I will say first of all that we’re not surfers. I can catch a (small) wave on my SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) once in a while, but I don’t consider myself a surfer at all, and Deb doesn’t even want to try it. That said, we do have eyes and we can see good, rideable waves and surfers on them. I grew up in a surfing area, so even though I never got any good at it, I know something about it all. The second thing I should mention is that Vieques is not a surf destination like Rincon or Aguadilla on mainland PR. But on the right days, there is definitely some fun to be had on a surfboard, boogie board, or SUP.
I’ve seen a lot of action on the right side of Cayo Tierra in Esperanza harbor, as the waves wrap around the cayo. Surfers and Paddleboarders take the long paddle out from the cayo sand bridge on the left side of Playa Esperanza and ride lefts into the harbor’s opening. Playa Navio is known for strong surf with lots of waves, but I’ve never seen good organized sets coming in – it’s much more random and probably best for boogie boarding and body surfing. La Chata on the north side has a well-known reef and surf spot, with the reefs providing the break. Even La Chiva’s Punta Galindez has a nice little left break for a SUP or longboard rider.
El Gallito, the little rooster, has a sweet right break when the wind is from the northeast; it’s simply beautiful to watch good surfers and boogie boarders ride this break. For this reason, we choose El Gallito as our Favorite Beach in Vieques, for surfing! (subject to change when the real surfers hop on our case).
Note: in all cases, the reefs are what cause the waves to break. This means that the water can be very shallow and a wipeout at the wrong time can mean a taking a header into something very hard. Caution is the word of the day.