Winter’s closing in, why not get away to the glorious sunshine and warm winds of the Caribbean? Sportif are here to run down the top 6 places to go this winter.
Establish in 1982, British company Sportif has been offering windsurfing holiday packages for over 30 years to the Caribbean. Starting with Cabarete in the Dominican Republic, one of the very first overseas winter windsurfing destinations they now offer over 50 of the windiest windsurfing destinations and 10 of them are in the Caribbean.
The season’s just starting in November and Sportif say the Caribbean offers a great mix of beautiful beaches and a range of conditions that will suit everyone from those just starting out to the most ardent wave heads. Their centres offer flexible rental and instruction packages from 1 hour to weekly rates. If you want to bring your own kit Sportif will offer assistance with arranging transport and storage at the centre when you arrive.
Each Caribbean island has it’s own character and sailing conditions. See Sportif’s quick guide to the where’s best to go.
Best for Improving Technique – El Yaque, Margarita
An deal location for learning to windsurf or improving your technique with shallow, flat water directly in front of the centre. This is a small Caribbean island, close to Venezuela, with a unique charm, small hotels and perfect for a group holiday. Famous for its beach party scene – the Easter beach parties are legendary. Simon Bornhoft also offers a 10 day Windwise pro coaching clinic in Jan/Feb 2014 which you can book through Sportif.
Best for Freestyle – Bonaire
Bonaire is famous as a training ground for World Class freestylers Tonky and Taty Frans. The wind and flat water conditions at 4km long Lac Bay are outstanding. It’s ideal for learning to windsurf or junior windsurfers because of the shallow water and protection offers by the offshore reef making it nearly landlocked. Part of the Dutch Antilles, Bonaire takes a while to get to but it’s worth it. Virtually untouched by mass tourism, you can stay in small hotels right by the windsurfing. It’s well worth hiring a car to explore the island with eco mangrove kayaking, cycling or amazing snorkelling. Great for families and those wishing to get off the beaten track.
Best for Waves – Barbados
Some of the best waves in the Caribbean can be found in Barbados. Barbados offers uber cool boutique or top of the range luxury hotel or budget apartments with the waves on your doorstep. Head out to party with the locals at Oistins on Fridays for the weekly jump up or up to Silver Sands to see where the rich and famous hang out. This is not a venue for novices and perfect to perfect your wave sailing from Dec to May. For less intense waves St Martin and Cabarete offer a chance to practice without getting wiped out.
Best for Luxury – Nevis
If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion, honeymoon or wedding with some windsurfing too, Nevis has spa resorts from colonial style to luxury 5* hotels. A flexible, personal windsurfing service will bring equipment to the beach, with a private instructor, at a time to suit yourself. Your personal coordinator on the island makes sure everything is planned as your want it. If you are looking for a relaxing spa break for two or bring a group of friends or family to celebrate Sportif can help with all the arrangements.
Best for Families / Multi-Sport – Cabarete
The Sportif centre in Cabarete offers kitesurfing, surfing and SUP. 1 week multi-sport packages with rental and lessons are £295. Cabarete has different flat water and wave areas that are good for all levels. The town of Cabarete has a great vibe and choice of bars and restaurant good for couples, partying or families depending on your needs. Accommodation ranges from budget self-catering to luxury apartments and hotels right on the beach and easy to walk to everything. It’s ideal for families with small or older children.
Best All Round – Tobago
Ideal flat water and some bump and jump from November to June, with choice of budget apartments, boutique and luxury hotels. Perfect for all levels of windsurfer and good for beginners, not overly developed with lovely beaches and multisport options for kitesurfing, SUP and diving. The best value with 1 week from £599 and 2 weeks from £799 including flights & transfers.
Sportif also offer other destinations all year round including the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Cape Verdes, Red Sea, Mauritius, Vietnam, Borcay and Brazil.
For more information call Sportif on +44 (0)1273 844919 or see their website at www.sportif.travel