Cape Verde Windsurfing Kitesurfing
Kite-Surfing on Sal, Santa Maria
Wind surfing and Kite surfing in slalom or freestyle is best at Santa Maria on Sal, where international teams train in winter. There are hundreds of boards to choose from and never any shortage. Rodi, an Arizonan teaches kite surfing and rents new boards from Hawaii. He has some spectacular videos. You will find him in the Morabeza bar in the evenings. The wind is steady Force 4/5 along the beach but slackens in summer which is better for beginners. There are new North and Fanatic rigs for hire from 4-7.5 sqm at £9 /hr or £119 /week S from Lancs found it good
" Our holiday was really good. It was quiet but we didn`t really mind as we had constant wind for kitesurfing but unfortunately no swells to surf. The local were all very friendly apart from the Senegalese (very annoying) . We met 8 other people there for kitesurfing so we were with them most of the time and went to Tam Tam, the Irish bar, every night. We visited the fresh water springs very nice but a bit hard to find. Overall the holiday was great but the place needs a lot of work. It is a shambles, and if you weren`t into a sport you `d be pretty bored both day and night. We would definitely go backJ&T from London did their first kitesurf.
"We tried our hand at kite surfing with Rodi Smith who looks after the watersports at the Morabeza club and that was great fun and comes highly recommended. It costs about £110 for an introduction course but is really good fun and certainly keeps you active..Our muscles took a few days to recover!D from Ireland was a novice.
I tried the kitesurfing for the first time. It was great. Rodi was very helpful. I had never done it before. I would not say that I`m kite surfer now. People put me off the diving, saying it was all sand and rocks. But I am going to reccomend several other people to you."
S from Edinburgh was unlucky with the wind
"Winds were light to non-existent on the first week, but picked up a bit on the second week of the holiday. In all, I managed to sail on 10 days out of 13. Counting morning and afternoon sessions separately, I managed 18 sessions out of 26. That is a lot of windsurfing. At first, I sailed a 6.6mē sail with the Screamer 104L. Later, I changed to a 6.2mē sail with a Screamer 95L. The smaller Screamer was fitted with a 38cm skeg, so it went up wind easily, which made it easy for me to pick my way amongst the boats. I also tried the Syncro 90L. I found you had to put the mastfoot back - even with a 6.2mē sail - otherwise the board became very slow and difficult to sail. The Screamer coped much better with the conditions, and would sometimes fly off the chop offshore. I gybed on the waves offshore, but I found wave gybes impossible. The large skeg did not help. The waves also seemed to be travelling too fast relative to my board speed. "
Wave SurfingWave surfing is possible in winter on the sheltered south-western shore, where the wind acts against the stream to create impressive waves. Josh Angulo world wave surf champion in 2003 and 2007moved in from Hawaii because of the conditions. The wave at Ponta Preta attracts some of the world's best surfers and wave wind surfers. In summer its fine for beginners.
"I've sailed in Cape Verdes and it is a place that can offer world-class wave sailing, but that does take a little more concentration.
Simon Bornhoft WINDWISE magazine
W from London did not attempt Ponta Preta
"The beach is a very long and sandy sweep of a bay. At either end there are wave breaks, which you have to sail to from the Windsurf centre, around half a mile from the centre of the bay. To the East (upwind) there are weak waves coming around a point. To the West (downwind) there are stronger waves where kit damage is more likely. In the centre of the bay it's great for blasting. The wind blows from East to West. To the East the beach has rocks and is not nice, but is closer to the upwind waves. In the centre there is flatter water with moored boats to avoid upwind and a nicer bit of beach. To the West waves are better. I sailed every day, but mainly on 6.0m2 / 6.5m2. I sailed on 5.0m2 a couple of days and 5.5m2 once. I had some kitesurfing lessons, and it's seems a reasonable place to learn. The waves were only of a reasonable size on maybe 3 or 4 days. One day the shore break was quite big. It gets bigger the further downwind you go along the beach. May is towards the end of the season. The strongest wind and best waves are in winter. The famous break of Ponta Preta (which is around the down wind point, a mile away) only works occasionally. A big swell is needed against the Trade Winds. (It was flat all the time we were there). You would not sail there unless you're a brilliant wave sailor. All in all it was good Windsurfing in a place with quite a different feel about it, and I'm pleased I went. "
Best windsurfing beaches, SalAngulo Windsurf Center allows you to windsurf wherever you want with its boards and rigs. A hired pick-up takes you out to other beaches and back again. There is a Zodiac inflatable Rib as Rescue Boat on the Santa Maria Beaches.
