Spending every day at the beach, chasing the wind around a crazy new part of the world, connecting with other awesome kiters from all walks of life- and (maybe the most appealing part of all) packing away your daily stresses in favour of some serious water hours.
Sound like a dream, doesn’t it?
Portugal is a brilliant destination for a kitesurfing holiday thanks to its reliable Nortada wind, diverse riding conditions, seriously good local food, (relatively) cheap cost, and vibrant culture.
It’s also a handy choice for those in the Eurozone, since you won’t have to factor in currency exchange costs, and- big brownie points for this one- it’s also super convenient to access the country’s best kite spots from the airport in Lisbon- the closest of which is just a short half hour ride away.
Bstoked kitesurfing experiences in Portugal
Things to Know about Kitesurfing in Portugal
Season: May through October, peaking in the summer months
Water temperature: During the high season, water temperatures hover around the early 20’s so a shorty should be perfect. Throughout the rest of the year you’ll want a full length 2-3 mm (even thicker in the winter).
Water conditions: Portugal is famous for its wave riding. It’s home to the legendary break, Nazare, as well as a scattering of other world class rollers and rippers. That having been said, wave riding isn’t the only kind of kiting you can get up to in Portugal; there’s also a handful of great flat water lagoons and easy going ocean chop. Waves are generally easier going during the summer months, picking up in force and size during the winter.
Tips for beginner kiteboarders considering a Portugal kitesurfing holiday
It can seem daunting to look at a location like Portugal with its monster-sized waves at every turn, but rest assured there’s something here for everyone- including total beginners.
Scour around for a location that’s got a flat water option (either a lagoon or a sheltered part of the sea/ocean). Identify places that offer learning camps and beginner friendly courses, and pick accordingly.
Amazing conditions for learning in Lagoa de Óbidos
Seriously good kitesurfing spots in Portugal to consider:
If North Portugal is on your radar, Esposende should be at the top of your list. A quiet part of the rural Portuguese countryside, Esposende’s kitesurfing conditions offer a stellar combo of waves to surf and kite on and flat water options for beginners, freeriders, and wake style riding.
Located just half an hour away from Lisbon, Guincho is easily one of Portugal’s best kiteboarding locations. On top of that, it’s also got the most reliable wind in the whole country.
This is big wave territory- and certainly not for the faint of heart! One great thing about Peniche is that there are so many different kitable spots in a pretty small area- perfect for road trips and kite tours.
Lagoa de Obidos:
This is where you’ll find Portugal’s biggest flat water lagoon (ideal for beginners). It’s a really popular choice for kiters who come from abroad for a short kitesurfing holiday- which makes it a super place to meet people and kite in a social setting.
Lagos & Alvor:
One of Portugal’s most famous kitesurfing spots, Lagos’ Meia Praia Beach combined with the neighbouring Alvor Lagoon offer the ultimate mix of open ocean and butter flat lagoon riding. Great for beginners, but also a popular choice for intermediate and advanced riders.
Whether you are looking for an adventure filled holiday or a laid-back beach vacation the U.S. has a destination for you. Explore the nature and mountains in Hood River or Hawaii, hang out on the Miami or South Padre Beaches or explore the world-famous San Francisco. You will find wind somewhere at any time of the year with a variety of conditions for riding. Smack some waves on the west coast, shred some flat water on South Padre and be sure to check out a slider park in Hatteras or Hood River.
Hatteras Island, North Carolina
Hatteras Island has quickly become one of the most well-known kiteboarding spots in the United States with possibly the most consistent and reliable winds in the country. The geological structure of the island makes it kiteable in any wind direction with a flat water lagoon on one side and ocean wave riding on the other. Though the island is small, there are plenty of spots to choose from with different riding conditions. Stay awhile and join a beginner or advanced kite camp to learn and progress your skills. You don’t have to miss a breath of wind because there is beachfront accommodation available for every taste- beach cottages, motels, bed & breakfast options as well as campsites.
