The 20 World’s best destinations for kitesurfing waves (Part 2)

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Our Waveriding Formula:

Ratio of waves' perfection + wind's consistency

  • Towards perfection
  • Fairly good conditions

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

The Wild Kite Peru Kitesurf Wave Riding Gazette presents:

THE ULTIMATE

KITESURF WAVE RIDING

SPOTS BUCKET LIST

PART II

If you have not read the 1st part, click here

Note 1: This is a list made by average kitesurfers for average kitesurfers, the details are testimonials of guests and friends. Hence some datas may be approximate or maybe a little inaccurate.

Note 2: Also take into consideration that I am not cataloguing every wave points here. Each place can either be a point, an area, an island or even a country… Being so general it is impossible to give a complete insight for each destination.

Colaborate: Please send me your comments to update the list and improve it. Thanks!

A perfect day exists but no destination is perfect.

What makes the beauty of wave riding is the search.

There is no ranking order here.

Barbados

Andy Gratwick, Easy Rider

Wave Quality [1 to 5]

4

RIGHT / LEFT

Left

Wind reliability [1 to 5]

4

Wetsuit

Boardshort

Hazards [1 to 5]

3.5

Crowds

Average

Required level

All surfers

No wind Attractions

Lots

BEST PERIOD FOR WIND & WAVE IN BARBADOS >

December to March

The main kite beach, Silver Rock, is pretty small and gets crowded in the afternoons. Freights-Bay and Bathsheba are the two main wave spots: Freights is for beginners while Bathsheba is more for experts. The probability of wind has proven to be higher in Barbados than in the other Caribbean islands. If you want more info read the Pars’ testimonial of the 7th of March, that you will find in the comments section at the end of this post.

PROS:

  • Better wind than in the other Caribbean islands
  • Waves for all levels
  • Kitesurfing in board short during winter time
  • Lots of hotels, restaurants & bars

CONS:

  • Expensive destination
  • Some hazards in Bathsheba, like strong currents

Namotu Islands, Fiji

Photo: Stu Gibson

Wave Quality [1 to 5]

5

RIGHT / LEFT

Left

Wind reliability [1 to 5]

2

Wetsuit

Boardshort

Hazards [1 to 5]

3

Crowds

No crowds

Required level

All surfers

No wind Attractions

Just surf

BEST PERIOD FOR WIND AND WAVES IN NAMOTU ISLAND, FIJI > 

July to September.

World class surf breaks, crystal clear waters and palm tree fringed beaches on paradisiacal islands… what else do you need? If the money and time is not a problem, you should
definitely put the Fijis on your bucket list. There is probably no need to mention Ben Wilson luxury kite camps, it looks to be perfectly operated. But there will be much cheaper alternatives too if the flight duration and cost is not already an obstacle to you.

PROS:

  • Some of the most beautiful waves in the world
  • paradisiac set-up
  • when there is no wind, you SUP, surf, dive or fish.
  • kitesurfing in board short
  • Friendly people

CONS:

  • Expensive trip
  • Wind is very capricious, go there if you like surfing / SUPing too
  • Far away from Europe and USA

Portugal

During KSP in 2013 Photo: Gonzas.com

Wave Quality [1 to 5]

3.5

RIGHT / LEFT

both

Wind reliability [1 to 5]

4

Wetsuit

4/3

Hazards [1 to 5]

3

Crowds

Virgen

Required level

All surfers

No wind Attractions

Lots

BEST PERIOD FOR WIND AND WAVES IN PORTUGAL >

 March to November / June to August smaller beginner wave.

Northern Portugal and close-by Spanish coast are famous for serious side-shore winds and powerful beach break action. The water is cold but consistent conditions and an easy going lifestyle makes up for it. You can kite a large number of beaches and with a little local knowledge you could be alone in the water. Close by Porto offers all the touristic and cultural interest of a major European city with endless wine tasting opportunities.

