AVERAGE COSTSBeer: $4 average
Restaurant Meal: $10 – 150
Accommodation: $100 – 250 on average per room, but varies greatly.
THE LURERiders flock to Maui for its warm waters and super consistent conditions with more kiteable days per year than almost anywhere on earth. Although there's Hawaii-size surf, Maui actually offers lots of riding opportunities for kiters, beginners through advanced.
THE SET-UPKite Beach Maui is ground zero for kitesurfing. Year-long side to side-onshore trade winds blow from the northeast. Upwind, west of the lifeguard station, is Ka'a Point, a small inlet offering a protected area called the 'Swimming Pool' or 'Pro Pool' for flat-water tricks.
Further offshore large north and west swells pound the reef September to May from Pier One to the west, the 'Boneyard' in the middle and 'Lowers' to the east. Closer to shore they re-form and set up a fun zone to ride waves or pop off the ramps. Apart from the occasional extreme low tide, Kite Beach is not tide-reliant.
The first parking lot you come to on your drive to Kite Beach is Teach Beach (aka: Kimo's), an uninterrupted stretch of beach with a good run downwind. The next main parking lot is the intermediate area called Kanaha. There's a large, wide sandy beach, it's sociable and the wind is always better when its from the east. A few rock outcroppings, so body drag out if you feel a little shakey. The best place to watch some of the best riders in the world throwing down their tricks at 'Pro Beach' is at Teach Beach.
Thirty minutes from Kite Beach are the world famous Ho'okipa and Lanes. No kitesurfing at Ho'okipa, but advanced riders looking for a challenge with up-to-date insurance may want to check out Lanes. Launch and land by crossing a very tricky reef. Booties are a necessity, and be advised that there is no kind landing place downwind, it's serious. In the right winds Kihei on the south side can be a good choice for intermediate to above riders. Riding on the west side of the island is limited and it’s best to talk to a local rider familiar with the spots before attempting it.
WIND, WEATHER AND WATERThe weather is comfortable year-round. Summertime: brisk winds with small to no surf (June to August). Winter can be wetter, maybe 12ºC / 10ºF cooler with the temperatures seldom dropping below 21ºC / 70ºF. Northeast trades blow year-round. The occasional west wind and Kona wind (south/south east) blows November to April, usually for short periods with a passing storm. Strongest winds in the summer months sometimes exceed 30mph. Kite Beach has its best waves in the winter months, November to February, although least reliable wind is December and January. A nine metre is the norm, but bring your seven to 12 metres. Nights are warm unless you're staying at higher elevations, otherwise a long sleeve shirt is enough. Boardshort weather in summer and you may need a thin neoprene top in the winter. Average year round water temperatures are in the mid-70s / around 24°C.
ACCOMMODATIONA good range, but Hawaii isn't cheap. Luxury world-class resorts in Wailea through to budget vacation rentals and back-packer hostels. Best places to stay on the North Shore in the heart of the surf scene are Paia, Kuau or Sprecklesville and are not as touristy or developed as other areas. Most tourists stay on the south or west sides of the island where the majority of hotels, condos and resorts are located and more nightlife and tourist activities.
SCHOOLSAQUA SPORTS MAUI teach all levels all year at a max ratio of 2:1, specialising in one on one private lessons, customised for the student. Teaching on and renting out North and Cabrinha gear, they also offer instructor training, kite repairs, discount on surf/SUP lessons and purchases.
Languages spoken by staff: A wide variety, arranged in advance.
+1 (808) 242 8015
NO WINDAny water and air sport you can think of, plus insane golf courses, whale watching, waterfalls, visit the Haleakela Crater or take a ferry to Lanai or Molokai. Browse farmer's markets, botanical gardens, art galleries or take an upcountry wine tasting tour, or simply spread a towel out and soak up the sun!
GET AROUNDEverything is between 30 - 40 minutes from everything else and taxis are expensive and unreliable, so hire a car. Maui is a laid back island, but don't leave valuables in plain view in your car where they are an easy target.
CURRENCYUS Dollar ($): £1 = $1.6 / €1 = $1.3 Lots of ATMs and credit cards accepted nearly everywhere.
FOOD AND DRINKKite Beach is on the edge of Kahului town, just one mile from the nearest shopping centre. Find supermarkets and health food shops, delis and big box stores all over the island. The nightlife usually shuts down between 10pm and midnight though.
AIRPORTKahului (OGG) is five minutes from Kite Beach. If you're seated on the left side of the plane you can usually see kiters out your window as you come in for the landing!
Lake Como | Italy
Just an hour from Milan and home of the Italian Freestyle Champion, Stefano Martinelli, you can be sure you’ll pack in the riding time on Lake Como. Mix your kitesurfing trip with beautiful food, historical site visits and there’s also a cable park filled with kickers and sliders just a ten minute bike ride from the spot of Colico.
Baraka Charters | The Caribbean
Embark on a week-long quest for waves and flat water spots in crystal-clear, warm seas, many that are only accessible by boat, creating your own dynamic adventure through the pristine Caribbean oceans. You’ll anchor at idyllic spots around remote tropical islands with the thrill of launching directly off the boat. Your kite spot will extend to the horizon, shared with only the handful of riders also onboard. A change of scenery everyday, this is the the freshest of experiences you could hope to have.
Cocos Keeling Islands | Australia
Warm, flat aqua-blue waters that you’ll find here are like the kiting conditions you see in your dreams. Perfect for beginner and advanced riders wanting 15 – 20 knot winds morning, noon and night. There’s no wonder that The Cocos Islands are growing in reputation for blissful kiteboarding and if you’re lucky you can kite with the turtles, reef sharks and manta rays.
Kalpitiya | Sri Lanka
Experience phenomenal kite safari opportunities or stay right at your boutique hotel situated right on the flat water lagoon, with the option of riding on the sea. You can even watch the conditions from the pool!
Ulcinj | Montenegro
A new kiting hotspot on mainland Europe is being developed in Montenegro, former Yugoslavia. Ulcinj (pronounced: ‘Ooltseenie’), the southernmost town in Montenegro features a 14 kilometre long sandy beach and super steady side-onshore thermal winds that blow every day in the summer!
Keros | Limnos | Greece
Keros is a super safe sandy kitesurfing bay with a variety of conditions, suitable for all. The whole set up is within a protected ecosystem where you can spot wildlife such as rabbits, flamingos and rare species of flora.
The Algarve | Portugal
Glassy morning wakeboarding or surfing sessions are the perfect way to kick the early hours off, then it’s over to an afternoon of regular 25 knot wind speeds for some kiting action, changing spots a few times a week.
Sotavento | Fuerteventura
A year-round kiting holiday-makers’ favourite, Sotavento has a huge wide-open tropical beach land where you can ride the warm, shallow lagoon or hop over to the bright blue ocean for more bump ‘n’ jump action. Check out the stats – it blows here!