The south side of Cape Hatteras (known as “The South Side”) offers great wave riding sessions when the wind blows from the SW- mainly in the spring or from the W later in the season. Salvo Day Use Area is perfect for beginners and intermediate riders, this area is on the lagoon side with flat, waist deep water, great with NW and SW winds. The Slick is an amazing freestyle spot with butter flat water no matter the wind speed. It is best on an SW wind and here you will find the pros throwing huge tricks or hitting sliders in the slider park.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Hood River, Oregon is an outdoor adventurers dream come true. Go kiteboarding, mountain biking, hiking and even glacier skiing all in the same day! Stay in accommodations downtown Hood River for easy access to the shops, cafes and outdoor activities. The sandbar is the main kiteboarding spot with flat water close to shore and choppy conditions the further offshore you ride. The wind funnels through the Gorge bringing reliable winds through the summer, which can be anywhere between light wind to nuking and sometimes gusty. The season begins in May through until August. The water temperatures are cold early season as the snow is melting but build through the season to a high of 72 degrees F (22 degrees C). Riding in a bikini/boardshorts is possible but at least a shorty wetsuit is recommended.
You can launch from Stevenson (Western Gorge), Hood River Sandbar (Central Gorge) or Rufus (Eastern Gorge). Be sure to check out the world famous slider park or head to the Oregon coastline, about 50 mins drive from Hood River for some epic wave riding.
Miami is another popular kiteboarding destination located in southern Florida with year-round winds. The tradewinds kick in in early winter with the most consistent and reliable winds between November and April. The hurricane season runs from July-September bringing strong winds and massive waves. Miami is the most populated area of Florida state bringing hundreds of thousands of beachgoers to the nearby beaches. Many rules and regulations have been put in place around kiteboarding to make the beach a safe place for everyone. Before going kitesurfing in Miami, it’s important to do your research and know all the rules before you go.
There are three main kitesurfing spots in Miami: Miami Beach has some great wave riding. The lifeguards expect kiters to stay out of the swim areas so intermediate-advanced skills are recommended. Crandon Park requires riders to be level 3+ IKO certified, there is a year or day fee which requires you to sign a waiver and read all the rules before launching. The water is beautiful blue with flat water conditions. Matheson Hammock Park is suitable to beginner-advanced riders with flat waters perfect for learning and freestyle. There are strict rules here for launching as well as on the water.
There is an abundance of budget and luxury hotels to choose from scattered along the Miami beachfront. Miami will keep you busy with wind or no wind. Visit alone or with friends, Miami’s kite beaches bring together kiters from around the world.
Other kiteboarding spots in Florida include: Jupiter, the Florida Keys, Florida Panhandle, Panama City, Big Beach and North Beach in the Tampa Bay area, Sanibel Island Lighthouse, Naples, Marco Island.
Check out some amazing kitesurfing experiences on bstoked
San Francisco has wind all year round, though the best wind comes May-October when the weather gets warmer and the thermal winds kick in. There are a variety of spots to ride for different ability levels with some only suitable for advanced riders. There is great kiting in the Bay Area, Sherman Island and along the south coast.
Bay Area, San Francisco
One of the most popular spots is Crissy Field with world-class riding conditions for kite surfers as well as windsurfers. This spot is for advanced riders only as there are strong currents and boat traffic is heavy including large cargo ships. Pt. Emery, Berkeley is a great spot when the conditions are right, though riders need to be able to stay upwind to avoid beach and water obstacles, so this is not a beginner area. Crowne Beach, Alameda is an amazing riding spot for all riding levels- beginners are welcome with the mild riding conditions and a safe downwind exit point. Third Avenue, Foster City requires riders to head upwind to avoid obstacles, though there is a small exit point downwind. Intermediate skills are recommended.
Sherman Island has always been a popular windsurfing spot and has quickly become a well-known kitesurfing spot with multiple kite schools in the area. The weather is warm and the winds are predictable during the summer months. The nearest accommodations are 20 mins away, though camping is available on the spot.
South Coast Wave Riding
If you are looking for some killer waves, the California coast is the place for you. Check out Arroya Laguna, County Line, C-Street Ventura, Tourmaline San Diego, Waddell Creek.
Maui and Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii is a world famous kite and windsurfing destination with some of the most consistent wind and wave conditions on the planet. The wind blows through the whole year but the most consistent and reliable months are May-October. The two main kiteboarding spots are located on Maui and Oahu with winds blowing from the ENE between 15-35 knots creating perfect side onshore conditions for the north coast.
