Martinique’s pristine beaches and reliable waves set the stage for the annual Martinique Surf Pro competition, a week-long celebration of surf culture highlighted by pro surfers from around the world showing off their best moves in the breakers. The 2017 competition runs from April 1 - 8, with daily rounds from 8 in the morning until 4pm. After the competition there are parties, live bands, DJs, or just relaxing and mingling with the athletes. The laid back surfer vibe and focus on fun is enhanced by Martinique’s island charm—and the Surf Pro is getting more popular every year.
This French region situated in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean has seen a steady increase in surfing. The presence of the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series competition in Martinique’s waters is evidence that the scene is legit. In 2016, top surfers showed up to compete for 3,000 points and bonus cash. They battled in the Caribbean waves in the hopes of making it to the highest level of competitive surfing: the Championship Tour.
Not only does the island boast a prime time surf competition, it can brag about a small-but-talented core of up-and-coming young surfers. Adam Auffay and Nicolas Chalonec are rising stars from Martinique and qualified for the 2016 Martinique Surf Pro. Although neither took home the grand prize, the island can be proud of their participation, which has inspired younger surfers in Martinique.
Surfing in Martinique is accommodating for all levels. The warm water, beautiful beaches, and mild waves make it a low-key destination for an off-the-beaten-path surf trip. For those who have never tried surfing, the modest breakers are perfect to develop skills without the intimidation of strong rip tides or rogue waves. While South Pacific and Central America may be more popular, Martinique can definitely hold its own in terms of the total package. Weather, waves, beaches, great food, fun people, and accessibility make it a must-visit, especially in the wintertime.
The northern town of Basse-Pointe boasts a long and strong point break that gathers swell from the North Atlantic as well as the Caribbean Sea. These are the most challenging waves in the region—perfect for the experienced surfer. For something a bit more beginner-friendly, head farther south to Le Lorrain. This spot does not gather as much swell, but is a fun place to rip with friends when looking for a relaxing day. Most locals would say that the most popular surf spot on the island is the La Trinite region. This area has more amazing beaches and a great northwest swell. The beauty of all of these breaks is that you’ll never have to wear more than board shorts and a light shirt—and you’re never far from great French-inspired West Indian cuisine.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself inspired to give surfing a try after watching how much fun surfers have in the Surf Pro event. In Martinique, the emphasis is on fun, comradery, and the sheer joy that comes from catching waves along the island’s gorgeous beaches. Visit Surf-Up Martinique if you’re looking for rentals, lessons, and an introduction to the sport from friendly and knowledgeable instructors. You may very well find yourself in love with a new sport—and one more reason to visit Martinique when the Surf Pro makes its yearly return.
Originally written by RootsRated for Atout France.
Originally written for Atout France.