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Although still a viable location, Grand Turk doesn’t quite compare to what the Caicos Islands offer. Due to the consistent east southeast trade winds, the beautiful west coast beaches are not a safe option due to offshore wind.
3 star rating for Kiteboarding by Visit Turks and Caicos Islands
Consequently, the not quite as spectacular looking east coast beaches are better suited for the water sport. One bright aspect of these areas is the lack of crowds, which can be stifling near the
Cruise Center. It’s difficult for anything to be considered “remote” on the island of Grand Turk, yet
East Side Beach and
White Sands Beach are the closest approximation, and support comparatively low levels of surrounding development.
Generally, the conditions at the windward islands of Grand Turk, Salt Cay and South Caicos tend to match the
weather forecast a little better than the central Caicos Islands.
Abnormal conditions caused by
storms and squalls may change effect wind directions. In such cases, the beautiful west coast beaches and
surf spots may become the better kite location.
Downwind Kite Safaris
Several beautiful and uninhabited
cays are found to the south of Grand Turk, and these islands can be a great place to explore. There are no organized kite safaris or tours on Grand Turk, yet private
boat charters can easily be arranged. If you do so, keep in mind that your captain will likely have no experience with kiteboarding, so you’ll have to give instructions on what you expect and how you’d like the vessel to follow if you do a downwind kite.
Gibbs Cay and
East Cay offer incredible beaches to launch from, yet the small elevation at Gibbs Cay can cause some gusty conditions. A great route is from East Cay to the western side of
North Bay on Salt Cay, which is an 8 mile (13km) route. During the winter season, it’s likely that you’ll be sharing the ocean with
humpback whales in this area!
Cruise Ship Kiteboarders
For kiters visiting on a cruise ship, a little research and planning is necessary to get the most out of your visit. First and foremost is to check the
wind forecast to see if it’s worth the attempt.
White Sands Beach is within walking distance of the
Grand Turk Cruise Center. If you take the direct route across
Hawkes Nest Salina (interesting sights of the past
sea salt industry along the way), the distance is about 1.2 miles (2km) one way. The distance along the beach (south from the Cruise Center past
Boaby Rock Point) is similar. Be sure to take plenty of drinking water.
At most locations, beach conditions are wide and clean enough to solo launch a kite.
Unfortunately, there isn’t sufficient time during the typical cruise ship stop to visit the spectacular kite spots in the Caicos Islands.
Lessons and Gear
Unfortunately, there’s very little technical support for kiteboarding on Grand Turk, with no organized schools and instructors. The home of kiteboarding in the country, all kite schools and equipment rentals are based on Providenciales, where it’s possible to rent kites, boards, lines, harnesses and anything else you’d need.
If you’re looking to pick up the sport, you should seriously consider staying on Providenciales and learning at the unparalleled kite spot of
Long Bay Beach (part of the incredibly-turquoise Caicos Banks). See
Providenciales Kiteboarding for more information.
If you’re set on learning to kiteboard on Grand Turk, it’s often possible to arrange for one of the instructors from Providenciales to stop over for the day, at added expense of course.