State of the Beach/State Reports/PR/Surfing Areas
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Inventory and Perception of Status
Tourist road maps list over 100 major surf areas along the North Coast of Puerto Rico. Information about offshore reef spots beyond Caballos is closely held.
This map (click on 'Muestreo de Playa') shows monitored beaches in Puerto Rico, not all of which are surfing areas. Also see Surfer Magazine, the February 2007 issue, pages 62-63 for a general map of the main island and its surf spots.
Water quality is a major concern at urban San Juan surf spots and near sewage outfalls around the island, including the Loiza River, Aviones, Tocones, and from San Juan to Arecibo. Coastal development projects have been proposed at numerous locations in the coastal zone in Puerto Rico, threatening the immediate destruction of the Wilderness, Tres Palmas, and Crash Boats surfing spots. One project alone, named "La Selva" threatens to impact more than a dozen surf areas along the 15-mile northeast corner of Puerto Rico. Construction of deep-water port facilities will shut down the mystery reef spots along the over 20 miles of the southwest corner of the island. Sand loss and coastal erosion are major concerns on nearly every sandy beach. Coral reef destruction, combined with watershed disruption, siltation, water quality, sewage, and forecast sea level elevation rise all threaten Puerto Rico's surfing environment.
Fifty years of bombing practice by the U.S. Navy resulted in miles of beaches on the small island of Vieques' being off limits to everybody except protesters. Although the Navy recently announced that it would no longer use Vieques for bombing practice, a new hotel due scheduled to open in February 2003 worries Juan Fernandez, commissioner of Vieques, because "it's not ecotourism, it's expensive tourism." Vieques is a nesting ground for sea turtles and is home to a bioluminescent bay that is considered to be among the wold's most spectacular.
Recognition by State
Puerto Rico does not recognize surfing as an economic, cultural, and recreational resource.
Surfrider Foundation Chapters
|18° 20' 25.00" N, 67° 15' 6.00" W
The summary of surfing areas comes from Surfer Magazine's The Surf Report issues for the state. Surfrider Foundation's Rincon, Puerto Rico chapter was surveyed to establish surfing conditions.
Other sources of information on surfing in Puerto Rico include:
- Daniel Whiting, Puerto Rico Surfrider Chapter, written correspondence. April 2, 2001.
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