With more than 200,000 enthusiasts worldwide, including 40,000 in France alone, this sport of French origin has a lot to offer. Since its creation in the 90’s, kitesurfing has seen its number of practitioners increase. Indeed, this discipline promises great sensations, whether it is flying or gliding.
However, kitesurfing, like many sports requiring a sail, is dependent on the weather. The wind has to be there, but not only! If kitesurfing is suitable for summer activities, it is also possible to practice it in winter. In this case, what are the best spots to indulge your passion during the winter holidays?
Kitesurfing in winter: it is possible, but with a few precautions!
Not stopping your favourite sport during the cold season is possible and even has several advantages. Indeed, the famous spots are much less frequented, but above all the wind is generally much more favourable. Nevertheless, to avoid a disaster during your sports outing, certain rules must be respected!
Unless you have a wetsuit, it is preferable not to jump into the water if the temperature is below 5°C. This will prevent you from putting yourself in unnecessary danger. 5°C is really not warm and without the right equipment (balaclava, gloves, double membrane booties and a dry suit), advanced hypothermia is guaranteed.
The weather is obviously to be taken into account before any outing. If rain or worse is forecast, keep your kite warm. In winter, the weather can quickly turn nasty and the wind can triple. There is no point in putting yourself in danger. Another precaution to take is not to venture out, especially alone, at this time of year in a spot with current and in water whose bottom is more than 500 meters. If you get into trouble, the rescue team will have to use a lot of resources to get you out of the water and you will also have time to freeze on the spot.
So where can you kite in winter in France?
When we talk about kitesurfing, we immediately imagine the tropics, turquoise waters and endless sandy beaches. However, you don’t have to go to the other side of the world to indulge your passion! France is full of magnificent spots that can accommodate you even in winter. There are some very good spots in Normandy and Brittany (Quiberon peninsula and Ré island). However, even well equipped, it can quickly become a real challenge because of the icy water and the particularly rough sea at this time.
If you want to keep kitesurfing a pleasant experience, you can choose the Landes. It is a real paradise for riders. The Estagnots beach, located in Seignosse, will be the perfect playground for experienced kitesurfers. Indeed, the winter and spring seasons are known to be difficult. The westerly wind brings big waves and a constant sea. The open sea is therefore difficult to access and it is therefore safer to stay close to the shore.
If you prefer the Occitan region for its gentle way of life, it is impossible not to try your hand at sailing in Gruissan, which is the Mecca for kitesurfers in France. This area offers perfect conditions for beginners as well as for experienced sportsmen.
You have a crush on the Mediterranean, because the Mistral wind offers unparalleled gliding possibilities? The peninsula of Giens will meet all your expectations. Depending on the weather, you can choose between two spots. The Bergerie if the wind is from the south-east, and the beach of Almanarre if the wind is from the west. Have you decided to try this extreme sport while in Hyères? The best solution is to contact the KGG kitesurfing school. Located on the peninsula, this school is a member of the FFVL (Fédération Française de Voile Libre), and is very respectful of the teaching charter for kitesurfing. You will be able to learn the basics and improve your kitesurfing skills in a safe, fun and friendly environment.