How to do Barbados like a Surfing Swim Issue model

We can't guarantee you'll look like this when you get to Barbados, so we'll guarantee sun, sand and surf instead; Photo courtesy of Surfing Magazine
We can’t guarantee you’ll look like this when you get to Barbados, so we’ll guarantee sun, sand, and surf instead. Photo: Courtesy of Surfing

What do Rihanna and pro surfers Quincy Davis, Bree Kleintop, Alessa Quizon, and Sage Erickson have in common? They all look really good in a bikini, and now that Surfing’s Swim Issue is out, they’ve all spent some considerable time on Barbados.

Yep, Rihanna’s hometown—a sun-soaked little landmass in the Caribbean dubbed “Little England” due to its colonial ties to the Merry Old—was the perfect backdrop for some of the best swimsuits of the season thanks to turquoise water, pink-sand beaches, and some of the most consistent surf in a 200-mile radius (because the Surfing Swim Issue models don’t just look good in bikinis—they surf well too). Here’s your primer on how to eat, sleep, surf, and throw back some rum just like a Surfing Swim Issue model.

Barbados: not just where Rihanna's from; Photo courtesy of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Barbados: Not just where RiRi’s from. Photo: Courtesy of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Fly into Grantley Adams International (BGI), the sole airport on the island, and immediately change into your bikini; the average daytime temperature is 86 degrees year-round.

Drop your bags at the Sea Breeze Beach Hotel in Christ Church, a little boutique resort on the island’s south coast. There are two pools and a handful of restaurants, but sparse lodging with just 78 rooms—which means you’ll want to book in advance, but you won’t have to deal with crowds once you get there.

The models of the Surfing Swim Issue stayed at Barbados' Sea Breeze Beach Hotel during their trip to the island; Photo courtesy of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
The models of the Surfing Swim Issue stayed at Barbados’ Sea Breeze Beach Hotel during their trip to the island. Photo: Courtesy of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Refuel at Champers Restaurant for lunch, a seaside joint with sleek architecture and an open-air patio. Fresh ceviche, shrimp and mango salad, and fried flying fish will get your taste buds on island time.

Bathsheba is known for its legends, and its legendary rock formations; Photo courtesy of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Bathsheba is known for its legends—and its legendary rock formations. Photo: Courtesy of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Start your tan at Browne’s Beach, one of Barbados’ largest, or try to forget about your growing unopened email count at nearby Carlisle Bay, a small natural harbor that plays hosts to a number of shipwrecks-turned-reefs. Why? Sugary white sand and warm, clear water: Do you need any more convincing?

Alessa Quizon taking a break from looking good in a bikini to do that other thing she's pretty good at—surf; Photo courtesy of Surfing Magazine
Alessa Quizon taking a break from looking good in a bikini to do that other thing she’s pretty good at: surfing. Photo: Courtesy of Surfing

Or give yourself a natural spa treatment at Bathsheba, a small village community of fishermen and their families where you can take a dip in seawater that’s said to have the same healing minerals that the legendary Queen Bathsheba bathed in (beats staying inside at the spa). Even if your skin looks the same, watching the waves crash against the beach’s giant rock formations makes this spot worth the drive.

Snorkel with sea turtles and explore reefs with the Boyceterous Catamaran Cruise; Photo courtesy of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Snorkel with sea turtles and explore reefs with the Boyceterous Catamaran Cruise. Photo: Courtesy of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Take a ride on the Boyceterous Catamaran Cruise for access to historic shipwrecks and to swim alongside sea turtles, or give yourself an excuse to day-drink on the Mount Gay Rum Tour, an introduction to rum refining, aging, and bottling (…and tasting).

Surf like a pro at Soup Bowl, Barbados’ premier surf spot. While the days of solo sessions in Barbados are long gone, the locals couldn’t be nicer, so join them in the lineup at the models’ favorite place to surf.

Bathsheba

Fill your belly at the Friday-night fish fry at Oistins Bay Gardens, where lobster, tuna, swordfish, mahi-mahi, and marlin are all on the menu.

Don't leave Barbados without chowing down at the Friday night fish fry; Photo courtesy of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Don’t leave Barbados without chowing down at the Friday-night fish fry. Photo: Courtesy of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Do try a Surfing team favorite: the local Bajan hot sauce.

Don’t wear camouflage. No, really—it’s not permitted in Barbados.

For more info on Barbados, pick up the 2015 Surfing Swim Issue on stands March 27.

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