Under The Covers with Ben Bourgeois

posted by / News / May 27, 2010

Ben BourgeoisBen BourgeoisBen BourgeoisBen BourgeoisBen BourgeoisBen BourgeoisBen BourgeoisBen BourgeoisBen Bourgeois

Photos by Ryan Miller

Two trips, two covers, same spot. Ben Bourgeois, who screamed onto the cover of SURFING’s July issue, has found something increasingly rare these days: an honest to goodness, on-call secret spot. After scoring idyllic sand-bottom tubes and a SURFING cover on his first visit in 2009, Benny returned on New Years Day during the Caribbean’s super-season to see if lightning might strike twice. And it did.

SURFING Magazine: What’s the history between you and this wave? Everyone around here just calls it Benny’s Right or Spot X.

I went with [photographer] Rob Gilley last year and he kinda had a hunch, and I had a friend who had been there kite surfing. He saw the spot, but it was flat — it’s pretty much always flat. So the big question was, Does swell get in there? We honestly didn’t know. We started looking at it on Google a little bit. Gilley just wanted to go down and check it. We ended up charging it last year, and we just got lucky, lucky with a swell. That’s pretty much how we found it.

And this year — on the second trip that made the cover again — was it a déjà-vu forecast or what?

We just saw a good swell come up on the maps. I was talking to [photograher] Ryan Miller, and he actually came up with the idea to go down there. I had already been the year before, so Ryan knew that I already knew the ropes. He hit me up and we bought our tickets last-minute, I think a day in advance, and just jammed straight there.

What kind of a storm does it need to work?

It takes a big swell. Whenever Puerto Rico is massive, that usually does the trick. So a big cold front, just a big north swell. It’s gotta be pretty solid. This year has probably been a little different — because it’s been super good and consistent down there — but it usually only breaks two times a year. Three times max.

And where exactly is it?

[Laughs] I still get people hitting me up everyday about this spot — trying to find out where it is, guessing where it is, everything. Especially when I’m down in the Caribbean, all the people down there kind of freaked out because it’s right in their backyard, and they didn’t even know where it was. They’re the ones that hit me up the most.

But you’ll never tell.

I throw smoke screens everywhere — different island names, just whatever. There are definitely people who know about it, but no one is yet to show when it’s been good. There are no local people that surf, they don’t even go to the beach. They fish on the backside of the island. Just cruise, do a lot of hanging out. I’ve been the only one there every time.

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  • Dun know

    Barbuda. Now everyone go surf there

  • Brian T.

    I’m his uncle and he won’t even tell me where it is!

  • Yeah

    Won’t be long until the “secret” is out. Surfers can’t keep secrets….this spot will just suffer the same fate as Palikir on Pohnpei.

  • rick kane

    arizona wave tank

  • manfred

    nice beach, cool wave.

  • Dun knew

    st lucia

  • Dun know

    Nobody surf’s there cause it is on Cuba. Fly to Cancun, then hop a flight to Cuba. Right swell dir. gets through and tubes galore with nobody around. Good luck!

  • Angry frenchie

    This spot made 3 cover-stories in France (Surf Session Magazine) between 2003 and 2005. SURFING and Gilley knew that, because the french photographers submitted material back then. Shame on you guys. We named it FAKHOLYA. It sounds like FUCK ALL YA’. Of course, it was premonitory.

  • bligh

    My buddy lives in the USVI. He and his friends know where the spot is. His one friend is even a pilot. They did not hit it this year because it was so good in their back yard//Culebra/Tortola/StThomas and many small surrounding islands that rarely break. Obviously it is a hassel to get to.
    Why burn time when its going off at home.


  • Presidente

    haha! everyone who knows ben knows he spends half his winters in Dominican Republic. DR is 8 times bigger than Puerto Rico and Ben knows every inch of that coastline. He wont tell where this place is but you can’t fool me. I know it’s somewhere in DR.

  • Jamie P

    I’ve been there. It’s in DR. But doesn’t matter, you’ll never find it. If you do you’ll be disappointed anyway. It’s a closeout. Good for the photo bros and their epic fish eye head high closeouts and that’s about all.

  • Island Boi

    Hahahaha. Everyone is a know it all. DR huh? Been there? Sounds good bro. I’ve been surfing the caribbean for years and I’m pretty positive this wave is in Trinidad. No matter. Who cares.

  • bligh

    go east my man.

  • Raul

    I liv en the island. I have guest house for rent. Ben is a good man because he bring money to local people.

  • Ben

    Who cares?

  • Bass

    Is near Jobos in Puerto Rico

  • Yeah

    it’s called palmetto point and it’s on the southwest coast of barbuda

  • bligh


  • Dr. Dre

    Thanks for blowing it Benny for the guys that actually live down here….Benny’s Right?

    Guys have been surfing this spot for years and you claim to have “discovered” it?

    You East Coast fags should stay home……look how Tortola has been ruined by self promoters

    Thanks again

  • Jean-Michel

    I am glad to see other surfers are calling Surfing Magazine and Mr. Bourgeois on their merde! This spot was in the French Surf Session magazine a few times and as late as April 2009 months before their first trip. Your statement above is true “there are definitely people that know about it” Take your faux circus show elsewhere next time. No respect.

