St Lucia, located in the windward Antilles just next to Barbados; hides away some really nice kiting spots…
The north of the island is quite touristy and ‘club med-y’ as it were and the south is much more natural and local. So first off, if you are the kind of kiter who values their big luxuries while at a kite spot, maybe this isn’t the best place for you!
In the South-East corner of the island is the town called View-fort, its right on the beach and has the only airport on the island next door (so in terms of kiting its a walk from the terminal to the beach)!
On the SE coast and inside View-fort itself is plenty of affordable accommodation and places to eat, although don’t expect gourmet style food.
Firstly the main season for wind is between November and February.
There is only one good spot in St Lucia, but then again; that should be all you need! Its a 6km bay called Sandy Bay, coined for its sandy bottom, with all of about 3 small stones throughout. The sea depth is around 6-8ft but because there is a nature reserve island and a reef offshore, the water seldom gets more than a little chop!
Now the best thing about this spot is that practically no one goes there. Having worked there in the high season, I can concur that the hight of business was 8/9 kites in the air.
If you are also a keen windsurfer, this is a top place to travel too. The 1 school in this spot called ‘The Reef kite+surf’ rent a large selection of professional grade windsurf and kite equipment mainly Cabrinha for kites and mainly JP, Mistral and North Sails for the windsurfing.
The runway for the airport I mentioned previously, ends about 15 meters from the sea. Its upwind of the kite bay so no worries, unless you are stupid enough to try and upwind it in front of the runway!
The Walk of Shame.
As all kiters know in one way or another, the walk of shame is always there; waiting, watching for the moment you think the wind is better or you are trying that slightly smaller board, or you had a big lunch! And bang, you end up having to walk back to the spot, there is a serious opportunity at Sandy bay for that walk of shame. The bay as I said is 6km and the wind comes through side shore, all the way down the curving 4km long shore line, now I would be lying if I said I hadn’t done it a few times, but its easy here to drift downwind, and find the wind is slightly less the deeper inside you go!
Leo Holland runs a kitesurfing school in Zanzibar and has traveled the world teaching kitesurfing. If you are heading over that way and are looking for lessons then don’t forget to check out his kite school.
Kite School : Casa Kite Zanzibar
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