St. Thomas

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St. Thomas

Postby lambertjoejoe » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:06 pm

Going to St. Thomas in a week. Has anyone kited there? Any advice about where to go? We're renting a house near the Ritz Carlton.

Thanks
Joe
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Postby kitesurf_sml » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:15 am

from my experience down there (latest trip was a month ago), it's rather sparse to find good areas. There never seems to be consistency unless you boat launch outside of one of the bays (generally there a lot of little hobicats around).
I could've just had bad luck, but i'd bring a few sizes along to be sure to conquer what is available.

- s -
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Postby lambertjoejoe » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:20 am

That's depressing news. At least it won't be snowing, I guess.
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Postby kitesurf_sml » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:27 am

don't let it depress you - i could have just had a bad week there, you never know. The odd thing was... when i got to my timeshare there, they had a video playing on the TV in my room when i showed up, and it was covered with guys kiting everywhere on the island. Surprisingly enough, i didn't see one kiter when i was there, so it could have just been a bad week for me to go. Regardless, the sun was out, i was burnt, and i nearly forgot about driving on the left side of the road when leaving the airport... That's a key point to remember!

Best wishes for the trip down there - if you get some good wind, post some pics and let me know how it went.

Cheers,

Sean - Best Kiteboarding - Delray Beach, Florida
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Postby kitesurf_sml » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:34 am

I should've mentioned this a few minutes ago when i replied...

when you do go, check out Hull Bay on St. Thomas, or go over to St. John on the ferry and try Reef Bay... those would probably be your two best shots.

Best of luck,

Sean
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Postby lambertjoejoe » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:40 am

Thanks again, will do.
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any info

Postby bcruz » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:59 am

Has anyone been to St. Thomas since this post? I hear the winds are typically great this time of year, and the beach in front of the Ritz is the best place to go.
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Virgin Islands Kiting - Ritz Carlton Beach, St. Thomas

Postby bcruz » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:32 am

I went here, and it is true that there is good kiting, but it is a little tricky to launch and the wind can be fickle, or at least it was for me.

I kited in Great Bay. The launch is on a very narrow beach, and you generally need to walk to the North end to setup and launch (away from the hotel's water sports center). Had to tell a couple people that I would be launching and to be alert until I got out of the way. This was the more difficult side of the beach to launch because the wind comes over a high cliff that is about a mile out on this side of the beach and it is lighter and a bit gusty. Once you get out, you need to get to the south side of the bay to get the best wind due to that cliff (when the wind has a little North direction in it). On this side, you need to weave your way through about 20 moored sailboats and dive boats as you head upwind. The best place to actually ride and be free of obstacles is about a mile offshore or a little less. You are still inside the bay where you need to be careful of the somewhat inconsistent wind near the sides of the bay (I actually had my kite drop out of the air once). This would not have been a problem with stronger wind, but it got up to 17-18 mph at the most every day. I was told this year has been extremely light. You can see the best wind is right outside the bay, where it seemed to have another 5-10 mph in it. The problem is that it is 3 miles upwind, and quite an effort to get there when the wind is not strong.

Now, the guys at the hotel's water sports center were really cool and helpful, as most of them kite themselves. They can take you by boat (quickly) to other areas to kite, with Sandy Spit being the best area, where you can ride flat water and waves, as well as do a long downwinder right back to the hotel when done. There is also a nice grass flat close by where the wind is consistent and they teach beginners.

All in all, the specific launch and conditions right at the beach in Great Bay make it somewhat challenging, but a good place once offshore, especially in the stronger winds they typically get. Also, due to the hotel's configuration and layout, your friends/family can sit there in the pool or on the beach without having sand blowing in their face while you ride right in front of them. There are tremendous places if you are willing to drive or take a boat to other launches. There is also another launch (Jessup Bay) that you can easily walk to (2 minutes) if you get a North wind and are comfortable getting up wind of moored boats. Finally, there is Plenty to do other than kite for no wind days and everyone else with you. Soggy Dollar Bar in Jost Van Dyke is one of the greatest bars I have been to.

If anyone is going and has any questions about St. Thomas or the Virgin Islands, feel free to ask on here or send me a private message.
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