  • bligh

    Surfing mag or ben did not reveal the spot. “Yeah” did. In fact they did a good job in both articles by not giving good clues. they did give clues to throw one off ie) Harbor shot in Antigua. Ben might be able to keep a secret but how about Dane and his squeeze. Probably not. It will be on the radar for a while. Once the novelty wears off, it will be business as usual. You have to put your time in and be patient while missing good waves on nearby islands. By the way,check out west coast of Antigua…..

  • Brother’s Keeper

    Bligh the way, obviously you don’t live in the Caribbean but you have friends in Hull Bay. NO. They didn’t do a good job of protecting the spot if they DID we wouldn’t be here talking about it period! They even showed an aerial picture of the island making it easier for any dweeb to tag on Google Earth and the picture in last year’s article of English Harbour. Self glorification in it’s purest form, that’s all it is. Not surprising however. The business has managed to take the “soul” out of soul surfing for years now. Does BB think he is a local because his daddy owns a cat in Tortola? Exploring “unchartered” Brewers Bay, Carrot Bay, and Lava Flows. What’s next? He discovered Cane Garden Bay after seeing it on the cover of a 1979 magazine.

  • shawno

    Surfed there in 80s-there are so many other spots on the Islands right nearby that have as good waves, more culture and nightlife-you just wont see BB or Gilley there-STOP SPREADIN THE MYTHS-blessed life…

  • bligh

    Brother’s keeper,

    In this day of cell phones, youtube ect… Nothing is secret. The minute somebody gets out of the water he is sending video by cell phone back to his boys back home. TRUE locals are in general staying at their proven spots. I its a novelty wave. Wait until boat loads from San Juan show up–I am sure you experienced that party “caribbean local” –ENJOY.

  • shawno

    I remember surfing in Tortolla during storm of century around 1990-no boatloads of Sanjuaneros or Americans-just 1 Aussie and 1 Kiwi-James the Fox Wiley and John Prime-they GAVE ME ND WIFE A ROOM FOR A WEEK IN A HOUSE-$100 FLAT ND USE OF OUR JEEP-MY VIDEOS OF 6-10’WALLS WRAPPING ENDLESSLY EMPTY into a cove are priceless-I never sent it to the Mag knowing what Benny and Gilley dont know-loose lips sink ships-there are better waves,closer to PR-but its the other pro dickheads that will come looking-dont worry-if me and my friends are there-we will remind you-dont blow it-REMEMBER-some Islands here that dont look like they have waves are actually hidden gems….

  • next PR I think not

    Given the ammount of time and money it would cost to score this place as good as they did and the fact that It only breaks like ten times a year I have little fear this place will become the next PR. That being said your more likley to be dropped in on by Jimmy Buffett than anyone else.

  • JS

    I have been there two times (with the surf session magazine trip) and all i can say i that benny B is definitly not the first guy to surf there and is not the only guy who has been surfing there more than 2 times (people from guadeloupe went there more than 10 years ago but they know how to kee a secret)… The french photographer who were on the last trip made a huge mistake by sending some photos to Surfing and instead of buying them they went there to make their own trip…
    even if people knows where it is, i’m pretty sure that the line up will stay empty! it’s prety hard getting there and the wave actualy break less than 10 times a year!
    Good luck to every one

  • Required

    You and Gilley had a “hunch”? Complete with a map and pictures from another photographer. Stick with the hair gel commercials. “Something About Benny”

  • kid

    your all wrong, benny got drunk a spilt the beans to a good friend of mine but ill never tell a soul

  • NSB

    Way to go Ben, now you’ve beat a dead horse one more time in the latest issue of Surfer mag. You’ve already claimed it but now you’re going to end up ruining another neat place. How about claiming it and keeping your mouth shut! What a joke and a shame for Ben and surfer and surfing magazines.

  • eLmuchacho

    i can’t believe you kooks. sheep following the herd. mentioning spot names. you guys are late and are spoiled and can’t search to save your lives.

  • jensen

    cant wait for ben, cory,rob, etc to “discover” “paradise”, again, at rarely breaks huge close out on shore lava flow. cover time!

  • Thomas N

    I know where it is. I surfed there, it isn’t a secret place.
    Sandy Lane beach, St James, Barbados.

  • bean

    Still pissed he published this spot! he most definately did not discover it! i have been surfing here for many years and know others that have been surfing this wave for much longer. almost impossible to score every time, so that should keep the crowds down anyways

  • Ben Did Not Discover

    HAHA “honest to goodness secret spot” my ass

  • Thomian

    How come nobody surfs on st Thomas oh yeah that’s right cuz you will get run the fuck out, everybody claiming shit been surfing the Caribbean my whole life and havnt missed out on good ol p point for the last 16yrs st Thomas would of been blown up in the mags but frenchy man don’t play that fuck I saw Shea lopez and his crew get run from stt and sink dem man boat stop blown up then Caribbean ungrateful fuckers u got it made ben b and Shea but u still want a slice of someone else’s pie… GREEDY fuckers atleast Dylan graves is from the caribbean

  • Dylan

    Near Tortola. Just van Dyke