The Basics to Kiteboarding in the Philippines
Kiteboarding in the Philippines can be one of the most exhilarating and undiscovered kitesurf spots known to man. The Philippines consist of 7,107 islands at high tide. During the NE-Monsoon, locally called ’Amihan’, there are a multitude of spots around the country that are spoiled by reliable, consistent wind.
The season starts end of October and can go until end of April, depending on the year and the specific spot. Due to the geographical conditions of the country, there is a lot of local knowledge required to find a good Philippines Kiteboarding spot –if you are looking at finding one for yourself.
Generally, one can say that the North coast of the country, and the Visayan Islands and Bicol peninsula in the central region are the areas which get the best air during Amihan season. The other season of the year is the SW-Monsoon, called Habagat, which blows from May till October. Even though the Habagat is also suitable for Kiteboarding, it is by far not as consistent and reliable as the Amihan. While some areas work for both directions, most are only usable in one of both. This article will talk about areas good for Philippines Kiteboarding during Amihan season.
Kiteboarding Philippines: The North Coast of Luzon
The biggest island of the Philippines, Luzon, is divided by a central Cordillera, which acts as a meteorological divide. It ends in the Pagudpud peninsula, far north. The northern coastline East of Pagudpud has lots of long beaches and gets good wind during the season, but is often rainy. Regardless, there are many rideable wave and flat water spots. Accommodation is available; infrastructure for Kiteboarders is missing.
The northern coastline west of Pagudpud gets even more wind; 40+ knots at some spots are not rare. Since it is west of the meteorological divide, it almost doesn’t rain, and Laoag is considered the Sunshine Capital of the Philippines. The downside in this area is the lack of beaches. If there are any, they are mostly located in such a way that the wind blows offshore.
There are two spots that are recommendable—however, just for advanced to professional riders. These are both located on Pagudpud peninsula: Blue Lagoon, and the northernmost beach of the Kitesurfing Philippines, the beach in front of King Fisher Resort.
People not in need of beaches to launch from or willing to ride in offshore conditions and keen to explore on their own will be rewarded with excellent wave conditions, but be warned: this is not for the faint of heart!
Kiteboarding Philippines; Around Camariens Norte
Bagasbas Beach, Daet in the Bicol region is a spot with an existing infrastructure: Mikes Kites is located there. This location lacks nightlife and can be rainy at times, but has an incredible array of spots to ride at: glass-flat lagoons, several wave spots, and nearby islands which one can kite to. So, even staying three months at a time can give you something new to explore every day.
Kiteboarding on Lake Caliraya
Lake Caliraya is a man-made lake on mainland Luzon that can be used for Kiteboarding. It is mainly frequented by riders living in Manila and not so much of a tourist destination for foreign tourists.
Kitesurfing Boracay Island
The best-known and most-frequented spot for kitesurfing in the Philippines (one of the 2 big ones in SE-Asia) is Boracay Island in the Visayas region. Little rain, excellent infrastructure, a multitude of kite centers, bars, hotels, restaurants, dive centers…the list goes on. Boracay also gets good wind.
The only downside is that it can get crowded, especially between Christmas and New Year, and also on Chinese New Year. The spot itself is nice, but no real flat water or wave spots are available. At low tide, it is difficult to ride. There are tours available to other islands in the Sulu Sea, such as Seco Island.
Kiteboarding Philippines: Around Cuyo Island
Cuyo Island in the Sulu Sea gets very good wind. Other pros are tranquility, lack of crowds and the option to see the real-deal Kiteboarding Philippines, as opposed to tourist spots like Boracay. Downside is the difficult access; one has to use a ferry to get there, as flights have been discontinued. There is some infrastructure for kiteboarders and lessons are available, you may inquire at Quijano Windsurfing Retreat.
Kiteboarding Phillipines: Around the Calamaianes Islands
The windy area of the Sulu Sea ends on the eastern side with the Calmianes Islands, which are part of Palawan and located just North of the main island of Palawan. The area is widely known as ‘Coron’. It is a dive Mekka, with more than 10 diveable wrecks and countless reefs.
The island of Coron itself and several surrounding islands are nearly untouched, since it is one of the few places in the Philippines where the native people, (the Tagbanua-Tribe in this case), have been granted rights over their land. In the South of Coron lie several islands which get good wind, with pristine white beaches and some flat water areas that are excellent kiteboarding Philippines spots. These locations require a boat to get to and around. Some basic accommodation is available out there, but no restaurants or nightlife. Guided tours are available, and if you are ready to rough it a little and venture off the beaten path, it will be an adventure you won’t regret.
Kiteboarding Philippines : Summary
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but simply a review of the prime spots known so far. For those willing to travel and explore further regions, there is a good chance of finding virgin, undiscovered spots for kiteboarding in the Philippines.