Kitesurfing Spain Overview
Spain has been at the hub of the kitesurfing scene since the sport first arrived on European shores in the late 1990s. For European riders, kitesurfing Spain (and in particularly the southern coast) makes complete sense. With classic southern European climate, dependable wind stats and plenty going on in the culinary and ‘party’ departments, the question is less ‘where in Spain’ than ‘when in Spain’?
Where to kitesurf in Spain?
Tarifa is of course the European Mecca for kitesurfing, but there are a host of other spots as well. You can find deserted kitesurfing beaches all the way along the Mediterranean coastline – from France through to Portugal – where there is plenty for flat water enthusiasts and foilers to get their fix. There are kitesurfing lagoons tucked away, and sandbars to guarantee those perfect butter-flat sessions. Plus the tidal range is tiny so you can generally session all day.
There are then hubs for kitesurfing around the main cities, so kitesurfing Barcelona is a good option, but you can also find plenty of other people to ride with around Valencia and Malaga before you arrive at Gibraltar and then reach the Atlantic facing coast and then on to Tarifa…
Kitesurfing Spain in the north offers come fantastic options. There are strong kitesurfing scenes around the favourite northern cities of Bilbao, Santander and San Sebastian where you can find plenty of river mouths and thermally strengthened wind options for classic flat water sessions. Or if kitesurfing waves is more your thing, then it doesn’t get much better than north Spain… World renowned for the quality of its surf, there are also plenty of wind options and – with so many different facing beaches – there is always somewhere with perfect crossshore conditions. Generally the further west you get the more deserted and the more extreme conditions become, and in Galicia you could find yourself riding head high perfect waves with no one else out…
If you had to pick one kitesurfing spot…
It would have to be Tarifa. Yes, it can get insanely busy in the summer, yes the Levante can be strong enough to blow your boardshorts off and, yes, if you’re kitesurfing Spain there are quieter beaches and mellower options, but if you want to spend your time amongst thousands of like-minded people who just want to kite all day and then eat and party all night, then there really is nowhere else quite like it… It’s nirvana.
Spain kitesurfing conditions + what to take
For the southern Mediterranean coast of Spain, the water temperature rarely dips below 18 degrees so you can expect to be riding in boardies or a bikini for most of the year – you might want to pack a rash vest to keep the sun off. For kites you’ll need your normal quiver (9 + 12) and maybe a larger kite for marginal days (maybe a 15m). There are plenty of great twin tip spots and this is perfect foiling country so put that in for sure.
For Tarifa the water temperature dips a little as you are on the Atlantic coast, so you’ll probably need a shorty or a 3mm rashie for the summer and then a 3/2 full suit for the winter. For equipment you’ll need your standard quiver and then a smaller kite for those Levante days – there’s no harm in slotting in a 5m. There are also plenty of wave options as you head west from Tarifa so if you want to mix it up then put your surfboard in as well.
Heading to the north and the summertime water temps are respectable – no wetsuit required for July and August. Then for spring and autumn a 3/2 should be fine then for the depths of winter you may need to dig out that 5/3. Kite wise and you can expect some more frontal weather as well as the summer thermals so if you can slot it all in.