There are four main kite spots on Maui each offering different riding conditions. Kite beach is the best spot for beginners because if you fail to ride upwind, there is a safe exit point downwind of the launch site. Ka’a Point is for expert riders only because there are turbulent wind shadow and rocky downwind obstacles, Flash Beach is great for advanced and intermediate riders but it has lots of downwind obstacles including people, windsurfers, and a shallow reef. Finally, Lanes & Ho’okipa are suitable for expert wave riders only because of the large waves and dangerous downwind obstacles.
Kailua Bay is the main kiteboarding spot on Oahu offering conditions for every riding style. There is a grassy rigging area at the north end of the park. Having your gear ready to launch before heading down to the beach prevents congestion on the beach and lowers the risk of accidents with the public on the beach. All kite beaches in Hawaii have strict rules and regulations in place to keep the beaches a fun and safe place for kiters, beachgoers and other water sports enthusiasts. Following these rules will ensure that kiteboarding continues to be allowed on the Hawaiian beaches.
South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre Island is another year-round kitesurfing paradise with warm weather, warm water and consistent winds averaging 17 knots. March-July is the most consistent months when the thermal winds kick in. Hurricane season starts in August through October bringing less reliable conditions but still many great riding days. When the northerly winds blow the wind speeds can pick up to 35 knots so bring all your kites!
The island runs north to south and is less than a mile wide creating amazing wave conditions on one side and butter flat, shallow water on the other. There is 15 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico offering insane wave downwinders where the waves can reach head height. There are a variety of accommodation options suited to every traveler and budget.
There are many kite spots along the coast and along Laguna Madre Bay. Dolphin Point and Boca Chica are great for riding the hurricane swells as the waves wrap around the jetties creating clean sets. The South Flats are best in north winds with flat and shallow water through a wind shadow is created when the wind blows from the south. The North Flats are similar to the South with shallow, flat water conditions but are suitable in all wind directions. These two locations are the best and safest for beginner riders and also great for freestyle riding. The race flats are similar to the North and South Flats and are suitable in all wind directions with flat water on one side and access to the Gulf of Mexico on the other. This is accessible with a 4×4 only. Holly Beach is located on the mainland, perfect for summer riding in the southeasterly winds but not suitable in north winds.
Like many of the other locations, there are rules and regulations around kiteboarding which are important to know before heading to the beach. Check with local kite schools and other kiters before heading out on the water.
Lessons for Beginners or Advanced Kiteboarders
Every popular kite spot in the USA will offer kiteboarding lessons, beginner-advanced. Learn from the beginning, learn to ride waves or progress your freestyle. Taking a lesson from a certified instructor or pro athlete is always a great way to keep progressing and having fun. Often schools will offer kiteboarding packages or camps to help make learning more affordable.
The United States is an amazing country to visit at any time of the year. Escape the winter and head to Florida in the winter, visit South Padre in the spring or head Hood River in the summer for some incredible kiteboarding conditions. Enjoy beachfront or mountainside accommodations in some of the best kitesurfing spots in the USA. If you are an adventure seeker or a beach bum, the US has a destination for you.
Known best for its pumping wind and thriving kite community, Tarifa is a top-notch kitesurfing destination that sits in a wind funnel between Spain and Morocco. The proud host of many an international competition (like the GKA Strapless Tour), Tarifa is a usual haunt for tons of kiteboarding professionals.
But it’s not just the pros that can enjoy this windswept corner of southern Spain; Tarifa is also a good choice for beginner kiteboarders looking to take some lessons and make their first steps into the kiting world.
Best time to kitesurf in Tarifa: Between April to October, although it’s possible to kitesurf here year round. Late spring to early autumn is ideal because the air temperature warms up then and the wind is consistent.
Average water temperature: 18-19 degrees Celsius
Wetsuit recommendation: In the summer you likely won’t need a wetsuit (you’ll probably be comfortable in rashy), but in the winter you’ll want a 3/4.
Tips for beginners: Levante wind blows stronger and gustier than the Poniente, which makes it quite a lot harder to learn in. On top of that, the Levante wind often blows offshore, which should definitely be avoided for all beginner kitesurfers. Stick to Poniente days when the wind is between 15-25 knots cross/onshore.
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Top things to know when looking for kitesurfing lessons in Tarifa
1.What kind of lessons should I look for?
This will totally depend on how you learn best (and the great news is: there’s quite a lot of different kinds of lessons to choose from, so you can really tailor your experience to your personal taste).