PROS:

  • Probably the most reliable destination for wind and waves in Europe
  • Less crowded then most places
  • Sunny, affordable and enjoyable lifestyle

CONS:

  • Cold waters
  • Challenging when the waves get big
  • Wind can get really strong for wave riding

Florianopolis, Brazil

Photo: Surf Shack Travel

Wave Quality [1 to 5]

3.5

RIGHT / LEFT

Mostly right

Wind reliability [1 to 5]

Average

Wetsuit

3/2

Hazards [1 to 5]

2

Crowds

Average-

Required level

All surfers

No wind Attractions

Lots

BEST PERIOD FOR WIND AND WAVES IN FLORIANOPOLIS BRAZIL: SEPTEMBER TO MARCH

September to March

Every kiter knows the “Nordeste du Brasil”, but few choose or even know about beautiful Florianopolis in the south of the country, this island connected to the main land with a bridge is the Brazilian surf mecca where it is also possible to kitesurf. Novo Campeche, Iberaquera are cool waves spot and not too crowded.  The island has around 80 beaches most of which you will be the only person on the beach!  Plus, you have the city of Florianopolis which is a fun and safe city.  It is said that the region Santa Catalina is where the most beautiful people of Brazil are from.

PROS:

  • Vibrant atmosphere
  • Beautiful and fun people
  • Wind almost all year around
  • A wide variety of spots
  • Not too crowded

CONS:

  • Not the cheapest destination
  • Water not as warm as in the north, a Wet suit is needed Shorty to full 3/2
  • Waves are not the most perfect you may find

Santa Cruz, North California

Huge day at Scotts Creek, Photo: loscocco.net

Wave Quality [1 to 5]

3

RIGHT / LEFT

right

Wind reliability [1 to 5]

4

Wetsuit

4/3

Hazards [1 to 5]

4

Crowds

Average

Required level

Experts

No wind Attractions

Lots

BEST PERIOD FOR WIND AND WAVES IN SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA:

Spring & Autumn

10km approximately southern to American surf capital Santa Cruz you get Scott creek & more famous Waddell creek receiving good swells. South swells magnet spots, but can also big north swells.

PROS:

  • Consistent side on shore wind perfect for a down-the-line waveriding
  • Nice set up
  • Consistent waves
  • Variety of spots

CONS:

  • Cold waters
  • Localism
  • Crowds
  • Presence of sharks

Matanzas, Chile

Photo: Hiveminer.com

Wave Quality [1 to 5]

4

RIGHT / LEFT

Left

Wind reliability [1 to 5]

4

Wetsuit

4/3

Hazards [1 to 5]

3.5

Crowds

Average-

Required level

Experts

No wind Attractions

Just surf

BEST PERIOD FOR WIND AND WAVES IN MATANZAS, CHILE >

December to March

There are a lot of waves to surf and kitesurf in Chile, most famous one for kitesurfing Roca Cuadrada in Matanzas.

PROS:

  • Nice landscapes
  • Consistent wave
  • 3 hours from Santiago by car

CONS:

  • Not for beginners
  • Cold Waters
  • Presence of cochayuyos (long rastas seaweed) for epic faceplants

Fuerteventura, Canary Island

Nice right in el Cotillo, Fuerteventura – Photo: getmyboat

Wave Quality [1 to 5]

4

RIGHT / LEFT

right & left

Wind reliability [1 to 5]

3.5

Wetsuit

3/2

Hazards [1 to 5]

3.5

Crowds

Average

Required level

Experts

No wind Attractions

Average

BEST PERIOD FOR WIND AND WAVES IN FUERTEVENTURA >

November to April

 PROS:

  • Nice desert landscapes
  • Close destination from Europe
  • Variety of spots to ride
  • Not too expensive
  • Awesome waves

CONS:

  • Can be crowded depending on the season
  • Not much to do except kitesurfing

El Encuentro, Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Photo: Gary Benet

Wave Quality [1 to 5]

3.5

RIGHT / LEFT

Right

Wind reliability [1 to 5]

4

Wetsuit

Boardshort

Hazards [1 to 5]

3.5

Crowds

Average+

Required level

Intermediate+

No wind Attractions

Lots

BEST PERIOD FOR WIND AND WAVE IN CABARETE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC >

December to March

Cabarete is clearly a sweet destination for a relaxed kitesurf holiday, especially if you are looking for riding waves in board shorts in the heart of winter. Caribbean style.

