Know where to ride the winds, straight from award-winning kitesurfer Dano See.
Most people will point towards Boracay as the kitesurfing capital of the country. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the only place where you can ride the winds. Here’s a list of kitesurfing spots in the Philippines from former kitesurfing champ Dano See.
1. Kingfisher Resort, Paoay, Ilocos Norte
For Australian kite designer and professional kitesurfer Dano See, Ilocos Norte is not only a site for history and beautiful beaches but also a playground for kitesurfers looking for the ideal wind condition. Kingfisher Resort in Pagudpud is where kitesurfing enthusiasts will find the “strongest winds, biggest waves, and most radical reef passes for the longest duration of the year,” says Dano. But what makes Kingfisher a special location is the bigger venturi effect caused by the local mountain range which adds in 10 to 15 knots to any forecast. The venturi effect is when the wind becomes stronger as it passes between mountains or hills.Book kitesurfing tours at Kingfisher.ph
2. Bangui Beach, Bangui, Ilocos Norte
Another spot worth checking out in Ilocos Norte is Bangui Beach, which, according to Dano offers a “great beach break location with side-shore winds for the experienced wave riders or a super flat water lagoon surrounded by windmills.” He considers it the most picturesque location in the Philippines because of the wind farms and its waist-deep lagoon. Book kitesurfing tours at Kingfisher.ph
3. Paoay Lake, Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Another requisite in the must-kitesurf list of kiters as it has a freshwater lake that’s ideal for flat water kiteboarding—kiteboarding that entails gliding over a calm, slow-flowing body of water. “The winds can be strong too, but typically, it’s more your average 9-meter-plus weather, which is the wind range for small kites. The season is much more limited as it is out of the Taiwan Strait, but the heat of the Laoag area draws in afternoon sea breezes.”Book kitesurfing tours at Kingfisher.ph
4. Bulalacao, Mindoro
The laid-back southwestern charm of Mindoro coupled with unspoiled pocket beaches, coves, waterfalls, caves, as well as steady and strong winds make it an alluring kitesurfing destination. The town of Bulalacao, which Dano describes as the “outback region of the Philippines,” is wonderful because of its rugged trails and forested paths. It is also notable for its howling winds due to the venture effect created by the huge mountain range of the neighboring islands.
Aside from Bulalacao, other spots in Mindoro that are good for kitesurfing include Libagao and Nagubat, Aslom and Suguicay.
5. Cuyo Bay, Cuyo, Palawan
Further away, Cuyo Bay in Palawan is perfect for flat water kiteboarding—thanks to its sandy bottom and some outside reef passes that offer small wave riding fun. “Although Cuyo is an island off Palawan, it has been listed under Mindoro because the wind is from the same venturi effect of the Tablas Straight. Winds are strong and blowing from Amihan (northeast wind) starting October up to May. Recommended kite sizes are from 5m and up,” Dano says.
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6. Kite Club Palawan, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
A 20-minute drive from the Puerto Princesa International Airport, in Brgy. San Jose lies Kite Club Palawan, a resort with a beachfront that is a good spot for kiteboarding. It’s the only safe launching spot along the southern end of Honda Bay. “The venturi effect here is the leftover air flow from Mindoro’s Tablas Strait, which reacts with the local mountain ranges and land temperatures.”
“It’s best to kitesurf here during the Amihan season, especially from December to February, and use kites with size from 9 meters and up.”
7. Lakawon Island, Negros Occidental
In Negros Occidental lies Lakawon Island, which, according to Dano, cradles over 100 hectares of reef that offer a “perfect flat water lagoon location and right-hand point break seen on the outside reef during high winds and typhoons.”
“The winds here are a mix of venturi and sea breeze all year round. Amihan winds from November to March are relatively light, but the Habagat (southwest monsoon) winds are quite special. The southwest air flow funnels through the Guimaras Strait bumping up the usually light offseason winds. Use kites that are sized 9 meters and up if it’s the Habagat.”
Lakawon island is a 20-minute boat ride from the Cadiz Viejo Port and 50km north from Bacolod Airport
8. Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental
Zamboanguita in Negros Oriental is a chill kiteboarding spot with good flat water conditions and consistent winds from September to May. “Here, the wind is mainly from the Amihan wind flow with a large volcano in the backdrop accelerating the air flow around the bottom corner of the island,” says Dano.Zamboanguita is an hour-drive away from Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros, which is known for its lively food scene and makes for a good basecamp
9. Siargao Island
If you think that surfing is all there is in the country’s surfing capital, take a look at its waves again. Because then you’ll know that they likewise attract the different kind of surfers— kitesurfers, that is. Cloud 9 is said to be the mecca for advanced kitesurfers because of its huge waves and averagely light winds. But Dano has a piece of advice: Stay well clear of the Boardwalk area; otherwise, you’re likely to get your kite all tangled up.
The huge lagoon near Viento del Mar in General Luna, also offers a good flat water kiting—thanks, in part, to its sandy and grassy bottom. “Although the winds are generally light there is the odd monsoonal blow. Best to kitesurf Cloud 9 from December to February and use kites from 12 meters and up. There are, however, those few days a year when you need a much smaller kite.
10. Boracay Island, Aklan
Boracay is the mecca of kiteboarding and windsurfing in the Philippines, in fact, it’s is where it all started and kicked off. The wind here are lighter as they come from the Tablas Straight and they’re consistent from November to March, and allows for using kites from 9m and up. Alternately, White Beach, world-famous for its four-kilometer-long creamy white-sand beach, is, according to Danao, a “great for kitesurfing from June to September.”
Who is Dano See?
Dano is a former kitesurfing champion who is now into kite designing and manufacturing. He’s been supplying kitesurfing schools from all over the globe and helping kitesurfing schools in the Philippines by providing affordable kitesurfing equipment.
Words: Jona Fortuno