Skeleton Bay’s Shifting Sands: Namibia’s Perfect Barrels May Not Stick Around For Long

Skeleton Bay, Namibia | @alanvangysen on Instagram

Skeleton Bay, Namibia | @alanvangysen on Instagram

The beautiful barrels of Namibia’s lefthand sandbar we refer to as Skeleton Bay may be gone soon. A large sand deposit forming halfway along the 2.1km wave has already split the fifty to sixty second barrel time into half. And it is showing more signs of deterioration.

If you have not surfed Skeleton Bay before, you may want to consider doing it now because it may be gone very soon. It used to be possible to ride a wave and get barrelled all the way from the top of the ledge to the end of the point in a single barrel.

But now the waves have sections where one gets barrelled and then comes out, then gets barrelled again. It is no longer top to bottom perfect. The tons of sand now breaking the wave up at Skeleton Bay is attributed to the relentless northward current referred to as the Benguela. Huge Atlantic swells used to keep the wave in shape by stripping off the sand, but recently there hasn’t been a west swell good enough to strip the sand away.

But before this wave goes completely extinct, here is a replay of some of the best barrels ridden at Skeleton Bay:

Koa Smith (27-second long barrel)

Benji Brand

Bianca Buitendag

Have you surfed this wave before? Share your video footage with us!