If you are in Europe in the winter and want to kitesurf without freezing your butt off, or wearing a thick wetsuit, you do not have a lot of choices if you do not want to travel too far. One destination close is Egypt (El Gouna or Hurghada). Another is the Canary Islands, just a few hours from any European Airport. But we wanted to try out a kitesurfing destination 2 hours south of the Canary Islands, the island Boa Vista in Cap Verde.
Kitesurfing at Boa Vista
So, how is Boa Vista for kitesurfing then? A lot of kitesurfers know about the island Sal, also on Cap Verde (The famous island for wave-riding, where for example Mitu Montiero has his kitecenter). But it’s neighbor island Boa Vista is also quite great for kitesurfing we heard, and that’s why we went there.
The Boa Vista island
Boa vista is a round small island in the belt where north-east passadewinds are blowing constantly from November to March. Boa Vista has 8000 inhabitants, mostly living in the city Sal Rei on the west side of the island. Most of the hotels are also in the city, which means that the beaches and kitespots close to the hotels have offshore winds.
Kitesurfing spots at Boa vista, Cap Verde
The kitecenters are close to the city, on the offshore wind area. We were at the Buccaneers Beach kite and surfcenter. At that beach, there are flat water close to beach and good clean waves on some points, making it a really great place for both wave-riders and freestylers. If it would not be for the gusty wind it would have been perfect. Beginners can ride there too even if there is offshore winds, the centers have rescue-boats for the ones that need. But I would not recommend this as a first-choice for a beginner, but on the other hand, if you learn here, you can kitesurf anywhere then. There is another kitecenter at hotel RIU, also on the same side of the island, but far away from the city and other hotels. The conditions are quite the same at that spot.
Kitesurfing excursions at Boa Vista
For the best kitesurfing experience on Boa Vista, you need to go on excursions to different beaches around the island. The spots near the city are good, but there are so much more to see! You can rent a driver with a 4×4 pickup-truck for around 60 €. The kitecenter can hook you up with a driver and with people that want to come with you on the excursion for splitting the bill. Pack your kites and 2-6 persons on the car, and check out what the island has to offer. This is also a great thing to do even if you are not kitesurfing, read more about that in the post about what to do on Boa Vista.
Boa Vista Kitespots to check out
- The city Sal Rei. You will probably live here. Check for Boa Vista Hotels here.
- The Buccaneers beach, which is the best beach close to the city. You can walk to this place from the city. We rented storage and rescue at the nice place Buccaneers Kite and Surf Centre, and had this as a starting point for our excursions too (There are friendly people and great kite-teachers if you want to learn to kitesurf). Wind is side-off here, so quite gusty. But no chop, only flat water, and quite clean waves.
- Riu. Here is the big sand-castle-hotel and a kite center. Quite the same conditions as on the Buccaneers beach, only longer way from the city. Here is also a lagoon with completely flat shallow water, but with the same gusty winds. A little better for beginners in the lagoon, I suppose. Anyway, you can go here by car, scooter, or just do a downwinder from the city with the kite.
- Pont Antonio. Great nice bay with side-onshore wind and some waves. Quite a big flat area between waves, so you can practice freestyle tricks here too. You need 4×4 car for getting here. Safe for beginners with stable onshore winds, but maybe not the easiest place to learn because of the waves.
- “Chick point” (?). Easy spot, good for beginners we heard. We did not visit this though.
- “Secret” spot in the end of Praia de Chaves. Amazing stable sideshore winds if the wind is more on the Norht-side. Big waves. Some current if you are too far to the left. The drive here over sand dunes is amazing, it is like driving in the desert, but with sea-view all the time. No road, just dunes. You need a 4×4 and a skilled driver. You can also do a downwinder from the city if you are experienced, it is about 6 km along the coast. It was amazing and I recommend that, but be sure to order a car to pick you up later…
There is also a lot of other spots around the island, just ask someone at the kitecenter, or a 4×4-driver, they know and share!
Read Linas report from the same trip here: KiteLina travelling to Boa Vista.
So the conclusion then, is Boa Vista a good place for Kitesurfing?
I would say it is good. Not the best, but not bad either. For people living in Europe that cannot travel far in the winter, it is one of the better alternatives. The people and athmosphere is nicer than in Egypt or Morocco, and it is about the same distance. The weather is warm and there is wind, even if quite gusty at the offshore spots.
What would I do in another way if I would go kitesurfing to Boa Vista again?
- I would make Boa Vista a part of a whole Cap Verde-trip, and check out the other islands too, like Sal, Santiago and Faro.
- I would also bring a kiteboard meant for waves, there are some great waves at this island.
- I would go with a group, so that we could rent a 4×4 every day and try out all kind of crazy spots.
But I would live in the city just like this time, our hotel was great, and I would probably also have the Buccaneers kite & surf centre as my starting point again. Kitesurfing at Boa Vista is a good alternative for December to March, try it if you are able to!