The Bahamas 1 1200x800 - The Bahamas

The Bahamas

The Bahamas

The Bahamas consist of three huge geological banks just beneath the water. In the Atlantic Ocean, these banks create a shallow paradise with the most emerald colored water you could ever imagine.

THEKITEMAG ISSUE #48
WORDS: Jurre Witte
PHOTOS: Jurre Witte

The banks have clustered tops that just stick out of the water, creating livable land for us humans, some of them large enough to be called islands. While the majority of tourists to the northern Bahamas seem to look for casinos, waterparks or all-in resorts, the daring and bold kiter will be truly happy if they seek out untouched spots with no one around, in an environment where you can sense a kiting Jack Sparrow. This old safe haven for pirates provides the most beautiful scenery and the best climate ever – that plus a post-kite cocktail and dinner of lobster that you’ve caught yourself is all accessible thanks to the two international airports that offer a gateway to the rest of the islands – Miami is only an hour away and New York three. Kiting in the Bahamas is not as impossible as many think, it does ask a bit more than just heading to your local spot, but if you are willing to adventure and rent a speedboat the Bahamas will deliver.

The Bahamas 8 - The Bahamas

“I really don’t know where to start; there are so many islands to visit,” I hear myself saying when we decide to sail to the Bahamas, which is made up of hundreds of islands, enough to keep an explorer busy for years. Quickly we decide to focus on one part of the archipelago: the Exumas. This stretch of rocks and sand has the Atlantic Ocean on the east side and the Exuma bank, a large shallow patch on the west. This side is home to the famous Pig Beach – say what?! – where you’ll find the cutest little pigs swimming and chilling on the beach. You’ll also find the plane wreck of Pablo Escobar, underwater caves, turtles and starfish. While visiting these locations is definitely a must, we couldn’t wait to leave and explore the many untouched patches of land that you can call your private island for the day, all of which provide you with crystal-clear kite spots that might never have been kited before.

George Town is the most southern town in the Exumas and one of the two gateways to explore. The other one is Nassau, on the New Providence Island, a dinghy-ride away from the first patches of dreamland that make up the Exumas. Where Nassau is a large playground filled with tourists, spending crazy amounts of money, George Town is a sleepy little town with the friendliest people ever. Just across from George Town, you’ll find Stocking Island where you can cuddle some rays before you head – by foot or water taxi – to kite the Atlantic-facing beach. With southeasterly winds you can enjoy a flat-water session between Stocking Island and George Town as well. Drift launch your kite from Chat ‘N’ Chill and arrange a pick up, or rent a boat, anchor just behind the sailboats, and launch and land from your boat.

The Bahamas 7 - The Bahamas

To get the best out of your stay you need to explore the many islands and cays of Exumas from the water. If kiting from a boat is something you don’t yet feel comfortable with, you will find many beaches where you can launch your kite. With an average wind of 14 knots, foiling is possible most days. March is the windiest month, when we used our twintips regularly thanks to about 60% of days with over 16 knots; April and May are pretty good too. Don’t expect many Big Air days, but you will have a chance of scoring one of your best wave or flat-water freestyling sessions. When the wind is dead calm, the Bahamas offer those crazy beautiful pictures as well, and why not take a chance in one of the casinos to win the money towards a complete new set of kite gear…?

Getting There

The two main airports are at George Town or Nassau. Nassau offers the most flight options with direct flights to the US and UK. From there, transfer by boat, or fly to the smaller islands with a (water)plane if your budget allows.

Staying There

Where Nassau is much bigger and has more to offer, the charismatic town of George Town can be really fulfilling. You will also find resorts on the Exumas that can be your dream stay.

Rubber

The two main airports are at George Town or Nassau. Nassau offers the most flight options with direct flights to the US and UK. From there, transfer by boat, or fly to the smaller islands with a (water)plane if your budget allows.

In the Bag

Take a 10 and a 12m (or even bigger) for an 85 kg rider. Don’t forget your foil gear if that is one of your disciplines.

Beer

Around 5 USD per beer.

Most Likely to Hear

Which way to them pigs?!

Least Likely to Hear

That was my highest jump ever.

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