Tips from pro surfer Pat Gudauskas on traveling to the Caribbean

Patrick Gudauskas is one-third of the most stoked pro surfer brother trio the world has ever known. He has a panache for traveling and cutting some rug on the dance floors.

Recently, he gifted the surf world with “Fever Island” that saw him and filmer Dave Malcolm spend 10 days in the Caribbean maximizing swell, taking in the culture, enjoying all foods they came across and, of course, dancing.

As a well-traveled surfer who draws on the experience of the “Down Days” travel series the brothers Gudauskas did with Vans a couple years ago, we thought we’d get Pat’s thoughts on how to do the Caribbean properly — whether you’re going there to surf or just have a good time.

It’s important to always find shade in the Caribbean. Photo: Screenshot from “Fever Island”

Here’s what Pat had to say:

SEASON

“From our experiences, I tend to go a similar season to Hawaii. They almost do have a parallel weather and wave pattern. January, February, we always end up going early season of a year.”

WHAT TO BRING

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“Number one thing is sunscreen. I’ve gotten so much sun in the Caribbean that any sun protective stuff is needed. Big hats, long sleeve rash guards.

“I also like to travel through a more major island to grab a lot of snacks in case some of the islands we end up at are pretty rustic, because there may not be food available at different times.

“The ability to be mobile is important, too: Small board bag, small bags and gear, keeping it simple.”

GETTING AROUND

Yeah boys!!! We got this!!!! @grantellis1

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“Most of my trips have been specific to an island. So this was the first time I was able to hop around and really put all the travel on Dylan Graves. He’s pretty much our little guru, he’s really sharp on swell.

“They really enjoy getting a charter boat, fly in, and you can island hop on one of those. We were flying around on all the different swells in a timely manner so we could get there on time for the waves.”

FOOD

Pat Gudauskas enjoying some fresh coconut water. Photo: Screenshot from “Fever Island”

“I love the food down there. Over the years we’ve become so passionate about trying new things with foods and drinks. Dylan and those guys keyed us in to the inside track of their style of food, the mofongos and everything they have down there. It transcended to all the different islands we’ve traveled to down there over the years.

“I really like the rum, which is not really eating, but I just like rum. The plantains. I’m pretty psyched on those wherever I go. They all have their different styles of cooking the bananas. The barbecue too has all been amazing, and the fired foods.”

LANGUAGE BARRIER

“Over the years I’ve gone to a wide variety of the islands, and we’ve been lucky enough to take Spanish in school. Not smooth, but we could roll with the punches on our feet in Spanish-speaking areas. My wife is French, so I’ve been trying to get into that a little, too.”

IMMERSING INTO THE CULTURE

“For me, I like keeping it local, jumping into a town setting, walk around and ask people questions about places to eat, what’s good and where to go.”

DANCING

“That’s a big part of the Caribbean. The first time we went to Puerto Rico, we went into San Juan and there were all these clubs, and they were doing these very specific dances. Me and Dane were like ‘Whoa this is sick. Ok you’ve got to make sure you dance right.’

“A few years later we went back and did the ‘Down Days’ show with Vans and we actually took these classes that were really intense. It’s a nice way to engage in the culture down in the Caribbean. Down there, they all have happy feet and it’s in their spirit. It’s a fun excuse to have a couple drinks and cut loose.”

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