Cayman Islands | The Caribbean

Choice Rating

  • 3
  • 4
  • 4
  • 5
Cayman Islands kitesurfing

When to go

Peak season: November – July

Avg. Air temp: 28°C / 82°F

Avg. Water temp: 25°C / 77°F

Useful contacts

Kitesurf Cayman - Cayman Islands

KITESURF CAYMAN
www.kitesurfcayman.com
info@kitesurfcayman.com
+1 345 916 5483

 

Planet Kitesurf Holidays

PLANET KITESURF

www.planetkitesurfholidays.com

info@planettravelholidays.com

+44 (0)1273 921 001

GOOD FOR: Family fun, diving, good food and easy kitesurfing conditions

 

The Lure

The three islands that make up the Cayman Islands; Cayman Brac, Grand Cayman and Little Cayman are just a short flight from Miami and even closer to Cuba. The kiteboarding happens on Grand and Little Cayman in picture perfect, warm, blue, tropical Caribbean waters with reliable trade winds making this an ideal spot for comfortable cruising and easy progression.

There are two seasons. In summer you’ll get light southeasterly trade winds and in winter the wind blows from the northeast. Winter’s the key kite season with the strongest trades and Cayman’s hairdryer winds make the waist-deep lagoons a perfect place to learn and really progress!

 

PHOTOS: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

 

Brandon Bowe - Cayman Islands

Brandon Bowe / PHOTO: Ryan Taylor Visual

 

VIDEO - Kiteboarding Sweet Spot, Cayman Islands

Video credit: AJ Cayman

 

Amy Strzalko - My Happy Place, My Paradise

The setup

There are a range spots on Grand Cayman that the local kite schools will take you to, but the main kiting location is Barkers Beach in West Bay on the edge of Barkers National Park. There you’ll find sandy beaches, little to no crowds and some of the most incredible turquoise waters that you’ve ever seen with plenty of space in a large protected lagoon, surrounded by the biggest barrier reef in the Caribbean.

You’ll not be out of your depth at all when kiting there but watch out for some sharp rocks and coral as you approach the beach (booties are quite a good idea - particularly if you’re learning).

This isn't a full-on wave sport, but you can find some fun ramps on a windy day and the swell can get quite big if the wind gets strong with some wave riding to be had on the outside. This coastline is ripe for downwinder exploration too and a trip from the east side of the island round to the west side, where Barkers Beach is situated, is worth experiencing. There’s also a competition that happens there every January called The Rock International Open (T.R.I.O) with three disciplines - freestyle, big air and twin-tip racing - which is a relaxed event and one to check out if you’re planning to be on the island at that time.

 

Brandon Bowe / PHOTO: Ryan Taylor Visual / Brandon Bowe buzzing the beach at Barkers / PHOTO: Brandon

 

The kiting on Little Cayman happens at a spot called South Hole Sound where you’ll find similarly safe and enjoyable conditions. There’s a reef surrounding the bay that keeps the water nice and flat close to shore. Like Barkers Beach on Grand Cayman, it’s mainly standing depth but South Hole Sound is southeast facing, so well set up for the summer southeasterly trades, while the winter northeasterly winds blow cross-shore from the right. There’s a sandy beach with plenty of launching space, but watch out for shallow sections of reef towards the edge of the bay if you want to explore beyond the buttery flats, and the jetty that juts out from the middle of the beach.

 

T.R.I.O 2016 - The Rock International Open

 

Little Cayman Kite Surfing

Wind, weather & water

Conditions here are cruisy! Nine to 12 metre kites are usually the order of the day during the winter season unless a front blows through and the spots on Grand Cayman and Little Cayman are ideal if you’re a total beginner, or if you want to push your unhooked tricks without battling gusty, punchy winds. Winds are lighter in summer but it blows at around 10 knots on at least 90% of days, so if you’re into foiling you can still be out pretty regularly. Hovering over crystal clear Caribbean waters is an absolute joy on a foil, though if you’re heading out at Barkers Beach or South Hole Sound on a foil with a full length mast then just be aware of the shallow coral depth in some areas (of course, being so clear, you can see them!).

 

Amy Strzalko - Cayman Islands

Local rider and T.R.I.O organsier Amy Strzalko / PHOTO: Ryan Taylor Visual

 

Cayman Islands kitesurfing

Cruising the turquoise waters / PHOTO: Kitesurf Cayman



This is the Caribbean of course, so the average year-round temperature is 28°C / 82°F so warm clothing isn’t necessary and the sea temperatures don’t vary much beyond 25°C / 77°F. A rashvest and boardies / bikini will be plenty of protection, and all you'll require for water clothing. Like everywhere in the Caribbean, the temperature doesn’t cool off that much at night either.

Accommodation

There’s an array of accommodation in the Cayman Islands, most of which is pretty luxurious. Choose from three, four and five star hotels, such as the Ritz Carlton, with most of them situated along Seven Mile Beach, which is about ten minutes from the kite schools at Barkers Beach (the schools will usually arrange shuttles to and from your hotel).

You can also book beachfront villas or stay in dive lodges. Being such small islands, you’ll never be far from the beach. If you’re looking for something with real character that’s easier on the pocket than the Ritz, Jeff’s Resorts offer three separate two-bedroom homes just one-and-a-half blocks from Seven Mile Beach. All of them are well appointed and fully equipped with air con, kitchens, flatscreen TVs and free WiFi with private porches and BBQ areas, too.

