Although Guam isn’t widely known as a surf destination, you will find surfable waves off the island’s coastline.

Guam’s unforgiving reefs and strong currents make it a place best suited for experienced surfers. With the right guidance, though, beginners can also catch their first wave on the island. For all Guam surfers, a good grasp of surf etiquette—plus a healthy dose of respect for local surfers—is a must.

In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to know about surfing on Guam: where to go and how to get started. Let’s begin with an overarching look at Guam’s surf scene.

Guam Surf: Overview, Etiquette Review, and Tips to Get Started

Be Ready for Reef Breaks

Many of the waves on Guam break in shallow water over coral reefs. In other words, make sure you know what you’re doing if you paddle out.

Talo’fo’fo Bay is an exception—a beach break. This bay’s sandy bottom makes it a more forgiving spot for beginners. Surf schools usually choose Talo’fo’fo Bay for this reason.

Put Safety First

Surfers should be strong swimmers, first and foremost. Guam is known for its strong rip currents. If you get separated from your board, you need to be confident in your ability to return to shore.

Never surf alone, and check the ocean conditions before you head out.

Know Your Surf Etiquette

Surfing follows a specific set of rules. These guidelines help keep everyone safe in the water, prevent collisions, and enforce basic courtesies that apply the world around.

For example:

  • The person who takes off closest to where the wave breaks has priority over everyone else.
  • Don’t paddle out right in the middle of the lineup (where other surfers are sitting and waiting for the wave). Instead, paddle wide, ideally in a spot where the wave isn’t breaking. This will keep you from getting in the way of someone who’s up and riding the wave. It will also make it easier for you to get past the breakers.

If you need a tutorial (or a refresher) on surf etiquette, check out this guide from our Pacific neighbors at Kahaluʻu Surf & Sea on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

Respect the Locals

The surf scene on Guam can be a tougher one to break into for a newcomer. Remember that you’re starting out as a guest. Offer the same respect to Guam’s local surfers as you would in someone else’s home.

Book a Lesson

If you’re new to surfing, an hour or two with an instructor will make a world of difference. If you’re new to Guam, booking a lesson with a local expert can give you a good lay of the land. We recommend Lotus Surf Shop in Tamuning.

Where to Surf on Guam

As every surfer knows, scouting out the best places to surf is a basic right of passage. In other words, no one is going to hand you their “secret” spots. (And that includes us!)

However, at any destination, there are popular spots everyone knows about. We’ve shared a few below. Scout these out, observe the waves, evaluate your ability, and begin your surfing journey on Guam.

Talo’fo’fo Bay
Best Swell Direction: East

New to Guam? New to surfing? Talo’fo’fo Bay is the place to start. Its largely gentle waves and sandy bottom make it a great spot for kids and adults alike. At the Bay, you’ll paddle around with longboarders and SUP-ers enjoying the waves in a generally friendly setting.

A big parking lot, showers, and bathroom facilities all combine to make this one of the easiest spots to surf on Guam.

Want to get a feel for surfing at Talo’fo’fo Bay? Check out the video below:


Hagåtña Boat Basin
Best Swell Direction: North

You’ll find two breaks at the Hagåtña Boat Basin—Left Side and Right Side. The waves at the basin break over a coral reef, so you’ll need to exit the wave cleanly to avoid getting scraped. Best for experienced surfers.

When the conditions line up, the waves at the Boat Basin bring out some of Guam’s best surfers.

Check out this footage from a 2019 surf contest at the basin:

Rick’s Reef
Best Swell Direction: Northwest

Named for Rick Value, one of the pioneers of Guam’s surf scene, Rick’s Reef is a widely-known spot—and also an experts-only one. Located out in front of the RIHGA Royal Laguna Guam Resort (formerly the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort), Rick’s is known for its hollow barrels.

Get a peek at Rick’s Reef on an overhead day in the video below:

Make the Most of All That Guam Has to Offer

Guam’s gorgeous turquoise waters attract all kinds of water sports enthusiasts: scuba divers, snorkelers, free divers, swimmers, paddlers, kiteboarders, body boarders, skimboarders, spearfishers, and, of course, surfers. If you love spending time in and around the water, Guam offers all kinds of possibilities.

By the way, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy on Guam beyond surfing. Check out the articles below and get more ideas for filling your days on Guam:

Relocating to Guam? We’d be happy to help you get your belongings to the island! (That includes your surfboard!) Whether you’re coming from the U.S. mainland or from abroad, we can help. Just reach out to one of our team members to get started with a complimentary quote.

Tell us about your move!