The best kitesurfing spots in Cape Verde

What Are The best kitesurfing spots in Cape Verde?

Off of the coast of Senegal, two islands in the Cape Verde archipelago are world famous for kitesurfing.

Let’s start with Boa Vista, the island of long, beautiful white sandy beaches. The island’s watersports clubs are concentrated on the north-west coast, close to the small town of Sal Rei, where the majority of kitesurfing spots are accessible to all, and are also supervised. Freeride, freestyle, waves and kitefoiling – there is something for every level of kitesurfer, from beginner to expert. Several kitesurfing centers have set up shop on the beaches to the south of this small town of 6,000 inhabitants, not far from the hotels and apartments available to holidaymakers. For those wishing to take lessons or to hire equipment, the beaches of Carlota, Dunes and Estoril are the places to be! The wind is generally side-shore or even side-offshore, and between 15 and 25 knots. Some centers offer boat drop-offs at wave spots not far from the superb Santa Monica beach, although access by car is not recommended.

Better known to kitesurfers, the island of Sal has a reputation to live up to! Located in the north-east of the Cape Verde archipelago, it owes its fame originally to windsurfers, especially wave riders, when the Wave World Cup and the Windsurf Trilogy took place in the 90’s at the famous Ponta Preta spot. Ponta Preta was once reserved for experienced wave riders only, but now it is also for the kitesurfing elite! Fortunately, it is also possible to surf other, much more accessible spots in Sal, which are very much to the south of the island. These spots are mainly in and around Santa Maria, a fishing village just ten kilometers from Ponta Preta, and 20 minutes from the airport. All levels of kitesurfing are possible, and the sandy-bottomed spots present no danger. They are generally supervised by kitesurfing schools, whether you are taking a course or renting equipment. The main beach in the village of Santa Maria, covered in fine sand and 4 kilometers long, welcomes kitesurfers who want to ride on site and close to their accommodation, without having to rent a car or take a cab or shuttle. Slightly off the beaten track from the small town center, beware of the shorebreak and beachside slopes. With the wind blowing side-offshore, the spot is best suited to experienced kiteboarders, unless you are taking a kitesurfing course with our long-established ION CLUB Sal center in Cape Verde. This center has its structure near the port of Santa Maria, at the beginning of the beach, and has a large selection of Duotone brand equipment.

Still in Sal, the Kite beach spot is the island’s undisputed top spot! It is located in a rather desolate spot outside the town of Santa Maria, a little further north on the east coast and just a 10-minute drive away. Kite beach is a bay designed for freeride enthusiasts, but also for wave lovers thanks to its reef, where it is advisable to sail at high tide. Quickly reached in a few tacks and just 300 meters from the launch, it is the perfect place to start wave riding. The wind blows side-onshore in the bay, making it very safe. If you are a beginner or not yet very comfortable with kitesurfing, beware, as the spot is in principle unsupervised. It is certainly better to take a few kiteboarding lessons at ION CLUB, or to be supervised on the spot itself to get to know it better for your first runs at Sal if you are not yet completely independent.

Sal has many other hidden treasures for kitesurfing enthusiasts. It is easy to rent a car, load up your quiver and hit the road to Ponta Sino, for example, on the south-west coast, a few kilometers from the town of Santa Maria (opposite Kite beach). Sometimes there are waves, sometimes there are not. Ask the locals, as it is the best way to make sure you are well informed. For pure wave riders, head further north on the west coast, to Secret or Ali Baba, two lovely wave spots for swell and thrill seekers. The wind blows side-offshore and is exposed on rocks.

Kitesurfing in Sal has become an institution since the early 2000´s, so now might be a good time to come and discover the island!

The best time to go kitesurfing in Cape Verde

The best time to kitesurf in Cape Verde is from October to May. In the summer windy conditions are unlikely. From one island to another, Eole will be stronger, as is the case of Sao Vicente with wind speeds of 35-40 knots quite often, an island mainly exploited by windsurfers on the south coast with 100% offshore wind. Most of the time the dry wind from the northeast is lighter at Sal, around 20-25 knots. For a kitesurfing holiday in Cape Verde with an even better chance of wind and waves, choose to go between December and March, as the weather statistics are much better … just check out the kite reviews! If the wind is fickle on certain days, think about renting a stand-up paddle to paddle along the beaches, or maybe catch a few waves.

Woman student is learning how to stand up on the surf board

What is the right level for kitesurfing in Cape Verde?

With the exception of Ponta Preta (on the island of Sal), Cape Verde’s most popular spots are accessible to all levels of kitesurfer, although it is advisable to be accompanied by an instructor if you do not yet feel very comfortable kiting. Wave riders are the lucky ones, but freestyle and freeride are also on the program, and even kitefoiling has its place.

Once again however, kitesurfers who are not independent and do not know how to ride upwind are advised not to venture onto the water of Cape Verde. Waves are present on many beaches, and currents can be strong at times. The local kite schools are there to accompany you and take you to the right spots, adapted to your level.

Which kite to choose for kitesurfing in Cape Verde?

The question of which kite to use for a trip to Cape Verde is very important. In Boa Vista as in Sal, take the kites that you are used to riding in winds between 15 and 25 knots. From 7m² to 12m², depending on your level and weight, they are ideal for all weather conditions and for riding all Cape Verde spots during the best wind period. As for the pre or post-season, 10 to 17m² kites are recommended for more of a chance of regular riding.

Group of kids looking happiest after their lesson of surfing
A man surfing with advance level one big wave

Kitesurfing in Cape Verde – Travel Tips

The Cape Verde archipelago offers a multitude of kitesurfing, windsurfing, wingfoiling, surfing and SUP spots on exceptionally beautiful beaches, but make sure that you also wander around the islands hiking or renting a quad or a car. If you have time to spend a few days in the mountains of Santo Antão Island, make the most of it, as the vegetation is so dense and the views are incredible from the peaks.

If you want to discover the ocean, why not take a scuba diving trip, a sailing cruise, or go for a swim in Cape Verde’s translucent waters. The air temperature is pleasant all year around, rarely dipping below 20°. In winter, it is often difficult to find a place close to Europe with such a mild climate as Cape Verde, renowned for its excellent sailing conditions in water temperatures of around 22-23°.

Many direct flights depart from Sal in as little as 6 hours. When that is not the case, a simple stopover in Lisbon will get you there in 10 hours maximum. Cape Verde is so close to home, it would be a shame not to spend a holiday there!

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