lower & slower. We're talkin' 30-45 second rides. And a longggg (but relatively easy) paddle back....

    South Point was also going off. South Point is 90 second drive from Freights. No kiddn.

    Tough to come home. Very tough.

    My first day I was rusty after being out of the water since October. Second day, better. By the third day? I caught over 40 substantial rides in the course of 2 hours. Ride in, paddle out, quickly catch breath, catch wave, repeat. Shoulders toast. Happily so.

    Freights is 99% left side rides. And that's cool with me, cause any time I catch a wave it's wonderful, right or left.

    Food on Barbados was magnificent, fresh & so tasty. Oistin's Friday night & every night for 10 usd, stuffed on fresh fish, Banks beer, macc pie. McBride's Bar in the Gap for night activities, and that includes young, not young & whoever looking to have a great time. No attitudes here, it's all about having a great time & meeting people. Happy hour drinks 2-4-1 @ 4usd.

    Shorts during the day; daytime was warm, approx 80F.... casual wear at night, denim or shorts, no humidity this time of year. We had cloud cover for two days, occasional showers, which was nice, actually. Bring plenty of sunscreen though. Sun is no joke here when it's blazing. Saw plenty tourists w lobster red shoulders.

    Plenty of turista women from Norway & Sweden (dang right...omg), Europe, Canada. Not too many USA folks. People come here to party & cut loose....bars stay open until 4am or 6am....'nuff said....

    Banks beer factory tour & Mt Gay rum tour were ok; gotta like the free tasting & samples.

    We rented a van this time, not a Jeep, and that van was def worth it. Keep boards & stuff inside the vehicle, as opposed to always exposed in the Jeep.

    Bajan people are mellow & pleasant in that post-colonial ex-Brit island sort of way. No road rage idiot drivers, either, people are respectful. A very cool vibe & they welcome gringo turistas. English is the language, although it's the islands so you will def have to adjust your ear to the local pronunciations !

    Great trip.
    Barbados: highly recommended.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    MD - VA
    Posts
    3,313

    boards

    BTW, we brought our own boards. AA nailed us for 150 usd each bag. EACH WAY. Thievin' barstards, as usual. The good thing was that AA didn't open up the bags (we had 2 boards in each bag). And, they didn't wreck our boards this time. Plumbing pipe insulation affixed to the rails with blue painter's tape helped solve the baggage monkey destruction problem.

    Or, you can rent boards at several places on the island. Reasonable prices. Short or long boards. Melanie Pitcher has a good selection of boards. She also gives lessons & is very good teacher for kids & women, so get your hall pass by telling your wife / sig other that she can go too.

    If you want to get away from the lefts at Freights, there are so many breaks that work. Do a bit of research online, you'll see plenty of options.

    Mt Gay rum & Banks beer: partake of both on this island. The rum, in particular, is sublime. At the Mt Gay facility, you can buy bottles of the best they have for half of what you pay in the USA. So leave room in your luggage for bringing it home.

    Barbados is truly a superb surf destination.

  3. #3
    Barbados is awesome and you are lucky to catch freights going off. Been there 3 times Freights always small thats where they take people for lessons since it is so mellow (wife and friend's took lessons there). But they told me about how good it gets when large breaks the whole length of the bay man I hope to see that some day. Have caught plenty of swell at Soups, Maycocks and Sandy Lane though. Any pics by chance?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Near a beer store
    Posts
    64
    Yeah man. Been there, Amazing place. Gnarly sharp reef at soups though. i caught it breakin shallow. Ur right, the people there are the nicest friendliest people. That stood out more than anything to me. (surf was great though) Congrats on a great trip!
    Last edited by 420; Jan 20, 2011 at 10:36 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    MD - VA
    Posts
    3,313
    Quote Originally Posted by krummy View Post
    Barbados is awesome and you are lucky to catch freights going off. Been there 3 times Freights always small thats where they take people for lessons since it is so mellow (wife and friend's took lessons there). But they told me about how good it gets when large breaks the whole length of the bay man I hope to see that some day. Have caught plenty of swell at Soups, Maycocks and Sandy Lane though. Any pics by chance?
    You're spot-on, we did get lucky with Freights.

    I was in Barbados last year, in early 2010, for the first time & Freights was the beginner/lessons break the entire time. On that first trip, we would drive to Soup, Duppies & Maycocks. So it was great to drive only 10 mins from condo to Freights.

    The first couple days were big, then it started mellowing out by the last two days. We're still kicking ourselves for not bringing the camera out the first couple days. We were so hyped to get in the water that we ran out the door each day & left the camera in th condo. By the time we started taking pics it was the last day - - and we only took pics cause we weren't in the water quite as much as days 1&2.

    BTW, in 2010 I thought Duppies was spooky as hell with those cliffs & currents. Come to find out, after we got back from the 2010 trip, that it's also known for being sarky. But Maycocks was superb (last year's trip). Never tried Sandy Lane....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    MD - VA
    Posts
    3,313

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by 420 View Post
    Yeah man. Been there, Amazing place. Gnarly sharp reef at soups though. i caught it breakin shallow. Ur right, the people there are the nicest friendliest people. That stood out more than anything to me. (surf was great though) Congrats on a great trip!
    Thx...

    I hear ya on the urchins at Soup Bowl. This year, ironically, the legendary Soup Bowl was blown out & the ordinarily mellow Freights was livin' large.

    And I agree with you on the locals, in & out of the water, very pleasant people....!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Rehoboth
    Posts
    270
    Yankee,



    I was just wondering when you were getting back, nice report, any Pics? Did you fly out of Dulles since its so close?

  8. #8
    I'm thinking about going there in late April or early may. Or to puerto Rico. Anybody been to either place that time of year? Is it worth it?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Near a beer store
    Posts
    64
    Quote Originally Posted by goofy footer View Post
    Yankee,



    I was just wondering when you were getting back, nice report, any Pics? Did you fly out of Dulles since its so close?
    yeah i agree that was a great report and awesome for somebody to share the knowledge.

  10. #10
    Sounds like you had fun. Barbados is a great time. I stayed at the Hilton, just a walk down the beach from Brandons. I was very lucky to get Brandons going off when i arrived. One local guy told me that Brandons hadn't had good surf for months before my arrival, so needless to say, i was very lucky it was going off .

    I am hoping to go back one day. I only surfed Parlours/Soup Bowls and Brandons. I missed out on a few other spots i want to check out.

    Good people and good surf in Barbados.