PROS:

  • Very pleasant kite destination
  • Warm waters
  • Lots of no-wind activities

CONS:

  • You might not have the perfect conditions every week.
  • No space to land / launch your kite from El Encuentro

South of Sardinia island, Italy

Photo: Kite Generation

Wave Quality [1 to 5]

3

RIGHT / LEFT

Mostly right

Wind reliability [1 to 5]

Average

Wetsuit

3/2

Hazards [1 to 5]

3

Crowds

Average

Required level

Intermediate

No wind Attractions

Average

BEST PERIOD FOR WIND AND WAVES IN SOUTH SARDINIA >

September to November, march to may

 PROS:

  • beautiful island
  • Italian island = Italian food
  • You are still in Europe

CONS:

  • Crowds depending on the season
  • Need to go with a good wave forecast

Aseelah, Oman

Photo: Bstoked

Wave Quality [1 to 5]

3.5

RIGHT / LEFT

Right

Wind reliability [1 to 5]

4

Wetsuit

Boardshort

Hazards [1 to 5]

3

Crowds

Not many

Required level

All surfers

No wind Attractions

Just surf

BEST PERIOD FOR WIND AND WAVES IN ASEELAH, OMAN:

From May to December

For whoever likes an adventure, desert, and a unique kitesurf destination where you won’t find too many crowds and at the same time get consistent wind, and nice easy waves, Oman seems a good option.

PROS:

  • Easy nice waves
  • Friendly people
  • A safe place although being in the Middle East!
  • Warm waters
  • Beautiful desert landscapes
  • Consistent wind

CONS:

  • Need to rent a car
  • Not much to do off the water

CONCLUSION

The most likely is that you already have a good wave spot not too far from your home, but it probably only works properly a few times in the year, the water may be cold as hell, it gets crowded, and the waves are wind swells are far for being perfect…

In a word you are dreaming of other horizons, warm transparent water, palm trees, with those perfect waves unrolling indefinitely just for you and a few friends.

There are a multitude of spots all around the world, and I am sure that you already have your list for future trips. Because travelling is the one of the best aspects of kitesurfing, add waves to the wind factor, and it is now becoming a true search!

Those perfect days exist somewhere sometime, but still a various factor will play when you go far away chasing the ultimate wave riding conditions. There are ways to avoid disillusion. I will not say “do not expect too much and always have fun no matter what the conditions are” because I live in front of a perfect spot and I understand my guests’ high expectations and impatience when they have traveled half the world to get here. Although you can never remove Mother Luck from any surf trip formula, there is a series of wise choices to make before selecting your next trip destination.

That is why in a future post I’ll give you 10 tips to achieve the wave kitesurfing trip of your life.

Stay tuned!

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The 20 World’s best destinations for kitesurfing waves (Part 1)

6 Comments

  1. Kiterr

    Hey Axel, that’s a pretty awesome list! Can’t really think of any other kitespots to add, but maybe Jupiter in Florida would deserve a spot.

    Good sized waves (mid high to over head high) in winter season, November to about March. It’s a treat!

    Reply
    • Axel

      Thanks a lot, I will definitely insert it on the 3rd part of my, which I am working on, as yes there are others good kitespots to add 🙂

      Reply
  2. Peter

    Great article! I’m still hoping to make it down to Peru sometime soon. Cheers

    Reply
    • Axel

      Great Peter, Thanks for your comment! And we (wind, waves and us) are waiting for you here on the Peruvian north shore 🙂

      Reply
  3. Max

    Great article!!
    Saved to my bookmarks automatically ????

    Actually deciding between Barbados or cabarete for my next kite trip in a few days ( yes I know big big problem ha ha )
    As going with a not wave rider friends feeling a bit guilty about Barbados wiich is perfect for me as a goofy rider …but a bit expensive compared with cabarete

    Wich one would you choose in terms of money/ fun value/ wind consistenty?
    Thanks again

    Reply
  4. Par

    Hey Axel,

    Well, I concur with the others; Great Job!! I actually found it pretty hard to find many Kitesurf destination reviews that were really surf oriented that when they say “waves” actually have strapless surfboard riders in mind!