Canoa, SalIn Murdeira Bay close to Rife, Canoa is the easiest and safest spot of Sal. The Wind is along and slightly off the beach , waves are small and easy to surf, no difficult shorebreak. This easy riding spot is ideal for all riders.
Albatros, Santa Maria, SalAlbatros (Ponta Leme): On Santa Maria Beach is also an easy spot. The sea is generally calm and the wind is constant and along the shore or slightly offshore. When the swell is from the south, it creates a long wave, safe and easy to ride. In case of problem, Zodiac Rib rescue is possible.
Santa Maria: East End
East of the bay of Santa Maria. It's possible to start from Albatros beach. The wind is along the shore or slightly onshore. The wave is easy to ride, but far from the point, there's a risk of strong current, with a lack of wind and big swell.
F from Australia windsurfed from Santa Maria Beach
" You can surf from right next to the hotel with wind always coming side shore, slightly off shore. If you are advanced you can surf upwind a few kilometers to the headland of santa maria beach where there are some bigger waves. The shore break by the beach can be a little scary for beginners, but not for intermediates/advanced. The surf rental guys also provide a service to "bring" the board out to you past the shore break, because it is in their interest also that you dont trash their gear. On request the surf rental company will provide you with a walkie talkie in case of emergency (if you sail a few km out they cannot see you anymore). They provide lessons for beginners."
Ponta Preta, Near the Riu, SalThis is for the experts. Josh Angulo comments
"This is one of the very best windsurfing places in the world! If the swell is coming from the west, the waves will build up at Ponta Preta higher than anywhere on the island. The wave can be pretty big (up to 5 metres), it starts breaking very far from the beach, rolls glassily on for a few hundred metres and finishes as a big shorebreak on the white sand. Most of the time, the wind is side-offshore and coming from the right. Don't try it if you're not confident in big waves combined with light (and sometimes gusty) wind! Any sailing mistake can lead you directly to the black rocks. But this is is the place where you can find the best surfing v ibe, even as a spectator standing on the beach."
Salinas Kite Beach, Santa Maria, Sal
Salinas (Kite Beach): 5 minutes from Santa Maria. Salinas Kitebeach is the best kitesurfing place on Sal. This is an easy beach, good for learning: the beach is very long so the sea is never too crowded. There are no dangerous currents, the coral reef creates an easy wave for safe waveriding. The wind is along the shore to slightly onshore, coming from the left and steady most of the time.
A from London had a good time
"It was great thanks! Everything went well - ticket pick up was painless, transfers were fine and hotel was just what I needed. Flights were on time and baggage pick up quick - even at Gatwick! It's a really interesting island - and clearly changing quickly. You almost wonder whether too quickly as apartments spring up before the roads and infrastructure to service them.. I found the locals really friendly and I got very little hassle to buy stuff and what there was was pretty low key and easy to walk away. Nothing like Tunisia earlier this year where you can barely go out without aggressive sellers cussing you when you don't go in their shop! The wind was mixed but was kitesurfing for 3 days which was kinda what I was expecting so acheived what I wanted - it was great! Sun was out everyday and we had a bit of rain one evening which is rare I'm told. We kitesurfed 2 days over at Kite Beach which I thought was stunning - and deserted both times. I'm told it used to be called Shark Bay so that might be why! I also did a buggy tour around the island so got to see a little bit more. One funny I came across was at the airport on the way home. I asked for a seat over the exit (for leg room..) and was told I could at an extra cost of €30. It's not a lot and the leg room was worth it. I was the only one who had thought and the stewardess filled the rows with other lucky flyers anyway. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed and was very relaxing. Hope to get back there sometime soon! Thanks for organising. "