Kitesurfing is a sport that if you put in the right amount of time will get great reward. But it is a sport of patience, especially when just starting out to overcome the steep learning curve. Many people abandon the sport in the early stages because it can be too difficult. Fair enough, it’s not for everyone. But sometimes you can minimize the variables that lead to frustration, thus bringing you faster on the track to instagram famous because you’re getting so rad. If that’s your thing.
A lot of the variables that can determine a good experience from bad are environmental. The main one being the temperature of the water. I don’t know about you, but I’m much more willing to tough out the frustrations of falling a lot more if I can feel my lips and toes. That’s not to say that there aren’t great spots in cold water, but for learning, warm water is where you want to go.
There are also spots that are much safer than others, where you won’t be blown out to rough sea if you make a mistake. So by adding in this to the warm water criteria, we have a few ideal spots narrowed down for you to learn safely and in the comfort of bath water.
Here are a few of our favorite spots:
La Ventana, Baja California Sur, Mexico
La Ventana sits near the tip of the Baja Peninsula, about two and a half hours north of Los Cabos along the Sea of Cortez. The offshore island of Isla Cerralvo provides the perfect wind tunnel for the giant bay of La Ventana, translated to The Window in Spanish. Come here and you’ll see why. The shoreline of the bay is oriented perfectly to where if you lose your kite, you’ll just be blown to shore. And in the winter months, the wind starts up like clockwork every single day.
Over the past few years La Ventana has gained quite the reputation as a kiteboarding mecca. While that may mean a literal sea of people out there, it also means that there are plenty of schools for any budget. So if you are serious about learning or improving, a couple weeks (or heck, even a season) down here will be well worth your time.
Magdalen Islands, Quebec, Canada
Heading north now to the “La Belle Provence” on the Atlantic coast, the Magdalen Islands is an archipelago that may not be warm year round, but in the summer picks up the gulf stream with ideal 15 knot winds. Add in the shallow lagoons spattered everywhere throughout the six islands and 65 kilometers of coastline, and you have some great conditions for kiting.
For those on the east coast who want to try a unique side of North American culture, you can’t go wrong with the charming little hamlets on these islands. The Quebecois are known to be very friendly and welcoming, with a dash of crazy. Hence the penchant for extreme sports like kiteboarding. But the schools there will get you up on your feet in no time. Don’t forget to brush up on some french and order a poutine after burning calories in the ocean all day.
Holbox Island, Mexico
We go back down to Mexico for our third kitesurfing destination, this time on the Caribbean side to an island of the Yucatan Peninsula. You’ll probably fly into Cancun but this is not your touristy, commercialized destination that you might expect. This spot is known for its’ laid back vibe, friendly locals, and affordability. Oh, yeah, and also the amazing wind and water conditions. You get shallow beaches that are perfect for learning, falling, and getting back up again. And the water can even be HOT—up to 35ºC, or 95ºF! For water!
Get out here and enjoy an amazing vacation in itself off the beaten path… and learn a new sport at the same time. Even if you are travelling with someone who doesn’t care about kitesurfing, they will enjoy themselves in the charming atmosphere of this laid back, yet underrated, Caribbean island beach town.