Here in Portugal we have good winds starting in May and up to September, but then good windy days are scarce. Even if one can still catch some good days during the rest of the year, they are not as consistent and usually the bad weather brings gusty winds which are not so good. This will probably leave you without riding for 2 to 4 weeks, and stress starts to settle in 😉
That is why all kite addicts I know (me included) try to sneak a week or two (if you’re lucky) anywhere away from home in a windy and probably also warm place during the winter. I have been in Brazil twice for kiting and have also been in Sal island in Cape Vert.
Note: this is a long post, written as a memo to the gang so we can keep track of all the options we might want to explore. Use this information and your own risk and please make sure to use the comments to send in any corrections or inputs about spots you may know! Most of the spots covered here work during the northern hemisphere winter, which is what we were looking for.
Speaking purely in terms of kiting the northern part of Brazil, starting in Fortaleza (Cumbuco) and going north is pure rider nirvana. The sea water is hot (25C), the weather is also hot (28/32C) and the winds seems to be unstoppable, picking up at 9 in the morning (you can ride with a big kite > 9m) and then really blasting your mind with some powerful but smooth 20/25 knots around mid day (and a smaller kite < 9m ). If you still want stronger winds just go north and you’ll find Prea ou Jericocoara where you can ride with 30/35 knots (gusty winds anyway not as smooth as Cumbuco). You can also chose either to ride flat water in the numerous lagoons you will find or ride the waves at the sea. If you’re looking purely into kiting, you will not regret flying to Fortaleza.
Sal – Cape Vert
In Cape Vert you also find very good conditions and you will take home postcard like photos, in clear blue waters. The sea water is also hot (24C) and the wind is consistent, although not as consistent and strong as in Brazil. You can ride the kitebeach, aka “shark’s bay”, Santa Maria on the south part of the island and if you are an experienced wave rider you can try Ponta Preta where the wind blows purely offshore but you will find the best swell (and probably find Mitu Monteiro working his magic). In Sal you can only ride at the sea, so this is not the best place for the freestyle fan boys, because the sea is always choppy. Go here for more details.
So now we have been thoroughly researching new places for a kite trip and I decided to post it here because me and the guys (hi there!) have already invested several hours searching for the best spots that would suit riders as well as non riders (as in girlfriends and wifes 🙂 Most of the times the spots are too windy for non riders to bear for a session’s time (2 to 5 hours?) and that is why we are looking for places where we can find a decent hotel near the kite spot so we can all be together most of the time.
So if you are trying to put together a kite trip for the end of the year (say December or even January) I think you will find this post very useful. I will try to gather here all the information, pros and cons we have found during our extensive research. I must say that the compilation of all this details would not be possible without the help of the rest of the gang. The conditions and prices for all this trips vary a lot, so you will find different options here.
The research was conducted using several sites:
– Wind Finder and Windguru (which give you wind probability for each month of the year based on the spot track record)
– Wind Resorts (offering lots of details of the best seasons and useful tourist information)
– Need2Kite (atlas type information and some community comments/ratings on spots around the world)
– Destination Kiteboarding (general spot information)
– Tropical Paradise Kitesurfing (idem).
No animals were hurt during the research project.
Boracay – Philippines
Season: December to April
Pros: consistent wind, white sand beaches, it’s always nice to travel to Asia
Cons: only one spot to kite and it seems like the kite beach is becoming very polluted. Expensive. Very long flights (up to 30h airborne)
Season: December to February
Pros: white sand beaches, some different spots to kite, nice weather, fairly short flight
Cons: no hotels near the kite spots, it seems like it is more suited for experienced riders
Season: February to July; decent wind in December according to wind stats
Pros: some different spots to kite, fairly short flight
Turks & Caicos
Season: December to February
Pros: very remote place with excellent resorts and breath taking sights
Cons: very remote place 😉 and the pricey excellent resorts
Season: February to June
Cons: only one kite spot (?) – Joris Bay
Note: could not find much information. Probably not a strong kite spot.
Season: October to March
Pros: crystal clear water and white sand beaches. Snorkeling and diving.
Cons: no consistent wind. Probably one needs to fly out of Nassau into another island. Expensive.
Cabarete – Dominican Republic
Season: May to September
Pros: easy in and out
Cons: for the purpose of this research there are few windy days during winter in Europe
Tip: lots of information here
La Ventana – Mexico
Season: November to March
Cozumel – Mexico
Season: March to May
Pros: seems like a really nice place to kite and relax at the beach, fairly acessible
Cons: short kite season
Tip: more information here
Pros: looks like a nice place but couldn’t find much information. Offers some different kite spots
Cons: it is probably not easily accessible.
Tip: Orient Bay seems to be to top spot (map).
Los Roques – Venezuela
Season: December to August
Cons: couldn’t find nice place to stay near the kite spot
Margarita / El Yaque – Venezuela
Season: January to June
Cons: couldn’t find many hotels to choose from (in fact found only one)
Tip: it seems it is not very consistent for kitesurfing – details here
This research is not yet finished but I felt like sharing the things we found out right away.
I will keep updating this post as we research new kite spots around the world!
Other spots requiring further research
I still didn’t find the time to investigate, but here is a nice place to stay – http://www.babaomby.com/lodge/tarifs/
Grenadines – Union Island
It seems like you should fly in from Barbados (there are direct flights from London to Bridgetown) but then you still have to fly out Union Island.
More details here