Inside the Underground Surfing Community of Jamaica

Bulls Bay, Jamaica is a sleepy beach town which lies just outside the capital city of Kingston, along the coastline. While tourism in Jamaica may best be associated with world-class resorts, the surfing community of Bulls Bay is hoping to bring new light to the area through the unexpected sport. Much of the area remains underdeveloped and even getting one’s hands on a surfboard can pose a challenge as “surf shops” don’t quite exist on the island.

However, local surfing legend Billy “Mystic” Wilmot is hoping to change all that. He founded the Jamaican Surfing Association which helps youth get involved with surfing and expand the sport throughout the island. “Jamaica has such a reputation in track-and-field, and children doing well [in the sport] are able to help support their families as a result of being sponsored, as a result of making it to the big leagues,” Wilmot said. “We would like surfing to do that.” His hope is to bring more awareness to the region so people who have talent can be noticed by sponsors and start having a viable career path.

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Author: Rebecca Kim/Photographer: Luke Johnson