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We have a 3-4 day kiteboarding trip with 8 guys in mid-November and we're trying to decide upon location. Most of the group is based out West. We're looking for the following characteristics: good for beginners/intermediate, consistent wind, cool place to visit, lessons for beginners, possible gear rental, straightforward to get to, and not uber pricey. South Padre, South Beach Miami, La Ventana, Cape Hatteras? Any other spots to consider that time of year? Open to all ideas and opinions.
Thanks in advance for any help!
South Padre Island meets your criteria for not pricey, good for beginners/intermediate, and lessons available. November is mostly good wind but I was skunked once pretty badly (out of many other windy Novembers there). Be prepared for both cold and warm kiting there, as the southerlies are steady and warm (board shorts, 70-80's) but alternate with northerly fronts which are also windy but can be cold (I wear a 3mm 'storm' shorty and carry a 1mm thermal base which I only needed once). My opinion is Air Padre is the best of the outfits on the island, and you can search and find a ton of info on SPI on just about any North American kiteboarding forum. I would choose it over Hatteras or Miami, but Baja may have closer spots (I don't consider La Ventana cheap, btw).
I chose SPI for kite lessons in 2006 after years of windsurf travel to it and many other spots, so if your goal is to drag someone along who wants to learn I can't think of a better place. (I don't work for their tourism office - honest!).
Mid November might be a little early but Los Barriles or La Ventana could work for you.
Direct flights from LAX and SFO to Los Cabos. 45 minute drive to Los Barriles, another hour to La Ventana. Lessons rentals, lodging, beer, etc.
Personally I prefer Los Barrilles as it is more of a town with more accomodation and dining options. La Ventana might have better conditions for beginners.
We took a February trip to LV and got great rates on a Virgin direct flight from SFO. Watch out for rental car 'mandatory insurance' scams though.
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