Updated 25 July 2023
Tucked into a northeastern corner of the Caribbean island chain, Antigua is beautiful, historic, scenic and remarkably well positioned for surfing, and particularly kitesurfing. The best conditions hit twice each year – from November through February and then again from June to July. It is during both of these periods that enthusiastic wind and kitesurfing pros will head to Antigua, and it is also a great time to book a holiday. You can watch the experts and book lessons from many of them. There are busy little beach shacks offering rentals, but clients of Isle Blue can make arrangements to have their gear delivered and be ready to go upon arrival!
Lessons are a must if you have yet to surf or kite surf in this area, and one of the top places to begin to master these water sports is Jabberwock Bay (Beach). At a quarter of a mile long, it has “side on” wind conditions that ensure the safest conditions, but which also provides a bit of “bump and jump” too. Spacious, it is great for advanced surfers who want to get moving, but it is also roomy enough for those learning about launching, landing and even rigging their kites. We highly recommend beginners take the time to learn here.
In fact, the entire North Shore area of the island is an ideal place to arrange a visit. This is a region that stretches between St. John’s and the airport, and where you can find the some of the finest golfing, luxury villas, and idyllic locations like Great Bird Island and Jumby Bay nearby.
Sailing in Antigua
It cannot be overlooked that sailing is a huge part of the Antigua culture, especially around Falmouth and English Harbours. There is an annual Antigua Sailing Week that begins each April, and is a great time to be on the island. This is when you can experience great wind for kitesurfing, as well as enjoying the events that run concurrent with the sailing week.
Clearly, a place with such good wind and flat water is more suited to kitesurfing, but you will always find avid surfers still plying the waters around Antigua. Two of the hottest spots for surfing are found along the southeastern shore. They are Half Moon Bay Beach and Exchange Bay. Not only are they scenic, split in two by Smith Island, but they provide a good break along with some safe and protected shallows.
However, you will have to put a bit of effort to get here. As one expert said, it is “one of the most breathtaking beaches of Antigua… far away from just about everything. The trek has its advantages, though, namely fewer beachgoers to distract from the charm of this national park. Windsurfers [and surfers] will appreciate the sizeable waves toward the beach’s centre, while snorkelers can find calm waters near the edges.”
The white sands make it a great spot for anyone who just wants the idyllic and iconic Caribbean beach, good waves, surrounding scenery and an out of the way locale.
Exchange Bay Beach is more secluded and private, but has plenty of services for those interested in water sports. It is surprisingly quiet at most times, and is just past the road heading east out of Freetown. With less wind than neighbouring Half Moon Bay, it is a good spot for companions of surfers and windsurfers to while away the day.
Quieter, calmer and a bit more prestigious than some of its neighbours, Antigua still has plenty of water sports and is the perfect destination for fans of kitesurfing, surfing, and sailing. If you have questions about water sports in Antigua, give your concierge a call to discuss your options.