South Padre Island is one of those spots everyone talks about going to: warm, shallow water, huge beach, bay and wave riding, smooth winds, etc. I have been there twice now and I can say that most of what is said about SPI is true, except I must be some kind of jinx because there is never any wind when I am there.
This Christmas I must say that I seem to have topped myself. We were to arrive at SPI on Christmas eve. Everything went well until we got to Houston (i.e., we didn't get charged for our board coffin). We were sitting there waiting for our plane when I noticed it snowing outside. Well, actually it was hailing but it turned to snow. Our flight was delayed and then we boarded but were told that the plane had to be deiced. We should have known then that things were going to get bad. Anyway, we sat in this aircraft on the tarmac for a couple of hours, getting told various stories from the captain about how and when we would finally get deiced and get to take off. Eventually he came on the intercom and said that all the airports in south Texas had been shut down and that we were on our own with respect to finding lodging or new flights. Thanks Continental!
Since we had only a week in SPI we wanted to get there as soon as possible so we (ok I) elected to sleep in the terminal and try to get standby seats to Brownsville on the first flight out. This strategy worked except that I didn't exactly sleep in the airport (please go rent Terminal if you are wondering about this), and only one of us got a standby seat. The other two of us were flown to another airport and then had to drive back to Brownsville on icy roads full of south Texas drivers. That was fun.
Eventually we got to SPI late on Christmas day. The next day we went over to a local shop and found out that the water temperature had dropped to 47 degrees. Gee, why did we leave 54 degree water again? And of course what little wind there was was almost dead offshore. It remained basically that way all week. We did get a few minutes of riding in and the riding at SPI can be very nice, but not what any of us wanted.
For what its worth, the people at the shops seemed very nice and clearly a climatic event the first of its kind in 127 years can hardly represent SPI as a whole, and I must admit that the warm sunny days after the initial freeze were relaxing compared to the almost nonstop rain that the bay area experienced. I just wish we'd gotten more kiting in. Maybe next year will be better.