All the websites giving information about the kitesurfing in Aruba described it seemingly unrealistic. They said the wind blows 18 – 27 knots, the weather is always hot, it does not rain, the water is warm. They did not say these conditions occurred during a certain season, but all seasons. Year-round wind, it sounded too good to be true. But let me tell you, it didn’t just blow all day, it blew all night too! Which was actually a great relief from the heat, especially when you were out of the water. As for kite sizes, I was mostly on my 7m and once or twice on my 9m. But the wind did get strong at times, where I could have even been on my 5m. Most of the locals though have a 10m.
There are 3 main kitesurfing spots in Aruba. We stayed right outside a spot called Fisherman’s Huts. There are a lot of high rise hotels right on the beach but if you have all your gear with you I would recommend staying somewhere like Sunset Beach Studios (www.arubasunsetbeach.com) where you get your own little apartment and there is plenty of space to put your gear (and there’s a barbecue, pool and Jacuzzi!) Though they consider this spot a kitesurfing spot, I wouldn’t recommend kitesurfing there! It is a great location to stay where you are right on the beach and the restaurants and shops are all very close, but it is a terrible kite spot! It is extremely gusty and off shore and the water is very shallow so you risk getting into contact with the patches of rocks and sea urchins.
My favourite spot was Baby Beach. This is a small bay with smooth, shallow blue water. All the surroundings are soft and dreamy like a baby, hence the name! However, this is actually not considered one of the kite spots and you are actually not allowed to kitesurf here. But you can get away with it if you go really early between 6am – 9am. The general rule is that as soon as the first tourists start filtering onto the beach, that’s your cue to leave. I highly recommend you try this spot but please respect the rules and don’t continue kiting when people are trying to relax on the beach or swim, as it is a very small beach and bay area and we wouldn’t want kiting to be completely banned here. (and the police have been known to stop by when kiters have overstayed their welcome…)
The most popular spot is Boca Grandi. It is a half an hour drive so we rented a car drove there most days to kitesurf. This is a great spot with onshore wind and small waves, though the waves can get much bigger or much smaller depending on various factors. This spot is also great because they have little beach shelters so you can sit in a shady spot when you are taking a break. They also have stations on the beach where you can attach your kite’s chicken loop into a hook and self launch and land, it is very easy and simple as long as you know how to unhook your kite. The locals mainly go here in the morning and evening for a sunrise or sunset session. This is when the wind is at it’s best, but nevertheless it still blows throughout the entire day. There are some places to stay close by Boca Grandi but then you will be far from the shops and restaurants. I thought the bluest water I have ever seen was in the islands surrounding Thailand and in Zanzibar. But after I went far out into the sea at Boca Grandi, I now know this is by far the most beautiful blue water I have ever come across!
We took an underwater camera with us and got some nice footage so watch this space for the video coming soon! (My first time filming and editing a video so don’t get too excited…)
So what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Aruba and be prepared to kite until you can’t anymore!
For more pics you can check out my Instagram account @michelleskyhayward