Windsurfing Windsurfing Top 10s

Top 10 Caribbean Windsurfing Destinations

 
Top 10 Caribbean Windsurfing Destinations

The Caribbean: Enchanting islands, warm waters, beautiful beaches, steady winds, what else could you want from windsurfing destinations? How about recommendations of where to explore?

Windsurfing, Windsurfing Bonaire, Windsurfing locations, Cabarete Bay, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Los Roques, Venezuela, Antigua, Jabberwock Beach, Barbados, Margarita, Dickenson Bay, Darkwood Beach, Turner's Beach, Bonaire, Boca Grandi, El Gran Roque, Tobago, Nevis, South Pacific, Playa El Yaque, El Agua, Parguito, Coche, Cubanga

Bonaire windsurfing is the pinnacle of Caribbean sailing. Image: © coldfirepromotions

It would be ever so easy to rattle off a top 10 based on visitor numbers or Google search results: not our style.

Here you've got ten great options to choose from. They are not all pretty, but as it's the Caribbean chances are they'll seduce you in some way our other.

Check out these top 10 Caribbean windsurfing destinations - and if you know any better , we need to know!

Cabarete Bay, Dominican Republic

This North Shore spot has been a long-time destination of surfers, only being visited by windsurfers for the past 15 or 20 years.

Its relative youth on the windsurfing map has done little to deter its position on this list, however. Cross-shore winds in the winter and summer are great for beginners honing their technique. While regularly flat from May to August, waves do pick up in the winter and can reach double-mast height.

Always windier in the afternoon, conditions are sympathetic to the exuberant nightlife found here. One downside is the massive amount of kiteboarders crowding the Bay's western beaches.

Aruba

Always a classic on the Caribbean itinerary. Just a skip from the Venezuelan coastline, it is well out of the way of any potentially threatening hurricanes while still being able to reap their thermo benefits.

Winds can truly howl on Aruba. It is not surprising to see speeds of 30 knots in midsummer, and they rarely fall below 15 knots throughout the rest of the year. Although the island is small, you'll need to rent a car to experience the best two spots here.

Boca Grandi is on the eastern tip and offers some playful waves and chop and plenty of wind. Fisherman's Huts is on the opposite end of the island and, although sometimes gusty, more beginner friendly and home to more hotels and resorts.

Los Roques, Venezuela

Windsurfing, Windsurfing Bonaire, Windsurfing locations, Cabarete Bay, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Los Roques, Venezuela, Antigua, Jabberwock Beach, Barbados, Margarita, Dickenson Bay, Darkwood Beach, Turner’s Beach, Bonaire, Boca Grandi, El Gran Roque, Tobago, Nevis, South Pacific, Playa El Yaque, El Agua, Parguito, Coche, Cubanga

Barbados for beginners. Image: Flickr/ Meg Stewart

A series of many tiny islands declared a national park by the Venezuelan government, Los Roques is an exotic marine paradise. It is also not a resort/casino/restaurant destination just one of the top windsurfing locations.

The only populated island, El Gran Roque, has less than 2,000 inhabitants and offers tiny taverns as accommodation. If you can rough it, though, the payoff is tremendous. Wind blows year round, especially from January to July.

The attraction is the unimaginable beauty of the transparent water, vibrant reefs, and myriad perfect, white-sand beaches. Sailors should island hop to find waves or seclusion. This is wonderful windsurfing holiday for the adventurous.

Antigua

Not a glamorous island of ritzy resorts and high-rise hotels either, Antigua's charm is a product of its colorful local culture and astounding scenery.

In a land of gorgeous islands, Antigua's beaches lay claim as the most beautiful and pristine. The wind is not extremely powerful, but playfully consistent at an average of 15 knots throughout the year.

Boasting a sandy takeoff, a shallow bay, and side-shore wind, Jabberwock Beach is the usual spot for beginners. Explore the island's innumerable beaches on your own or try Dickenson Bay, Darkwood Beach, and Turner's Beach for more sailing opportunities.

Barbados

The quintessential Caribbean escape. White-sand beaches, warm locals, and plenty of accommodations make this a great place to visit regardless of your sport.

But if you do plan on sailing, be sure to leave the slalom board at home. Barbados picks up some serious chop on its eastern flank and is bombarded with good sized Atlantic swell.

