Bruna Kajiya trains prior to Red Bull Rally dos Ventos at Lencois Maranhenses National Park in Barreirinhas, Brazil on September 14, 2017
© Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

These are the 10 best places in the world to kitesurf

Looking for the kitesurfing trip of a lifetime? Then book a ticket to one of these amazing destinations.
Written by Will Gray
7 min readPublished on
Kitesurfing is an ideal sport if you want to pack your bags and travel the world – but choosing the best place to go isn’t easy. Consistent winds, warm weather and readable waves (or perfect flat water – depending on your preference) are all essential, but to be perfect the place needs to be buzzing with good vibes, too.
Kitesurfing lets you head into the unknown

Kitesurfing lets you head into the unknown

© Nick Muzik/Red Bull Content Pool

Fortunately, there are plenty of top spots to find all that, from the wild coastline of Peru to the body-perfect beaches of Maui; the remote Cape Verde islands to the kite-filled skies of Tarifa.
So, whether you’re a hotshot freestyler, a big wave rider or someone who’s never set foot on a board before, check out these 10 top places to fill your kite and hit the water.

1. Maui

  • Location: Hawaii, USA
  • Closest airport: Kahului Airport
  • When to go: Year round (Mar-Oct for strong winds, Oct-Mar for big waves)
This place took kitesurfing to the mainstream when it hosted the first competition back in 1996. It’s still a top location, with warm temperatures, consistent winds and a cool party atmosphere away from the water.
Marc Ramseier kitesurfs at the Red Bull King Of The Air 2005 event in Maui, Hawaii, United States.

Maui is one of the birthplaces of kitesurfing

© Erik Aeder/Red Bull Content Pool

It has so much coastline – almost 50km of beaches – that surf sites are well segregated to keep the different sports from clashing. The NE winds blow from 15-25 knots in summer and accelerate along the North Shore, making that the top destination. Hookipa Beach Park is popular and if you’re good enough and brave enough, in winter you can even tackle the infamous Jaws.

2. Tarifa

  • Location: Southern Spain
  • Closest airport: Gibraltar (45m), Jerez (1h 30m), Malaga (1h 45m)
  • When to go: April to November (fewer crowds Apr-Jun and Sep-Nov)
  • Status: GKA Kite World Tour destination (kitesurf and freestyle)
This easy to reach destination is Europe’s top spot for kitesurfing at any level, with 10km of beach, consistent strong winds (never try to picnic here) and more than 300 days of sun a year, coupled with a great chilled, but buzzing, vibe and fantastic Spanish food.
Youri Zoon performing during the Tarifa Masters of Kiteboard.

Tarifa is where the annual Masters of Kiteboard competition takes place

© Carrascosa Fotógrafos

It’s all about the Strait of Gibraltar, which channels the warm wind between Europe and Africa (you can often see the coastline in the distance) and into the Mediterranean. The ‘Levante’ as it's known, which produces extra strong winds, is at its biggest between July and October.

3. La Ventana

  • Location: Baja California, Mexico
  • Closest airport: La Paz (1h), Los Cabos International (2h)
  • When to go: November to March
Located on the eastern side of the Baja California Peninsula, this beautiful L-shaped UNESCO World Heritage Site bay is often flat calm, with warm turquoise water and wind conditions ideal for all levels. Since last year, the lagoon behind the beach has been converted into a kite park, too.
The wide, uncrowded beach has side-shore winds that make it easy to launch and speeds are lower for beginners in the morning and evening, but stronger for advanced kiters in the middle of the day. The small fishing village is also a nice destination with good food once the sun goes down.

4. Kalpitiya

  • Location: Sri Lanka
  • Closest airport: Bandaranaike International Airport (3h)
  • When to go: May to September
This resort sits on a narrow sandbar on the west side of Sri Lanka, protecting it from the mighty swells of the Indian Ocean. It has consistent 20-30 knot winds and is a popular place for pro riders to practice, including champion women’s freestyler Mikaili Sol.
Vela Island overview during the Red Bull Local Hero Tour at Vela Island, Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka on July 17, 2017.

Kalpitiya is a great place for Kitesurf beginners

© Dimitri Crusz/Red Bull Content Pool

Famous for the shallow waters on its flat long, wide lagoon, it’s great for beginners – which is why there are oodles of schools in town – but just across the sandbar, ocean-side offers fun, manageable waves, particularly in the winter season, for those wanting something a bit more advanced.

