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Bright and Breezy: Kitesurfing in the Caribbean

Our Oceans & Islands travel expert, Clare recently visited Antigua’s Nonsuch Bay on a tour of the Caribbean. As a perennial kitesurf widow, perhaps this was her chance to live the dream and learn away from the cold, uninviting waters of the UK. However, an encounter with a slippery Bajan rock put the plan on ice… for now. 

In the UK I am a ‘kitesurf widow’, so when I was offered the chance to learn to kitesurf in the tropical waters of Antigua, my husband jumped at the chance! “It will be amazing!” he said. “I’ve tried teaching you; it didn’t turn out too well!  Let someone else try!”

Unfortunately, at the start of my trip in Barbados, my elbow took the brunt of a rather bad fall on some algae covered rocks, so kitesurfing wasn’t going to be appearing on my itinerary any time soon after all.

Arriving at Nonsuch Bay in Antigua a few days later with my arm strapped up in a sling, I looked out wistfully to see dinghies and Hobie cats hurtling in all directions across the bay. Guests young and old were out there on the water having fun and making the most of the onshore winds.

The sea, an ever-shifting patchwork of paint box blues, was far too tempting but I had to make do with simply looking at it as I ate lunch one-handed in the beautifully positioned Club House, watching everyone else having fun.

Although being a spectator isn’t as much fun, Chris from the fantastic ’40 knots’ kitesurfing school was still determined to show me the beautiful bays of the resort and took me out in their RIB to show me their amazing sailing area and explain how they teach on the water.

For those wanting to try their hand at kitesurfing, I can’t recommend 40 knots enough. The enthusiastic, yet patient and coaxing approach of the instructors ensures everyone develops quickly. Teaching from a safety boat right next to you means instructions come calmly from a few feet away rather than someone yelling at you from the beach. Far less stressful!

Green Island, where the kitesurfing beach is located, is about a 10 minute RIB ride away from the resort. There, 2 square miles of enclosed water is protected from the open sea by a barrier reef, benefiting from consistently gentle trade winds year-round. Waters are calm and their on-water tuition means they’re always close which provides more interaction and increases your rate of progression.

Children can also benefit from these fantastic conditions and even get to sail while they are part of the well-equipped kids’ club. Conditions are fantastic for all abilities, as the onshore winds will always guide you back to the beach!

For those looking for a water sports vacation in a Caribbean setting, this is the place to be! Great for families and couples alike, it has everything from dinghies to catamarans and even a fantastic sailing school which focuses on dinghies and keelboats, windsurfing is also available for the water sports aficionados.

My husband is still determined that I learn to kitesurf, I am insistent that I learn in a bikini (no wetsuits needed in Antigua!) and the children are sold on the kids’ club! The flights are booked- Nonsuch Bay here we come!

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