Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5 1200x800 - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Jurre Witte and Suzanne Legtenberg are currently sailing round the world, hitting up beautiful kite spots as they go. Jurre took some time out to tell us about one. Luckily for the rest of us a sailing boat isn’t essential to get there – you can fly in instead, although the runways are a lot smaller than you might be used to…

THEKITEMAG ISSUE #45

The sun was rising as we sailed towards a beautiful group of islands in the south west of the Caribbean Sea, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. We were heading for Union Island, the most southern island of the archipelago. From here, we planned to sail northwards via the various islands that this country entails. Two hours later, we dropped anchor at the port of Union Island while a small airplane flew over our heads towards the smallest landing strip we’ve ever seen. When we got in our dinghy to clear customs, we saw kites being launched at the kite school owned by the godfather of the Jesus Walk, Jeremie Tronet…

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is one of those places you do not believe exists, or if you do, you think is only for the lucky few. Many product launch videos are made here. Have you seen Nick Jacobson leaping off an 84-meter high mountain and landing in the most butter-flat blue water? Yup, that was here… Jeremie Tronet casually jumping off a palm tree? Here too… There’s a multitude of secluded spots on many of the small islands and you might find yourself the only one at a flat-water spot with stable wind. If you really want to enjoy this stunning archipelago, I’d advise booking onto a catamaran. On these stable and comfortable boats, you sail from Martinique to your first kite spot in just one night. You can explore remote spots and launch from the back of the boat, and when the wind is too light for kiting, you can try foiling behind the dinghy. 

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6 - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

“Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is one of those places you do not believe exists, or if you do, you think is only for the lucky few.”

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7 - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

If you stay on Union Island, there are two kite schools, JT Pro Center or Happy Kite, and they can organize trips to different spots. For example, 20 minutes away by boat, you’ll find the tiniest tropical island, Mopion. Only about 50 square meters, it is home to a single umbrella – an Instagram-worthy must-visit kite spot. North-east of Union Island, the emerald ocean is punctured with small green islands, surrounded by reef that provides a buffer from the waves. I’m talking about the beautiful Tobago Cays. This is normally very crowded with a lot of boats anchored up and kiting here is not really allowed. However, due to Covid and it being the low season (hurricane season), we had a couple of days where we were the only ones around. We took our chance and had a crazy unique experience. Whether you can kite here or not, it is definitely worth a visit – climb up the hills to look down, or snorkel and explore the reef on the east side, one of the most beautiful reefs we have ever seen. You can spot turtles, stingrays and lobsters for sure. And if you are (un)lucky, you will also meet a reef or nurse shark just chilling around. Don’t worry, they are not aggressive! A little north of the Tobago Cays, you find Mayreau, two islands connected by a stunning beach. You are not allowed to kite on the leeside with its inviting flat water, but the windward side is not too rough, and a day with some nice kickers will spice up your kite trip.

In between your sessions or on a lazy morning, take a walk through Union Island or Mayreau and breathe in the Caribbean vibe. People are super friendly and really laid-back. Don’t expect crazy parties or clubs – these are small, sleepy towns, although the full moon party at the JT Pro Center once a month is an exception… Visiting the other non-kiteable islands of the Grenadines is definitely worth it. Daily ferries will take you there. The biggest island, Saint Vincent, is lush and green, and waterfalls can be found round every corner. Bequia, the second largest island, is the postcard blueprint of a Caribbean island.

Back to kitespots… Next to the Tobago Cays, you will find the island where Captain Jack Sparrow was stranded, without a kite but with rum. This pirate island, Petit Tabac, is only a small piece of land, but with perfect conditions. From here, you can kite downwind to Union Island again. On Union Island itself, our favorite spot is Frigate Rock – ask your organizer or captain to take you there – flat water, a tiny beach with some furniture to chill on, lots of space on the water… the best spot ever!

Getting There

If you’re not lucky enough to own a private plane, your first step is to get to Martinique, St Lucia or Barbados, accessible by pretty affordable flights. From here, you take a small plane to Union Island or, if you have more time and less budget, fly to Saint Vincent and take a cheaper ferry to Mayreau or Union Island. The catamarans, less expensive than I thought, start from Martinique.

Staying There

On the two islands where kiting is possible, Union and Mayreau, there are several accommodation options. Petit Tabac and Tobago Cays are uninhabited. Only boats that anchor are allowed to stay the night here, so make friends or choose the catamaran option. 

Rubber

If you’re not lucky enough to own a private plane, your first step is to get to Martinique, St Lucia or Barbados, accessible by pretty affordable flights. From here, you take a small plane to Union Island or, if you have more time and less budget, fly to Saint Vincent and take a cheaper ferry to Mayreau or Union Island. The catamarans, less expensive than I thought, start from Martinique.

In the Bag

Take a 9 and 12m for an 85kg rider.

Beer

Around three USD for a beer. Beware the local rum…

Most Likely to Hear

How’s your Jesus Walk coming along?

Least Likely to Hear

I wish I’d brought my coat.

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