The best surf spots on Guam
Far in the Pacific Ocean lies an American Territory with round year tropical weather and warm sandy beaches. Like its ocean neighbors, it too has a variety of special surfing destinations.
The best spots are easily the most friendly. From Talofofo and Umatac Bay to central Rick's Reef, Guam's coastlines have something to offer every surfer.
In the following article, we will discuss the top three breaks to surf while visiting or living on Guam, USA.
Talofofo Beach | Talofofo | SE Guam
The first and most favorable break is located in the southern village of Talofofo, known for its rich cultures, spectacular views, and open water fishing.
It's easy to understand why many people reside far from the hustle and bustle of downtown central living. Here in this quaint village lies a sand bar fit for kings.
With the option for a left or a right breaking wave, it's hard to pass up any hitting swell. The soft dark sand is as unique as it is forgiving, and the smallest of swells can produce fun waves.
If you're a beginner, this is your spot. Longboards, foam boards, paddleboards and shortboards are all welcome. If you're a visiting tourist or a die hard local, the ways of Talofofo Bay are as neutral as can be.
The coolest thing about this spot has to be the up current created from the jetty smack in the middle of the bay. If timed and utilized correctly, a surfer can practically hug the rocks shoulder for a free ride out to the lineup.
It's nearly a natural chairlift for surfers. Included at the bay are publicly available showers and bathrooms, as well as a large asphalt parking lot. Spectator viewing is great atop the row of limestone boulders circling the shores in the outer perimeter.
And if you happen to stop by on the weekend don't be alarmed if someone offers you fresh grilled barbecue chicken, or fish, as people have been known to stay all eat long cooking meals and sometimes camping over night. The scenery, the view, and atmosphere make Talofofo Bay a greatest all around surf destination on the island.
Umatac Bay | Umatac | SW Guam
The second on our list of surf spots in Guam is a pebble bedded break in a bay, equally as far south as Talofofo, but on the opposite side of the island.
A twenty-minute drive from Talofofo through windy "Cross Island Road" and you'll find yourself arriving in iconic Umatac Bay. Here is where Portuguese 16th-century explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in 1521. It marked the first time Europeans made contact with indigenous Chamorro people.
Ashore, you will find a row of giant Monkeypod Trees towering over the rocky gravel like a beach. This break is a step up from the sand bar of Talofofo. The ride is a bit faster, and the fall a lot harder.
If you're looking for a challenging left, you've found it. The swell direction has to be just right and at least a meter of wave height buoy readings.
Now the challenge is that the wave breaks in a heavy current section. You continuously have to reposition yourself, and if you drop in late, you are likely to be tumbled to shore and raked up the steep pebbled incline. Either way, this Spanish influence town is a sight to see, and the break is one worth visiting.
Rick's Reef | Tamuning | NW Guam
Finally, Rick's Reef. It's named after the iconic surfer Rick Value, who pioneered this reef break in the early years of surfing's birth into pop culture, here on the island of Guam. The chances are he studied the wave and determined the perfect conditions before attempting the fast right-hander located in front of the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort.
Below the water surface lies treacherous coral reef and poisonous sea creatures. Let's start with the coral. If it doesn't scare you, you need to understand that getting roughed up by this is like getting infected road rash with tabasco sauce poured all over. It's painful. It's also everywhere and inevitable.
If you're not phased, then hope you like creepy crawlers. The coral crevices are home to spiked sea urchins. Any confrontation will lead to days of agony. The brittle spikes surround the animal as a means of defense.
They look like a black tennis ball with one hundred three-to-four-inch spikes - located less than one centimeter apart from each other. The tips will enter your skin and break off like a splinter. The material is so brittle that it's practically impossible to tweezer out. Likely, it will lodge into your foot and walking will be painful. The reef also hosts crabs and deadly lion fish.
If you're still not scared, let's analyze the break itself. It's fast, hollow and requires almost expert skill level. The paddle out alone is dangerous - one way in through the narrow channel just left of Boneyards. Do you really want to play in a place just left of Boneyards? Anyway, you're going to need a board under 6'10.
The best months are August through March. Here, the current is strong and will drag you down, around the cliff side, and out of view if you're not careful. The locals don't want to babysit you or be forced to ditch pumping waves for a rescue mission.
All precautions aside, this wave is miraculous. Located in the heart of central Guam and minutes away from downtown, Ricks Reef is ideal for a quick morning surf or afternoon session. The water is crystal blue, and the view from the lineup is cinematographic. The barrels are frequent and fun to ride - it doesn't get much better.
The island of Guam has amazing waves with rental board shops available. Talofofo is a safe family-friendly break with camp ground and bathrooms. Umatac picks up the intensity but drops off on the forgiveness. And finally, Rick's Reef is the convenient but stealthy destroyer that will spit you out if you're not careful.
Enjoy the surf and remember to tip your host.
Words by Colin Kirk.