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Kitesurfing in Corralejo, Fuerteventura – not a good place to learn?

Corralejo is famous for its kitesurfing community and many a kitesurfer learnt the sport here. This shouldn’t come as a surprise – the temperatures are pleasant all year round with an average being 20C and in summer rarely exceeding 30C. Even in deep winter it doesn’t drop below 17C often, which means it’s a very popular Christmas and New Year destination. This is also why many European nomads migrate here for winter, so keep this in mind when booking your accommodation as the prices do go up.

Let’s get to the point though. Is Fuerteventura a good place to learnt kitesurfing?

It is, and it isn’t. Spoken like a true ex-lawyer. Let me explain.

The reasons why Fuerteventura is not a good place to learn kitesurfing

Some websites say that the Flag Beach, Corralejo’s biggest wind watersports beach, is actually fine for beginners. It is not, at least not in winter when we’ve been there and when it gets wavy and choppy. Most locals will tell you that it is simply too dangerous to learn there, unless you have an infinite budget allowing you to destroy one set of gear after the other. Why?

The current is strong, so you need to know your tides. It gets wavy – and we mean it. With strong wind there is usually not much time in between the waves, which means that you need to be able to hop on your board quickly to not get dragged all the way with the current.

The real reason though is the reef and the rocks under the water. Going out in low tide is a no no as you can get seriously hurt, but even when the tide is up you should know where to kite and where to avoid.

It is a fantastic spot for advanced riders who are confident on the waves, have no problem with going upwind and have very good understanding of the tides and currents. We have seen some of the best riders there and when the wind is up it does feel like you just walked onto a Red Bull filming set. The absence of beginners is also a good thing if you’re planning on practising your freeriding and wave jumping.

Verdict: a world-famous spot for advanced riders who want to get some wave time in. Do not learn here.

Looks way less choppy and wavy than it is!

But you said Fuerteventura IS a good place to learn kite…

It is. Just not on the beach. Most schools take you out in a boat to the open water. This is actually a pretty amazing and unique experience.

Great things about learning kitesurfing in Corralejo:

  • It is open water, so you have plenty of space and can take your sweet time learning how to use the kite because you will not reach the beach by being dragged away by the currents (something that inevitably annoys most learners).

  • You don’t need to learn going upwind straight away, as you can cheerfully drift downwind for miles.

  • Your instructor is typically next to you on the boat, which makes communication easier. Nowadays more schools use the headsets so this benefit is less than it was in the past, but it’s still quite cool. It also means they can reach you easily when something is going wrong (and not have to swim to you from the beach).

The downsides are:

  • It is deep water, so you need to learn to get on your board while floating

  • You have to use a leash for the board (otherwise you’re very likely to lose it). This can be dangerous, but I haven’t seen any accidents and we’ve done three seasons there. Just listen to your instructor and do not, ever, do any tricks with the leash on. It can chop your leg or hand off if you’re unlucky.

  • You learn to kite without other people around, which is great, but it also means that when you arrive at a crowded spot you’re in for quite a shock.

  • It might make you lazy when it comes to learning proper upwind, as you don’t really need to do that. This will be a major issue when you want to become an independent kiter.

There are also some challenges related to kitesurfing in Corralejo specific for nomads. The boat sessions take TIME. You need to allow 4 hours at least for the whole adventure, which means that an impromptu session before or after work is not really an option, like it is in some other spots. It is also more expensive, because you need to cover the cost of the boat, petrol and instructors.

When is a good time to go?

The main kitesurfing season is March – November, but we have also gone in December and it can still be great.

Does this article reflect your own experience of kitesurfing in Corralejo? Let us know in the comments below!

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