Surfing in Bermuda: Learning to Surf with Isolated Surfboards

When planning our Bermuda holiday with Fairmont Hotels as the #MyDestinationStory semi-finalists, the idea of surfing was brought to our attention. Surfing? In Bermuda? I had no idea you could surf in Bermuda. Of course, having never attempted to surf before, we were up for the challenge. It just so happened that the conditions were ideal on the day that we went surfing. It was quite windy and there were numerous waves rolling in to the shore. We met up with Cullen from Isolated Surfboards at Horseshoe Bay Beach for our lessons. Cullen has 17 years of surfing experience and teaches people of all ages. He was incredibly patient and kind – the word “patient” being key as we were absolute beginners at the sport. Cullen even designs and customizes his own surfboards. We were happy to be in the hands of a pro.

Our lessons started out of the water so we could become familiar with the surfboard itself. Cullen described what would happen in the water. Basically, he would do lots of the work for us. He’d search out the ideal waves while we were flat on our stomachs on the board. Then, he would tell us to start paddling. When we felt the wave pulling at the board, it was time to try to stand up and surf back towards the shore. Sounds easy, right? Well, standing up is definitely harder than it looks. It takes plenty of agility to stand up on the board, and plenty of balance to stay standing up! However, we both had no expectations of ourselves other than having fun and trying our best, and we ended up having a total blast.

Now, this next part is very important for the ladies. Remember this first if you must remember anything at all. Ladies, do not wear a bikini while surfing! No bikinis. Learn this lesson from me. I wore a two-piece bikini while trying to surf. The very first wave that hit me….WHAM! I nearly lost my top. I was fully exposed. I’m really glad we visited on the brink of low season as there were hardly any people around. After adjusting my bikini top a couple of times and cursing myself for wearing such an impractical bathing suit, I politely asked Cullen if he had some sort of top that I could wear. Thankfully, he had a wetsuit tank top that I was able to borrow that was just my size. Oh, thank goodness. Once I was more appropriately clothed, I think that my surfing improved just a bit.

Justin and I took turns riding the surfboard and I am very proud that we were fairly successful on our first tries. I was actually really impressed with Justin’s ability to surf. He has snowboarded in the past so I think this gave him a slight advantage in the balancing department, though water is an entirely different beast than snow. Justin was able to stand up on several occasions and ride towards the shore. I found it a bit more difficult, but I’m fairly persistent (and stubborn). No matter how many times I went flying into the water, I just kept trying. I drank plenty of salt water. My contact lenses were stinging in my eyes. But, I think I had a smile permanently on my face. Horseshoe Bay Beach was absolutely gorgeous, and how could I not be smiling while swimming in those beautiful turquoise waters? It was really fun to be out there. It was also satisfying to try something new that was slightly outside of my comfort zone. On my best attempt, I was only able to stand up straight for a fraction of a second before leaping off the board. But, I still did it!

At the end of our surfing excursion, Cullen showed us a spot along the beach where we could hike up on some rocks for incredible views of the ocean. We walked along huge boulders for breathtaking sights of the beach and the cove.

Disclaimer: We were guests of Isolated Surfboards via Fairmont Hotels as we were winners of the #MyDestinationStory contest. Our thoughts and opinions, as always, are completely our own.

Have you ever tried surfing before? Where did you try it, and what were your experiences like? Would you ever try it out?

30 Responses

  1. Wow how brave of you to go surfing, I am scared! It looks like you two had so much fun and the location is gorgeous. I am impressed you were able to get up on the boards, I hear that is difficult to do! If I ever do go surfing, I will remember not to wear a bikini so thanks for that 🙂 And the new site design looks amazing! Great work.
    Katie

  2. […] […]

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      It was so beautiful there! Surfing is tricky, but we had a great teacher and it was a lot of fun! He was super encouraging and I was determined to stand up, even if for a split second 🙂 Justin was so good at it! I was impressed! And yes…no bikinis!!!! 🙂

  3. Evanne @ Poplar Travels
    | Reply

    I’ve tried surfing a couple times in North Carolina and Spain and I don’t think I have ever stayed standing long enough for a photo! I’m hopeless haha, but I would definitely try again. Kudos to you both for trying! It sounds like you were actually pretty good at it!

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      We tried our best! That’s cool that you can go in North Carolina….and Spain! I’d love to try it again, even if it doesn’t mean standing up for a while. I enjoy being in the ocean in such a beautiful place, and doing something active 🙂

  4. Toni
    | Reply

    Looks like a heap of fun and a gorgeous location. I don’t think I have the co-ordination to surf, I can injure myself on flat ground but I love playing in the waves.

