For novice and seasoned kiteboarders alike, the glassy, windswept seas of Turks and Caicos are a proving ground. Each foray from bronze powdery beaches into the glittering azure ocean is a challenge — to nature, and to yourself. Kiteboarding combines the thrill you felt as a kid running across the lawn with your kite ascending behind you, with the exhilaration you’ve felt — or wanted to experience — with surfing. On your kiteboard, you are part jaunty sailboater and part Beach Boys acrobat.
These two elements of the sport — winds billowing in the sail, strong tides churning below — reflect the twin benefits of kiteboarding: At one moment, you may be calmly pondering life and the beauty surrounding you. In the next, you are in an enlivening fight with the elements, as you apply grace, balance and power to keep yourself steady and on course.
Among the many pristine beaches of this Caribbean archipelago, the kiting culture thrives on the island of Providenciales. There, Long Bay Beach is a favorite choice. Unlike Grace Bay or Chalk Sound, the wind direction at Long Bay Beach is constant, and the vectors are ideal.
Among the top Turks and Caicos kiteboarding destinations is UMI Villa, popular not only for its astonishing beauty, but also its perfect synergy with the sport. More than one pampered guest at this luxury resort has commented that the beaches seem to have been created for kiteboarding.
For beginners, UMI Villa’s beachfront features a vast area of shallow water. Moving to the right along the beach, the seabed gradually drops, providing the more robust experience preferred by experienced kiteboarders. The prevailing winds are the perfect generator for an exciting outing, propelling kiteboarders across the waves, soaring into the sky and splashing back into the sparkling sea. This luxury villa in Turks and Caicos is located on a quiet portion of the beach, a short distance from kite schools and beach bars.
Once you are hooked on this uplifting sport, there are many styles of kiteboarding to explore, and to master. Variations include:
Freeride – This is the most popular style, and the typical kiteboarding board is designed for it. Freeride is essentially improvisation on the waves.
Freestyle – This style is similar, but the emphasis is on big jumps into the air. Once airborne, you’ll want to try a few acrobatic tricks before landing back in the water. Special twintip boards are most commonly used by air-jumping kiteboarders.
Waveriding – This style emphasizes the surfing aspect of kiteboarding. A directional board helps maximize your waveriding experience by catching wave breaks and riding them into shore.
Foiling – Kiteboarders attach a hydrofoil and mast to the base of a board to this style. Kiteboarders can ascend with less wind, and at a faster pace. Many customize the wings of the foil depending on whether they prefer speed or stability.
Wakeskating – Wakeskating is a crossover variation of what is already a crossover sport. In this case, kiteboarders use a strapless twintip type board covered with grip, making it somewhat similar to skateboard. In calm water, kiteboarders perform aerials, tricks and jumps, often using ramps.