5. Essaouira

  • Location: Morocco
  • Closest airport: Marrakech (2h 30m)
  • When to go: March to October
A trip to this easy-access fishing harbour is a true Moroccan experience for any visitor, but it’s the gently sloping 4km beach, protected from the big rollers by a small island, which makes it one of North Africa’s go-to spots for kitesurfing.
View on the Isles Purpuraires near Essaouira, Morocco.

The consistent cross-shore winds makes Essaouira a favoured kitesurf spot

© Vysotsky/Wikimedia Creative Commons

Dakhla, further south, is the country’s world championship destination, but here, the sheltered bay has consistent winds and long gentle waves that are good for learning. It’s not all for beginners and intermediates, though – those who want bigger waves head to nearby Sidi Kaouki and or Moulay.

6. Mui Ne

  • Location: Vietnam
  • Closest airport: Ho Chi Minh City (4h 30m)
  • When to go: November to March, but also May to October
This palm-backed sandy beach on the South China Sea is Asia’s kitesurfing capital. It averages at least 12 knots of wind for almost two thirds of the year, with gentler summer southerlies and more consistent strong winter northerlies that reach up to 40 knots.
Don’t expect perfection here, however, as sadly the region has grown from a deserted paradise to a busy resort and pollution and plastics mean the water is not as pristine as it once was, while the central section of beach is concrete, not sand.

7. Cumbuco

  • Location: North-East Brazil
  • Closest airport: Pinto Martins International Airport, Fortaleza (45m)
  • When to go: July to December
  • Status: GKA Kite World Tour destination (freestyle)
The region of Fortaleza is blessed with plenty of beach resorts bathed in sunshine and hit by cross-shore trade winds all year round. This vibrant fishing village, which is backed by huge wind-inducing sand dunes, is the pick of the bunch.
Liam Whaley performs in Uruau, Brazil on September 20, 2015.

Cumbuco and nearby Uruau are the best places to kitesurf in Brazil

© Ydwer van der Heide/Red Bull Content Pool

The long shallow inshore lagoon provides plenty of flat water – with the south reserved for beginners and the north for the more adventurous – while further out, a sandbar creates some decent waves. And after all the action, there’s no better place for some chilled out sunset sundowners.

8. Sotavento

  • Location: Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
  • Closest airport: Fuerteventura Airport (1h)
  • When to go: May to September
  • Status: GKA Kite World Tour destination (freestyle)
The clue’s in the name: Fuerteventura means strong wind and there are plenty of destinations here to make the most of it, including this popular and long-serving world tour destination on the south east of the island.
Kitesurfers and windsurfers enjoy the winds off Sotavento Beach on Fuerteventure in Spain

A 4km-long beach in Sotavento makes for an incredible kitesurfing backdrop

© Dirk Vorderstraße/Wikimedia Creative Commons

It has the ideal set-up, with a 4km-long tropical beach backed by a waist-deep lagoon, providing both flat and rough water suitable for all levels. Beginners can also head to Corralejo, while more advanced riders can head further north. For the strongest winds, head there in winter.

9. Sal

  • Where: Cape Verde, Africa
  • Closest airport: Amílcar Cabral International (20m)
  • When to go: October to May
  • Status: GKA Kite World Tour destination (kitesurf)
A great short-haul destination in Europe’s off-season, this tiny island is two hours south of the Canary Islands. It has consistent temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s and reliable winter winds that average 20 knots, creating conditions to suit all comers.
Kitesurfers enjoy their sport off the Costa da Fragata on Sal Island in Cape Verde.

The Costa de Fragata is the best kitesurfing spot in Sal

© Franzfoto/Wikimedia Creative Commons

All the action is centred on the only town, Santa Maria, with Kite Beach on the east providing side-onshore winds with medium waves; the town beach in the south best for flat water; and Ponta Preta beach on the west offering challenging, fast, big building waves that draw in the world tour each year.

10. Paracas

  • Location: South-West Peru
  • Closest airport: Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima (3h 30m)
  • When to go: September to May (Oct-Dec best for waves)
  • Status: GKA Kite World Tour destination (race)
This is one of the most reliable places for wind in the world, with barely a day in the year when it’s not blowing across the shore, and the huge u-shaped flat-water lagoon of Santo Domingo Bay is ideal for beginners or freestylers wanting to pick up speed and practice their moves.
However, a trip to this quiet town, which is surrounded by a desert landscape, is not just about flat water. South of the main draw, you can find big waves at Supay and Playon, while Zarate offers smaller but consistently long rollers.