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      You’d be surprised – I didn’t know if I would have the coordination either, but a little bit of determination helps 🙂 Also, I think our instructor made sure that I had some smaller waves than Justin to attempt!

  5. Esther
    | Reply

    Wow, these pictures are really great!! Thank you for hosting another great linkup.

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      Thanks so much! 🙂 And always happy to host the link-up each week!

  6. Shaun
    | Reply

    Cooooool! Looks like a great place to surf!

    Shaun
    http://www.thislifeintrips.com

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      It was a really good place to surf! I didn’t know there was surfing in Bermuda at all until the activity was arranged for us by our concierge at Fairmont. I’m glad that he’s in the know! 🙂

  7. […] weekly link-up, co-hosted by some awesome bloggers. You can link your travel posts here or here, or you can join the party by following #WeekendWanderlust on Social […]

  8. Agness
    | Reply

    Awww, what a great experience!! I wanna do it soon!!

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      You should definitely try it out! It’s a lot of fun!

  9. Chaitanya Shah
    | Reply

    oh man! I really want to learn surfing after this!

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      Yes you totally should! It’s something new and fun to try. We really enjoyed it!

  10. antonette - we12travel
    | Reply

    Learning how to surf is still high up on my bucket list but I’m too much a whimp because I hate the water … 🙂 Martijn tried to though and said it was much harder than expected..

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      It is harder than expected, but still not impossible 🙂 If you hate water…well, you might get hit with a few waves, but you should still try it out just to see how you like it. And if it’s not for you, can be one of those things you scratch off your bucket list anyhow!

  11. kami
    | Reply

    I’m kind of afraid of water but this looks like so much fun! And the colour of the ocean is incredible!

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      It’s really fun! I highly recommend giving it a try. But, even still, you could just enjoy some time on the beach in such a beautiful place even if you don’t try surfing 🙂

  12. Megan Claire
    | Reply

    Looks like so much fun! We learnt to surf in Costa Rica lol though I’m still terrible, so might have to head over and try the waves in Bermuda!~

  13. Maria from Nerd Nomads
    | Reply

    Wow, looks like great fun! Congrats on being surfers!! Didn`t know it was possible to surf on Bermuda. Looks like a great place for beginners with small waves. We learned how to surf on Bali. Love it! But it`s quite exhausting and a good work out.

  14. The Guy
    | Reply

    I’ve never tried surfing, it looks like a lot of hard work to get the basics. I dare say it is good fun though and in Bermuda I guess the water is warmer?

    Good tip about the bikini as well, another good reason why surfers have wet suits.

  15. Jenna
    | Reply

    Nice job! We’ve only tried surfing once, and the conditions were pretty bad so it was really hard! I kinda halfway got up, but I think I need to try taking an actual lesson sometime. Looks like it was a lot of fun!!

  16. Mary {The World Is A Book}
    | Reply

    This looks like such a wonderful experience for both of you. Even though I live in Southern California, I have never tried surfing only because I’m so uncoordinated. Glad to see you had a great time!

  17. […] Horseshoe Bay Beach is perhaps one of the most popular beaches in Bermuda, and for excellent reason. It’s gorgeous. If you’re visiting during high season (primarily June through September), you might find Horseshoe Beach to get pretty crowded. However, when we were in Bermuda at the end of October, there was barely anyone there as you can tell from the above photo. We nearly had the entire beach to ourselves. When you arrive, be sure to walk to the far left-hand side of the beach (on the left when facing the ocean). You’ll find huge rock formations in a small cove. You can climb up on some of these rocks, or watch the waves crashing into them. Before you reach the cove, there is a place where you can climb up onto the rocks and head up to the highest point overlooking the entire beach. The view from up top is spectacular. During high season, there are lifeguards on patrol here, and you can also find a snack bar. The waves here can get quite large, which makes it an ideal place to give surfing a try! […]

  18. […] surf in Bermuda? We went surfing at Horseshoe Bay Beach taking surfing lessons. Learn more here: justinpluslauren…. Share on TumblrjQuery(document).load(function(){ […]

  19. […] and I had a blast surfing with Isolated Surfboards. We met up at Horseshoe Bay Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches that I’ve ever seen. It […]

  20. […] weekly link-up, co-hosted by some awesome bloggers. You can link your travel posts here or here, or you can join the party by following #WeekendWanderlust on Social […]

  21. Sara Sets Sail
    | Reply

    Great post. It’s so funny about Bermuda, because everyone assumes it is so warm and in the Caribbean with lazy beaches but of course it is more in the Atlantic as I you have shown, you can surf there! Was it cold? I have only tried surfing in Portugal and that was a little too hectic for me, so maybe Bermuda would be a good place to try it again.

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