Kitesurfing, kite surfing, kiteboarding or flysurfing (if you speak French), is a new exciting water sport for the new millennium. Kitesurfing is a very, very young sport. In 1998, there were probably only a couple dozen kitesurfers in the world. The population of kitesurfers has been growing rapidly to around 150,000 to 200,000 kitesurfers world wide by the end of 2006. The idea behind kitesurfing is very simple. A kitesurfer stands on a board with foot straps or bindings and use the power of a large controllable kite to propel him and the board across the water. This simplicity also makes kitesurfing challenging. Your body is the only connection between the kite and the board and you have to control them both at the same time: piloting the kite on the sky and steering the board on the water.
In Morocco there are always consistent waves (in season). The beaches are uncrowded and there are some classic point breaks. In Morocco, it's almost impossible to find yourself struggling to catch a wave in a crowded line up. If you do, you are doing something wrong; there are empty spots around every corner with perfect waves - all to yourself. And during the winter, they're firing!
Essaouira is well-known as one of the world's most reliable spots for winds. Many kitesurf pros come to Essaouira to train. The bay of Essaouira is ideal for kitesurfing; there is no current or reef and the sandy beach stretches for 5 kilometres. A special feature of Essaouira is the fact that this spot offers both flat water and waves. There are no separate kitesurfing and windsurfing zones, as there is plenty of room on the water. In summer, beginners' courses are held from 9 am to 1 pm, when the wind is not so strong. Advanced kitesurfers can ride at spots further to the south such as Moulay Bouzarktoune and Sidi Kaouki.
The beach itself is a huge 5 km arc that delivers multiple conditions, from flat water to waves. The kite zones are at the downwind end of the bay and a wave master’s delight. Small shore break with side cross on from the right, 2 ft about 30 yards out and then into anything from head to mast high. Essaouira is the windy city with stats ranging from 25-35 knots pretty much every day in the summer months and 20-30 knots in the winter with pumping waves. The wind pattern tends to be similar to that of the Canary Islands. The summer trade winds are accelerated by strong thermal action, particularly during the spring and early summer when temperatures inland can be very hot. Generally the wind increases throughout the morning and by mid afternoon can often be blowing a solid force 6-7. Between the months of October to April, Atlantic storms produce large swells which offer excellent wave conditions all the way up and down the coast from Oualidia to Agadir. The winds, however, are a little less consistent and predictable in direction, although it should usually be possible to kitesurf on most days during the winter at or within a 25km radius of Essaouira. There are heavy tradewinds, especially in summer. Temperatures range between 18°C in January to 25°C in August. Wave conditions are especially good on the southern side of the bay in spring and autumn (1-2 m) and from mid-June to August (0.5-1 m). The further upwind you travel in the bay, the flatter the water.
With a stronger sideshore wind than Essaouira, where the Atlantic and North East trades meet, Moulay offers one of the best wave spots just outside Europe. In the winter with 2-5 meters waves and lack of safety cover, this is a spot for confident kitesurfers only.
To the south of Essaouira this is a 5 km long beach again with a cross shore wind and good waves in the winter. Conditions here can vary and with different entry points you will find the right waves for beginner and more advanced kitesurfers.
Oualidia sits above a peaceful lagoon, kept topped up with ocean water by two breaches in a natural breakwater. The lagoon and beach provide an ideal sheltered location for sailing, kitesurfing, surfing, windsurfing and fishing. The beach is the most calm one of the Atlantic coast, as it is sheltered by a natural barrier. From late June to September, Oualidia is very busy. The beach gets very crowded and the water is none too clean. However, off-season, you have the beautiful surroundings and beach almost to yourself.
Far from the city, the Dakhla lagoon is wild and authentic, rocked by the strong southerly winds. On the exact frontier between the ocean and the desert, Dakhla is a paradise lost, reserved for the privileged few who know of its existence. At Dakhla, visitors are guaranteed strong emotions: surfing or casting in the ocean waves, windsurfing or kitesurf in the clear waters of the lagoon.
The place is not very well known. But for the ones in the know, the name of Dakhla now automatically conjures up surfing in the Sahara. This brand new destination is between the ocean and the desert, more than 1,200 km south of Agadir: 21°C in the middle of January, 27°C in August, and water never below 19°C in the middle of the winter. A perfect spot for kitesurfing.
Ideally located on the tip of a 40 km long sandy peninsula, Dakhla is protected by a tongue of sand on the sea part and sand dunes on the desert side. All the magic of the place is there, in the meeting of the turquoise water of a dream lagoon where surfers slide between dolphins and pink flamingos and the bare hills that announce the desert. It is a beauty that will take the breath away of the most blasé travellers.
In this paradise revisited, a water sports centre is located at the Pointe du Dragon, in the centre of the lagoon, facing the island of the same name. Created and run by enthusiasts, this centre offers pure authenticity with accommodation in traditional desert tents. Here comfort and simplicity go hand in hand.
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Date last edited:
12 November 2012