Kitesurfing in Essaouira

Considering Essaouira has been coined, the ‘Windy City of Africa”, it’s no surprise that this Moroccan town, perched on the Atlantic coast and boasting a long sandy beach, is one of the best places in the world for kite-surfing. Indeed, the wind in Essaouira is remarkably strong, especially in the months of July and August; with sand whipping up in all directions, this isn’t a beach to top up the tan.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Book

As the main beach of Essaouira is an 2km arc, the prevailing north-east winds are in a safer direction for learning (cross-onshore) at the far end of the beach, away from the medina. This is where all the kite-surfing schools teach, and also where the camels tend to reside (watch out for camel poop in the shoreline).

More capable kite-surfers tend to go from Diabat, a small village just 2km further down the coast. There are no kite-surfing schools set up here, but the Essaouria kite-surfing schools can arrange lessons here. 

Kite-surfing isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s involves a fair bit of skill and a reasonable fitness level. Don’t expect to get the hang of it after just one lesson. But for those who take on the challenge, it is incredible: that feeling of the kite gliding you over the tops of waves, being at one with both the power of wave and wind, is one of the most invigorating feelings.

marksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics.

Do I need to be very fit for kite-surfing?

As we’ve already mentioned, kite-surfing isn’t something you can pick up in a day. There is a fair bit of technique involved and you need a reasonable amount of fitness.

Although it should be mentioned that this water-sport is more about correct technique than strength. When you are kite-surfing, you wear a harness around your waist that distributes the power of the kite over your entire body. Experienced kite-surfers can easily cruise for hours on end with only moderate exertion. It’s only when kite-surfers start doing jumps and freestyle tricks when they need the strength.

As a beginner, you will be learning how to control the kite from the sand, and that can initially give your arms quite a workout. 

More importantly, you need to be a confident swimmer for when you take the kite out into the water. 

What’s the minimum age for kite-surfing?

This isn’t really a sport for young kids to try as they will be swept away! But if you are visiting Essaouira with teens and they want to get active, kitesurfing is definitely an Essaouira activity for them to try. Primary aged kids will probably want to try beginner surfing lessons in Essaouira.

When is the kite-surfing season in Essaouira?

Essaouira kitesurfing season generally starts in late March and runs all the way until September. However with almost-year round winds, you can kite-surf most months in Essaouira. 

July is perhaps the most popular month when the average wind speed is 35kmph, with gusts of 55+kmph. But there are also the odd calmer days, especially in September in Essaouira when the winds tend to drop. So if you are planning to visit Essaouira to kite-surf, try and stay at least a few days to allow for the changes weather.

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