Top 10 Caribbean Kiteboarding Launch Areas
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We've kited everywhere, and talked to everyone to find the perfect Caribbean Kiteboarding spot. Here, we've gathered intelligence on the Top 10 Caribbean Kiteboarding Launch Areas.
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Traffic: Be careful. More Americans are struck by cars than anything else on islands where traffic drives on the left hand side.
Haggling is a way of life for vendors in the Caribbean.Don't be afraid to offer a lower price if you see something you like. Most vendors will gladly counter with a slightly higher price. Keep working until you both agree on a price. You’ll end up finding really great deals.
Do ask permission first if you want to take people's pictures - Rastafarians almost always refuse on religious grounds, while others may want to be paid.
The windy season starts from December and tapers off in mid-April. Winds blow in the 10-25 knots range and gets stronger as summer approaches. The North Atlantic high generates the trade winds that blow during late spring and summer at a steady 15-22 knots.
Rainy season is June – December.
Warm and sunny weather year round. Tropical marine, mild. Little seasonal temperature variation. Average temperatures: water 79°F; air 85°F. No wetsuit needed with maybe an exception to Bermuda in the winter.
Watch for sea urchins, especially around reef laden coasts.
Kiteboarding Cabarete, Dominican Republic>>> Budget Traveler
The small town of Cabarete has quickly become a kiteboarding universe center. It’s inexpensive with great winds and incredibly fun times at kiteboarding compounds surrounded by festive hang outs. Junkies love it so much some of the greatest kiteboarders choose this lively spot as their regular training camp.
A perfect day here will bring on 20-25 knot winds starting mid-afternoon. And, since locals are passionate about music and dance (meringue greets you everywhere), you’ll have time to sleep in. Once on the water, you might just get passed by Tito Martinez, the one-legged kiter, doing an inspirational downwinder.
Just remember, the Dominican Republic is huge and there’s much more beyond Cabarete. You can easily escape the insanity of crowds, currents, shore reef and windsurfers by getting away. See where the DR’s real beauty shines in spots like Cabeza de Toro, La Granja, Las Salinas. For sweet flat-water, head to Lopez Angostura, a manmade lake south of Santiago. A local tour will show you the best launches.
Dominic Republic Kiteboarding Quick Tips
Kiteboarding Barbados >>> The Honey Mooner
You’ll get pumped on kites flocking above a boat skeleton as you approach Silver Rock beach, Barbados’ busiest launch area. Look out for Brian “Irie Man” Talma and his crew from local shop deAction! Get to know locals William and Hayden…they might just take you on a killer down winder.
Grab your surf board as Barbados rules Caribbean waves. Check out Surfer’s Point for great surfing and kiting. Or, head to Bathsheeba in a Moke for a truly tropical drop in.
There’s no need for a boat as Barbados is one solid mass and is easily traveled. With the sun setting daily around 6pm, be sure to bring to bring your significant other as there’s not much singles or night life action.
Barbados Kiteboarding Quick Tips
Kiteboarding New Providence, Bahamas >>> Party Animal
Like butter? Then, scope out South Beach’s shallow crystal clear butter stretching about a mile. If you like having a launch area rite right outside your hotel, check out Coral Harbor. For a rum fix, stay in on Cable Beach where you can booze, cruise, gamble and kite…that is if you’ve waken up from a night’s partying.
For a sensational session, you must head out to surrounding islands and sandbars as the few beach areas can offer crowds, onshore winds, and sometimes pounding shore breaks. Hire a charter boat or take the high-speed ferry for pristine uninhabited launch sites among one the Bahamas’ 700 islands.
Often promoted as a Caribbean value, getting to New Providence is quick and cheap with vacation specials. Just know things aren’t so cheap once outside your room. However, with a heavy in wind and spring break culture, New Providence is a place to get your fix. Fast.
Bahamas Kiteboarding Quick Tips
Kiteboarding The Cayman Islands >>> LifeStyles of the Rich and Famous
Protected from surf and strong currents by both barrier reefs and Jamaica, the Cayman winds blow best from winter frontals November-April. Many beaches are long & narrow with water shallow enough to launch in. Each island boasts large enclosed lagoons where the depths reach a whopping 8 feet. Soft smooth waters only get choppy in heavy winds.
If staying on the largest island, Grand Cayman, be sure to charter a day cruise by boat or plane to its smaller cousins. You’ll find more launch areas with fewer crowds and less of a resort feel. Hotels offer transfers, but you’ll probably not need them as the down winders here will turn you into an insomniac.
The Caymans are well known for being the cleanest and safest Caribbean Country. Their incredibly secure and reliable financial services could be why. Respect the rules, the people and the country. “Financial Security” has new meaning here.
Cayman Islands Kiteboarding Quick Tips
Kiteboarding The Grenadines >>> Family Man
Wave riders will stoke the windy Atlantic side beaches while flat water fans will find paradise in one of the many protected coves. For some truly awesome kiting, take the ferry from Grenada, the largest island, to Carriacou and then on to one of the small island chains. Your best bet is a boat hire who can in turn guide you to tropical spots rivaling “Blue Lagoon.” Scope spots on Canouen, Mustique, and Bequia.