Fancy learning in a social atmosphere with lots of others? Like the sound of combining kiting with other activities like yoga, SUPing, and sightseeing? A kitesurf camp is probably for you. Do you learn better when you’re without distraction? Feel like you need confidence boost? Go for a course with a private instructor. Already have some basic knowledge but feeling like you need a reminder? Sign up for a refresher course.
Instructor & student during a kitesurfing lesson in Tarifa
2. Is Tarifa suitable for total beginners?
Absolutely. Don’t be deterred by Tarifa’s reputation for strong wind; there are plenty of days where the weather is perfect for novice kiteboarders to get out and learn.
Of the two types of wind in Tarifa (Levante and Poniente), Poniente is the better one for beginners. It’s warm, cross-shore/on-shore wind that blows 15-25 knots, which is actually the best kind of wind to learn in.
As for the water conditions, granted, there aren’t many shallow water places (which a lot of beginners favour) but the deep water is arguably safer to learn in.
3. When is the best time of year to take kiteboarding lessons in Tarifa?
Since the weather is warm, the sun is shining, and the rain will be at bay, summer is the best time to take kitesurfing lessons in Tarifa. The high season for kiting runs from April-October and the tourist season peaks in July and August. Tarifa and some of its beaches become quite a bit busier in the peak summer months, so if you want to beat the crows, better to head there between April/May or September/October.
Best time to kitesurf in Egypt: The is wind the whole year in Egypt though it is most consistent over the summer months (April-October)
Average water temperature: The water temperature vary between 20 degrees C in the winter time up to 29 degrees C in the summertime.
Wetsuit recommendation: It is recommended to wear long wetsuits in the winter (December through to April), short wetsuits in Spring and Autumn (May and June/September and October) and a bikini or board shorts and lycra in the summertime (July and August).
Wind type: Wind speed vary throughout the year. 3 kite sizes are recommended for getting the best out of your trip.
Water conditions: Egypt is filled with amazing flat water lagoons and some small waves.
Top tips for beginners: Egypt is an amazing destination for beginners filled with shallow and flat water lagoons. Including Soma Bay, El Gouda, Safaga, Wadi Lahami, Dahab and Blue Lagoon.
Egypt Offers Amazing Conditions for Beginners
With wind the whole year, beautiful weather and shallow, flat water lagoons, Egypt is one of the best places to learn kiteboarding. The wind is more predictable in the summer and the waters are warmer making April-October the best months to take lessons.
There are plenty of amazing spots and schools scattered along the east coast of Egypt easily accessible from the Hurghada airport. Soma Bay, El Gouda, Safaga and Hurghada are all known kiteboarding destinations bringing in kiters from around the world. The shallow, flat and not to mention warm water conditions make it amazing for learning.
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Advanced Lessons and Camps
Lessons are not only for beginners! Continuing to learn and progress is what makes kiteboarding fun. Join in on advanced kite camp and have fun learning with your friends or check out a local school for a few lesson hours. Egypt’s flat water lagoons are the perfect place to work on your freestyle and wakestyle tricks.
Explore Different Spots as You Learn
Spend your kitesurfing vacation exploring different kite spots throughout the Red Sea. Charter your own private sailing yacht or join in on kite cruise where your local captain will show you around to amazing uncrowded kite spots accessible only by boat. Some yachts offer an onboard instructor offering lessons and tips as you go. What an amazing way to experience the true nature of kiteboarding travelling from beach to beach exploring the islands and coastline.
Alternatively, choose from a selection of beach front accommodations with kiting right on our doorstep. Kite all day, everyday and never miss a session! Amazing spots around Egypt include El Gouda, Safaga, Soma Bay, Dahab, Wadi Lahami and Blue Lagoon (Sinai).
Shallow and flat water in El Gouda- perfect for learning!
Kiteboarding all day, everyday can be exhausting especially when you’re learning. Egypt offers a variety of other activities to enjoy other than kiteboarding. Visit some amazing dive sites, snorkel, paddle board, join a quad or horseback ride through the desert mountains or play a relaxing round of golf.
Spend some time explore Egypt’s incredible culture. Egypt is full of mysteries and legends with a longer recorded history than almost any country on earth! Explore ancient Egyptian temples and pharaoh tombs, an amazing experience not to be missed.