    I used your list to help me finalize my winter vacation trip, so I thought I’d give you some feedback to contribute to the cause and try to pay it forward a bit.

    I picked Barbados for the wind consistency, warm water and relative ease to get to from the US west coast. It was between Barbados and Cabarete, but I picked Barbados for what sounded like better wind consistency. I think that ended up being the right choice. I ended up going for 2weeks the last week of Feb through the 1st week of March. Overall, the details of your review on the spot were on point and the choice worked out great.

    The wind here was consistent and I got about 8-9 of my 12 full days there on the water. Plus, most of those days were 2-3 sessions per day because unlike other thermally driven wind spots, the trade winds blow basically around the clock.

    However, I found that the wind was kind of weak for the speed. I almost didn’t bring my 12m based on the forecast of >20mph every day, but I ended up spending almost the whole time on it. As a side note, my home spot is also on your list, Santa Cruz. You’ve also got the details pretty solid on that one, but at some point I may shoot you some additional thoughts if they’d help out. For instance, at home, the wind is much colder than Barbados, so I might be on my 10 or even 8m for the wind speeds I was on my 12 at in Barbados.

    The waves were kind of mushy chest high short period almost wind chop, but every now and then there’d be some nice head high to over head sets that gave some of the best left handers I’ve been able to truly drift down the line on. I’m goofy footed, so fun frontside turns. At home, they’re pretty much all rights and in summer are also generally pretty small short period swells vs the hige double to triple over head ground swell we can get in Spring and Fall (but less consistent wind than in the summer months). The waves in Barbados weren’t very powerful, which would be good for beginner wave riders. At home, they much more powerful.

    The water is amazing; warm and clear. From time to time a couple turtles would even pop us as you crushed by. Unfortunately though, they tend to have this super annoying sea weed that hangs onto your fins. Some days there was almost none, but others it was almost unrideable. Apparently at times, it can hang around for a while and really kill people’s trip, so all-in-all, I guess I was pretty lucky, but something others might want to keep in mind.

    The main kite beach, Silver Rock, is pretty small and gets crowded in the afternoons, but you can get sessions in while most people are having breakfast and again at lunch where you almost have the water to yourself. I wouldn’t recommend it for true beginners as there’s not a lot of beach downwind to catch you, unless you come out farther down at Silver Sands or “Rescue Beach” and walk back up the road as the sandy beaches you can walk isn’t continuous; there are rocky cropings/houses you can’t really get around along the water, so you have to go inland. Up farther up the road though is Long Beach. I didn’t launch from there, but did a long upwinder to try and check it out. It looks better if you want more beach to work with and less people, but it’s not well protected by the reef, so you have to deal with waves right on shore, which, again, isn’t great for beginners.

    I stayed at the Moonraker hotel/apartments, which was down near “Rescue Beach”. It was a decent place at a good price, but if did Barbados again, I’d stay somewhere closer to Silver Rock beach or/and rent a car. I underestimated the walk from where I stayed to the main kite beach. Having to haul all my stuff up to Silver Rock was a pain, especially if you weren’t sure what kite size to take. A few times I had to make multiple trips back and forth because I hadn’t figured out the “weakness” of the wind and was being overly optimistic about being able to ride my preferred smaller surf kites. The experience got better when I finally conceded to just taking the 12m and dealing with being a bit overpowered on occasion.

    Another thing to note is that there’s a pretty decent current going in the direction of the wind along the reef. This reduces your effective wind speed by a few knots, so people should keep that in mind when picking their kite sizes. Furthermore, between the current, the side-on wind direction and the reef where the waves are breaking being ~500m off shore, of you loose your board out there, it may never come back to land, at least not in Barbados. I heard a couple guys saying they lost their board. I didn’t need it luckily, but the locals gouge you for a boat rescue or lost board/kite recovery.

    I hope this, as much or as little of it, helps you and others!

    I’m going to keep using your list of spots to plan future trips. I think next will be Punta San Carlos this fall. I was in Peru in 2013 and spent a few days in Vichayito, but I wasn’t kiting at the time, so at some point I’m going to make the trip down there to ride some waves for sure.

    Reply

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