Sandwiched between land masses, Boracay does not produce the kind of waves that would be suitable for surfing. It is the perfect destination for a unique kind of surfing though — kitesurfing! Just like surfing, this sport screams freedom and fun as you skim the waves. Boracay’s near-perfect conditions for the sport makes it a favorite destination for both pros and beginners. Are you into surfing or would like to learn the sport? Kitesurfing is something every surfer ought to experience. You’ll understand when you finally experience the exhilarating wind against your face as you ride the waters of Boracay. Here’s how you can make it happen.
Why Boracay is the ideal destination
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Boracay boasts warm turquoise waters, reliable winds and year-round temperate weather, making it an idyllic destination for kitesurfing. As a matter of fact, schools for the sport have proliferated in the island. You will have quite a lot to choose from. Beyond just kitesurfing, there are hordes of activities in Boracay to keep you entertained. The place itself is something you should experience. This island paradise is famous for so many reasons.
The best time to go
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Although the weather in Boracay is fairly pleasant all year round, there is a distinct season for kiteboarding and for visiting the island in general. The best time to visit the island is from November until April. This is when the weather is most predictable and the wind most consistent. You do have to note that visiting Boracay around the holidays, such as Christmas, New Year and Easter, is bound to have you dealing with a larger crowd and higher prices.
How to get to Boracay
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You can catch flights to Boracay from two of the major cities in the Philippines: Manila and Cebu. From these cities, you can catch flights bound for Caticlan or Kalibo. More flights are being scheduled in Caticlan by budget airlines compared to Kalibo, making the latter a better route, especially as it only a 15-minute boat ride from the island. The transfer from Kalibo to Boracay can take as long as three hours because of heavy traffic. If you would like to save on both money and time, Kalibo is your best option.
Where you should stay
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Boracay is no longer the untouched beach that it was 30 years ago. Visiting the island will have you encountering hordes of tourists and lively parties that never seem to stop. Fortunately, Boracay is an island that offers practically anything you want if you know where to look. There are still a lot of places you can go to if you want a quiet island getaway. While Bulabog Beach is the main area for kitesurfing, you can still go someplace nearby for tranquil accommodations. Situated in one of the highest peaks in Boracay, the Alta Vista de Boracay is one such place. Located in an area that is more secluded and a lot less bustling, this accommodation option will give you the exclusive escape you yearn for. A relaxing place to stay is definitely what you need after a long day of exhilarating adventure at the kitesurfing school.
How to pick the right kitesurfing school for you
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There are more than ten kitesurfing schools located along the beach. You may want to choose your school beforehand and arrange your classes before traveling to Boracay, but this is not always the best option. Sorting out arrangements with the school once you have arrived on the island has its benefits. For one, you can avoid having classes under a less than stellar weather. Plus you get to negotiate a lesson plan that is more tailored to your actual abilities. Most travelers you encounter will tell you that they had no problem arranging their classes this way. Just make sure that you only deal with instructors who are IKO-certified.
What are the lessons involved?
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You will be surprised to know that you will have to learn to fly a kite first before diving into actual kitesurfing. And you may not learn to fly a kite as quickly as you’d expect. You will get all the instructions and assistance you need though. Your school will have you watch a theory video to get a good understanding of the wind window. You will not be able to engage in kitesurfing without learning the crucial wind window first. After gaining an understanding of the theory, you will be taught to fly a small kite, after which you move on to a 7ft or 9ft kite. It is important that you do this right as huge kites can be lethal. Most new learners master the technique after only two hours.
After getting a good grip of the basic technique, your instructor will have you move into the water to work on your power strokes. You will learn to control the kite amidst the strong wind. This will require excellent timing and technique. After this stage, you will be ready to move on to body dragging, which involves steering the kite and positioning your body so you cut through the water toward your chosen direction. By the second day, you should be up and riding the waves.
Other things you need to be aware of
You must beware of the sea urchins in the water. Your kitesurfing school will provide you with water shoes. Make sure you wear them when in the water. The sun tends to be very strong out on the water so make sure you are also ready with your sunscreen and wetsuit top. Your instructor will keep you abreast of all the other safety procedures as well as what to do should you find yourself in an emergency.
There’s a great chance the water will be busy with other experienced kitesurfers. Worry not though, as your instructor will keep you safe. Plus the other kitersurfers will be skilled enough to avoid you.
Surfing is one of the most exciting watersports. Make it even more exhilarating by trying a different, more thrilling version. Kitesurfing will not let you down. You will have the time of your life!