What makes a great destination for windsurfing?

By Gregg Dunnett

Choosing the right destination can make or break your windsurfing holiday

The simple answer is wind. Just like snow for a ski trip, if you go on a windsurfing holiday and get no wind, you're officially skunked.

And if you're being picky, you could argue that just as a ski holiday needs some mountains, a windsurfing trip needs some water - but you'll forgive me for not highlighting the obvious!

There are a few other niceties that help to turn a windsurfing trip into a windsurfing holiday. A healthy dose of sunshine, a temperate climate, a relaxed après surf vibe with cosy local restaurants and hopefully a few lively bars go a long way to filling in the few hours you're not planning to spend out on the water.


"The best windsurfing holiday destinations have a local centre offering tuition, equipment hire and/or storage, and most importantly of all, rescue facilities."

If you're travelling with non-windsurfers you'll feel better about deserting them for hours every day if they're happily lounging around the pool or a nice beach, or exploring the local markets - whatever they're into. Of course, the best scenario of all is that they spend their time learning to windsurf, which brings us onto the local windsurfing scene.

The best windsurfing holiday destinations have a local centre offering tuition, equipment hire and/or storage, and most importantly of all, rescue facilities. This will take away the potential stress of windsurfing somewhere totally new, and will offer the possibility of trying out a range of great new kit too.

What makes a great destination for windsurfing?

By Gregg Dunnett

Choosing the right destination can make or break your windsurfing holiday

Windsurf centres tend to be staffed by super chilled-out wind junkies only too keen to recommend you the best local attractions and, if the wind doesn't blow, enlist you for a game of beach volleyball too.


"Make sure you check the wind stats for the destination you have in mind, and the month you're thinking of visiting."

But how much wind is the right amount? If you're still a beginner then you'll be looking for slightly lighter winds, and most importantly, flat, shallow water. A force 2-3 (10-15 knots) is perfect, and you'll learn much easier with an R.Y.A. trained instructor. As an intermediate you still want that flat water, but a bit more wind. A force 3-4 (15-20 knots) is the perfect strength for getting the hang of the harness, footstraps and planing. Once you've mastered this then you'll want a bit more again. Anything between force 4-7 (20-35 knots) is perfect for advanced windsurfing.

The water state you'll go for depends on what you're into. Freestylers like it mirror flat, waveheads like, well, waves (ideally cleaned to perfection by a clean cross-offshore wind), and freeriders like a bit of everything. The choice is yours. Just make sure you check the wind stats for the destination you have in mind, and the month you're thinking of visiting.

Gregg Dunnett is the co-founder of oceansource.net and former journalist for Boards magazine.

Remember to book your airport parking, airport hotel and airport lounge with HolidayExtras.com.

Top tip
You may want to consider a Meet and Greet parking service. It's a big help when you have a lot of windsurfing luggage.

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