 

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Resort, Cayman Islands / PHOTOS: Ritz-Carlton

 

JEFF'S RESORTS offer three separate two-bedroom homes just 1 ½ blocks off world famous Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island. The lush 1/3 acre site features tropical fruit trees, a gazebo and hammocks. Each home has ceramic tile floors, air conditioning, ceiling fans, DVD player, microwave, flat screen TV, free WiFI, phone and fully equipped kitchen. Homes have private porch and/or deck with BBQ and gas grill. These homes are completely equipped; you only need to bring your toothbrush & beachwear!

www.jeffsresorts.comjkingstad@jeffsresorts.com / +1 715-686-2232

 

Accommodation setup and location at Jeff's Resorts / Photos: Jeff's Resorts

 

TRAVEL AGENTS

Planet Kitesurf Holidays specialise in luxury tailor‐made kitesurf holidays worldwide. Through its team of highly experienced kitesurf travel professionals, the company offers expert impartial advice, backed up by full ATOL and TTA financial protection. Planet Kitesurf belongs to the Planet Travel group, a market leader in active holidays since 2000.

www.planetkitesurfholidays.com / info@planettravelholidays.com / +44 (0)1273 921 001

Shops & Schools

KITESURF CAYMAN is based on Barkers Beach in West Bay and has been running for nine seasons with a team of fully qualified IKO instructors. Teaching on a 1:1 basis with Ozone, Slingshot and Nobile equipment, there’s also always a safety boat on hand. Head instructor Jhon Mora is a hydrofoil racer offering dedicated foil coaching sessions as well as beginner packages, advanced coaching and equipment hire. Kite repairs, SUP and yoga retreats also offered.

www.kitesurfcayman.com / info@kitesurfcayman.com / +1 345 916 5483

 

One on one lessons with Kitesurf Cayman / PHOTOS: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

 

TRAVEL AGENTS

Planet Kitesurf Holidays specialise in luxury tailor‐made kitesurf holidays worldwide. Through its team of highly experienced kitesurf travel professionals, the company offers expert impartial advice, backed up by full ATOL and TTA financial protection. Planet Kitesurf belongs to the Planet Travel group, a market leader in active holidays since 2000.

www.planetkitesurfholidays.com / info@planettravelholidays.com / +44 (0)1273 921 001

No wind

If it’s not windy then there’s plenty of stuff to do! Go SUPing, surfing or kayaking or take a boat trip out to Stingray City which is a sandbar where you can swim with wild stingrays. There are reefs all the way around the island that you can snorkel out to, all of which are abundant with marine life.

 

PHOTOS: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

The Cayman Islands are one of the top diving destinations in the world with 365 dive sites to suit divers of all experience levels with numerous dive schools and guiding operations to choose from.

 

Abundant marine life! / PHOTO: Ryan Taylor Visual / Tranquil Surf / PHOTO: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism


The islands are very family friendly and you can even take children diving, providing they’re over eight-years-old. If you want to experience the deep blue without getting wet then you can take a trip in the popular Atlantic Submarine.

 

Kayak tours and the Atlantic submarine / PHOTOS: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism



If dry land activities are more your thing then you can rent bikes, go horse riding or just stroll along Seven Mile Beach, relax and take in the scenery. Finally, the shops and restaurants of Camana Bay are just a ten minute drive from George Town.

 

Horse riding on Barker's Beach / PHOTO: Patrick Gorham / Camana Bay bike rides / PHOTO: Camana Bay

 

Welcoming waters / PHOTO: Lawson Wood / Too much fun both above and below / PHOTO: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

Get around

Getting about isn’t too difficult and car hire is readily available if you want to explore the islands on your own. Taxis are quite expensive but easy to book and plentiful. The local bus services are a good cheaper option, running regular services around the islands. There’s no timetable as such but they’re easy to flag down and that’s how many of the locals get around.

 

Currency

Cayman Islands Dollar - KYD, however US Dollar is widely accepted. If paying in US dollars, a change is likely to be given in Cayman Islands dollars.

 

Food & Drink

There are over 200 restaurants on Grand Cayman alone. Choose from gourmet and silver service dining experiences to huts at the side of the road dishing up the catch of the day. The local cuisine is distinctly Caribbean, so you can expect awesome jerked seasoning on chicken and fish, rice and peas and lots of fresh seafood as well. If you get a chance, try out conch, a shellfish popular in the region (a conch-ceviche is particularly delicious) and if you’re self-catering then head to the supermarkets in George Town on Grand Cayman – the capital of the Cayman Islands.

 

 

Airport

Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) on Grand Cayman is about a 20 minute drive from Barkers Beach. Edward Bodden Airfield (LYB) is the Little Cayman airport, but you can only fly into Little Cayman from Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac as it’s not an international airport.

 

TRAVEL AGENTS

Planet Kitesurf Holidays specialise in luxury tailor‐made kitesurf holidays worldwide. Through its team of highly experienced kitesurf travel professionals, the company offers expert impartial advice, backed up by full ATOL and TTA financial protection. Planet Kitesurf belongs to the Planet Travel group, a market leader in active holidays since 2000.

www.planetkitesurfholidays.com / info@planettravelholidays.com / +44 (0)1273 921 001

Back to search

Featured

Don't miss an issue, subscribe to Kiteworld Magazine today Subscribe

Related Articles