The wind is on all year except for August through October. Silver Sands and Silver Rock are the best places to ride and catch air. Oistins Bay and Casuarina Beach are best for beginners.

Margarita

Windsurfing, Windsurfing Bonaire, Windsurfing locations, Cabarete Bay, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Los Roques, Venezuela, Antigua, Jabberwock Beach, Barbados, Margarita, Dickenson Bay, Darkwood Beach, Turner’s Beach, Bonaire, Boca Grandi, El Gran Roque, Tobago, Nevis, South Pacific, Playa El Yaque, El Agua, Parguito, Coche, Cubanga

Windsurfer at Dominican Republic. Image: Flickr/ Ed Yourdon

This spot is varies from others on the list for several reasons. It is not a nation or common wealth, it is a Venezuelan island. Also, the turquoise/clear water characteristic of the Caribbean is greener and more opaque here. But windsurfing enthusiasts can easily ignore these differences.

Playa El Yaque maintains world class conditions nearly the entire year. The beach is exceptionally popular with so many wind and kitesurfers taking to the water that zone and time regulations are enforced. Professionals are a common sight here but the fun is for everyone. Try El Agua, Parguito, Coche, and Cubanga for less crowded conditions.

Bonaire

The little brother of the ABC Islands, Bonaire windsurfing is the pinnacle of Caribbean sailing. Just above the northwest coast of Venezuela, Bonaire is untarnished from tourist and resort exploitation. The most popular surfing area is Lac Bay on the eastern coast of the island.

Here, wind blows into this pearly bay year round and kitesurfing is prohibited. Beginners windsurfing Bonaire are advised to stay close to the interior of the bay where generally flat and shallow water conditions prevail.

More accomplished surfers take to the middle or outer portions of the bay to enjoy the bumps and waves of Caribbean swells.

The wind is especially consistent and steady from December through August and other good spots to check out are Pink Beach and the small leeward island of Klein Bonaire.

St. Martin

Split down the middle by a French/Dutch border, the island should be more accurately considered its own entity by visitors. The locals are friendly, the atmosphere is warm and inviting, the beaches are astounding, and the windsurfing is undeniable.

Many of the windsurfing bays have tiny islands to which it is possible to ride, relax on a sandy shore, and take off to the next. Beautiful beaches abound all along the coast and should be explored, but this most sailing occurs on the French side.

Orient Bay offers some minor swell and chop, but also some relaxed zones for beginners. The uninhabited island of Pinel is also a great bet for a snorkeling/sailing/relaxing day trip.

Tobago

Windsurfing, Windsurfing Bonaire, Windsurfing locations, Cabarete Bay, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Los Roques, Venezuela, Antigua, Jabberwock Beach, Barbados, Margarita, Dickenson Bay, Darkwood Beach, Turner’s Beach, Bonaire, Boca Grandi, El Gran Roque, Tobago, Nevis, South Pacific, Playa El Yaque, El Agua, Parguito, Coche, Cubanga

Consistent winds and warm waters. Image: Flickr/ Šarūnas Burdulis

The smaller of the Trinidad and Tobago duo, Tobago is more of a tropical paradise. Rainforest, waterfalls, bright white beaches, and colorful reefs all define this exotic location.

The island is far out of reach of Caribbean hurricanes and one of best vacations spots in the world. Sailing-wise, expect winds from late in the year until midsummer. August and September see wind speed taper off although windsurfing days can usually be found with enough patience.

Try taking off from Pigeon Point to Buccoo Bay. Inside the reef is usually flat water while just beyond waves can grown to well over mast-height. Mt. Irvine Bay also picks up plenty of swell.

Nevis

The tiny circular island is dominated by a 1,000 metre mountain. Its appearance is more South Pacific than Caribbean. Nevertheless, Nevis is ideal for both novice and advanced sailors. Beaches are usually uncrowded and many times you and your friends will be able to sail alone.

Oualie Beach to the north is a sheltered cove and ideal for beginners with shallow, flat water. Those gaining confidence can move outside the bay to experience a bit of chop and then return to safer waters.

Nisbet Plantation offers more challenging conditions and waves just beyond a protective reef. Visit in the late winter to early spring for the most consistent wind.


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