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.
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.