Grenada’s best kite launch areas are found around the North and South Coasts. Winds typically hover around 20 knots in winter and vary a good bit with season. Put 2-3 kites in your travel quiver and you’ll be kiting on most islands. Some pristine areas have very tight launches and may require a boat to access. Cruise toward resort areas near St. George and St. Vincent. Also head to the island’s east side and launch from the old airport.
Grenadines Kiteboarding Quick Tips
Kiteboarding Guadeloupe >>> Kite Girls
Guadeloupe is actually two islands in a butterfly shape joined by a bridge. The most popular launch areas are found on the eastern wing, Grande-Terre. Base yourself in either St. Francois or St. Anne on the southeast coast. About 200 yards out are coral reef rings lying in bays along the coastline. The bathtubs they create make epic conditions.
You must rent a car to take in all the varied kiting spots. Especially on the north coast where reef breaks allow kiters to ride both head-high surf and flat water in one session.
If you aren’t into many of the Club Med type beaches, be sure to investigate the French islands off of Guadeloupe with a taxi boat. These areas offer relaxed atmospheres and insane trade winds. Get to Isle a Caret, where the entire island is just a sandy beach with a few palm trees in the middle.
Guadeloupe Kiteboarding Quick Tips
Kiteboarding The British Virgin Islands (BVI's) >>> Bangers & Mash
If you want the best of everything on your vacation, try the British Virgin Islands. Sail in Kool-Aid-Blue water, surrounded by lush, towering islands, and kite with people who don't have a worry in the world. See how the other half lives, as there aren't too many places in the world where just about anything you want is at your fingertips.
British Virgin Islands Kiteboarding Quick Tips
Kiteboarding Tobago >>> Honey Mooner
Unlike other Caribbean islands, Tobago’s southern latitude offers stronger winds in late summer / fall, before December’s rainy season. You don't have to be a seasoned rider as ample calm flat water and wave spots abound the coast. Try staying at lesser crowded Little Rockly Bay, near Tobago’s longest beach. Or try the popular kiting spot, Pigeon Point, on the leeward side. Here, thermals typically create stronger winds, though they can be gustier.
Perfect for those seeking the romantic visions, Tobago is a secluded place great for kiting couples. Since the island is only 26 miles long and 7 miles wide, discovering a pristine launch area is never far away. Grab a rental car and get away from Crown Point and local tourist areas. Take a drive up the coast on the south side towards Scarborough and beyond. You’ll hit spots few people have seen.
Tobago Kiteboarding Quick Tips
Kiteboarding Turks & Caicos >>> Family Man
An archipelago made up of 40 islands and cays, the Turks & Caicos have only 8 inhabited by humans. Each offers a unique kiting qulaities with exceptionally clear water as they are surrounded by the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world. A charter boat will get you kiting amongst the healthiest population of Rock Iguanas.
The 12 mile beach of Provo’s (Providenciales) Grace Bay offers the easiest launching and water access. For the epic of the epic downwinders, head out to the barrier reef and follow it. Just be aware the reef is way out there (in some places a mile or more) and should only be kited with several buddies or a ready chase boat. Less dramatic: launch at Club Med and downwind it to Beaches Resort.
The northeast region tends to have moderate winds, so bring mid sized kites. Try staying anywhere near Coral Gardens. The further west you go, the less wind and more rain you’ll get. Be sure to get in touch with Michael Rosati at Windsurfing Provo for the latest conditions and best spots to launch.
Turks & Cacos Kiteboarding Quick Tips
Kiteboarding Bermuda >>> Party Animal
Kiteboarding in Bermuda is now regulated by the Bermuda Kiteboarding Association in conjunction with the Bermuda Ministry of Youth & Sport. Be sure you understand the rules before you take your gear onto the beaches.
With four primary launch regions, get your kiting fix either inside glassy, reef lined coves or on the outside with well formed head high waves. Watch out for the many small reefs and rocks located along many beaches.
For the flattest of flats, trek to Daniels Head and Somerset Long Bay. Other reefed areas only tone surf down instead of breaking it. Expect well formed 1-4 foot waves on the inside with head high plus outside reefs in areas such as Horseshoe Beach.
Do some discovering and find out how epic this island chain really is. Get yourself a private boat tour you’ll hit areas that’ll have you convulsing.
Bermuda Kiteboarding Quick Tips
Kiteboarding Puerto Rico >>> Solo Traveler
Easily accessible off the plane, San Juan beaches are wide and long with big barrier reefs, and few hazards. Winds are a constant 15 to 20 knots every month except November-December. If you’re pumped for waves, you’ll find them about a mile out along the reef.
About a 2-hour drive from San Juan you’ll find big wave action with incredible breaks along the Northwest Coast. Most popular are Shacks and Jobos Beaches, which boast similar conditions to Hookipa. Be sure to explore as they are only 2 of 30 sailing spots found in the region and often have stronger winds than the eastern side.
Head south and you’ll find unpopulated areas with conditions similar to San Juan, only with stronger winds and less crowds. The protected mangroves along the southwest bank supply butter water. The epic glassy flats are mostly accessible through the mangroves by boat. Hire one in the small fishing village La Parguera.
Puerto Rico Kiteboarding Quick Tips