Our Essential Guide to Start Kitesurfing in Cape Verde

Begin or improve kitesurfing in Cape Verde – our recommendations

débuter le kite surf

Still little known by Europeans a few decades ago, Cape Verde made a name for itself thanks to its famous singer Cesaria Evora, and much later in the 90´s by windsurfers, followed by kitesurfers passionate about wind and waves. The archipelago is located off of the coast of Senegal and consists of about ten islands. Cape Verde is now recognised as a leading destination for both beginner and advanced kitesurfers, mainly on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista during the more windy months of winter and spring.

How to get to Cape Verde?

Several airlines offer flights from Europe during the week and at weekends, notably the Portuguese airline TAP, the Cape Verdean airline TACV, and the French low-cost airline Transavia. Some charter airlines also take you there but as a complete package – flight, transfers, hotel – offered by some travel agencies.

Many flights are not direct, but the stopover in Lisbon or Praia is never too long and the connection to Sal or Boa Vista can be made on the same day. If not it may be a good opportunity to visit other places you hadn’t planned, and to do a bit of sightseeing.

Don’t forget your passport, it is compulsory and must be valid for 6 months after the date of return from your holiday. Also, you will be asked to pay the airport tax (TSA, 30€) once you arrive, unless you have already paid it in advance if you have booked your kite trip through a travel agency.

aller au cap vert kitesurfer
spot kite cap vert

When to kitesurf in Cape Verde?

The ideal season for kitesurfing in Cape Verde is from November to June. Ideally December to May is the windiest season in Sal. The dry north-easterly wind blows around 20-25 knots during the winter, and for a 100% kitesurfing holiday, opt for a stay in February-March, when the wind blows more regularly.

In the summer good kitesurfing weather is unlikely.

Where are the best kitesurfing spots in Cape Verde?

The most popular kitesurfing spot for any level of kitesurfer is undoubtedly Kite Beach on the island of Sal, just a 10 minute drive from Santa Maria which is a small tourist fishing town.

The reputation of Sal, located in the north-east of the archipelago, is well known. It owes its notoriety to the waveriders and international windsurfers at the beginning of the 90’s when the wave world cup took place for the first time. Then came the Windsurf Trilogy in 1997 from the famous spot in the south of the island, Ponta Preta, reserved for the expert windsurfers and now for the kitesurfers with a very good level, owing to the big fast reef waves. Fortunately, it is possible to sail on much more accessible spots on Sal, still very far south of the island, in Santa Maria itself. These spots are practical for all levels of kitesurfing, without danger or fear since they are sandy beaches supervised by the kite schools, whether you are taking a course or renting equipment. The four kilometre long sandy Santa Maria beach is ideal for kite surfers who want to be close to the village without having to hire a car or take a shuttle from a kite club or hotel. However, beware of the shore break and the occasional drop zone. The spot is mainly for experienced kitesurfers (unless you are on a course) as the wind blows side-offshore, coming from the from the land.

On the beach of Santa Maria you will find the ION CLUB kitesurfing centre, who will take you to practice either on the eastern side at kite beach, or in front of the club, depending on the weather conditions.

Kite beach is a large lagoon intended for freeride enthusiasts but also for wave lovers thanks to its reef, recommended at high tide and quickly reached in a few tacks, 300 metres from the launch. The wind blows side-onshore, which makes it very safe, especially as there are no infrastructures or buildings on the beach or in the surrounding area, which means that you can launch your kite with maximum comfort. It is certainly better to take a few kite lessons at ION CLUB and on the spot in question to get the hang of it. 

Renting a car in Sal is easy. Load up your quiver and head for Ponta Sino, on the southwest coast, a few kilometres from Santa Maria, opposite Kite beach. Sometimes there are waves, sometimes not. Ask the locals as it’s the best way to know what the conditions are. For the pure wave riders, head further north, west coast, to Secret or Ali Baba, two nice wave spots for swell and thrill seekers. The wind blows sideshore. Beware of the rocks.

In the east of the Cape Verde archipelago, some will prefer to put their cases down in Boa Vista, an island full of beaches that are close to paradise both in terms of their natural beauty and their size. Several kite spots are accessible to all, and some are supervised by kite clubs. They are exposed all along the northwest coast of the island, close to the town of Sal Rei. Freeride, freestyle, waves and why not kitefoil, in short a wide program that suits any kitesurfer, from beginner to expert. There are several kite centres on the beaches south of this small town of 6,000 inhabitants, not far from the hotels and apartments that can accommodate holidaymakers. For those who wish to take lessons or hire equipment, the beaches of Carlota and Estoril await you. The wind is generally side-shore or even side-offshore, blowing between 15 and 25 knots. Some centres offer boat drop-offs on wave spots not far from the superb beach of Santa Monica, as access by car is not recommended there as the roads are difficult to navigate.

ion club center in cap everde
kitesurf in sal Cape Verde with match lopes

Which club should I choose to take a kitesurfing lesson or to hire equipment?

Kitesurfing in Sal has become an institution for passionate kitesurfers. The island is full of schools set up for learning kitesurfing, from the beginner to the apprentice freestyler. Opt for a private or semi-private course to learn safely and quickly. The ION CLUB centre is waiting for you with a large choice of Duotone equipment for rental and kite lessons.

erreur wingfoil
cap vert kite lifestyle

Where to stay in Cape Verde?

If there is one thing that cannot happen to you in Cape Verde during your kite trip, it is sleeping outside! There are many hotels and apartments for all types of budget, and generally very close to the beaches. As for the spots, they are quite devoid of big buildings which is favourable to kitesurfing since the wind is not disturbed, and this leaves the landscape and nature preserved as it was in the early days.

What other activities are available in Cape Verde besides kitesurfing?

The Cape Verde archipelago offers a multitude of kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing and stand up paddle spots and beaches of exceptional beauty, but don’t hesitate to spend a few days in the mountains of the island of Santo Antao, which will take your breath away, both because of its dense vegetation and because of the incredible view from the peaks.

Scuba diving, sailing, quad biking, swimming in the translucent Cape Verdean waters. The air temperature is pleasant all year round and rarely drops below 20°. In winter, it can be more complicated to find islands or countries close to Europe that compete with Cape Verde, which is known for its excellent sailing conditions and favourable climate. Ten hours is the time it usually takes from Paris to the islands of Sal or Boa Vista – including a stopover in Lisbon -. If you feel like kitesurfing this winter, Cape Verde is without a doubt the destination to know or to do again! Don’t wait any longer, adopt the Cape Verdean spirit!

snorkeling cap vert
Getting into kitesurfing: Essential tips

Getting into kitesurfing: Essential tips

What is kitesurfing, and how does it differ from other watersports?At the end of the 70´s French waterman and adventurer Arnaud de Rosnay invented the parafoil, a kind of kite that pulled him along while he was seated on a very large board. This revolution in the...

Surfing in Essaouira: Everything you need to know before your trip!

Surfing in Essaouira: Everything you need to know before your trip!

The Waves of Essaouira: A surfer's paradise 🏄‍♂️The Waves of Essaouira: A surfer's paradise or `the city of the trade winds` has been attracting windsurf and kitesurf enthusiasts for many years, as the wind frequently blows in this region. However, it is also a little...



ION NEW COLLECTION 2024 ⚡️ION CLUB is excited to introduce you to the new ION 2024 collection. Striking designs, cutting-edge graphics, and new protective accessories of the premium quality they are accustomed to define this year‘s lineup.  Explore the latest product...