31 Mar Kiteboard Harbour Island, Bahamas
Jon and I spent a total of five days on Harbour Island and scored four days of wind to kiteboard. It’s not known as a kiteboarding destination however, when the wind blows, there are some incredible riding spots to explore. The island is truly one of a kind with something for the entire family to enjoy: fishing charters, relaxing on Pink Sand beaches, enjoying a spa day, snorkeling and plenty of night life. Harbour Island has a laid back vibe with a DNA similar to Nantucket.
Fly into Eleuthera – Once you clear customs, take a short cab ride to the ferry docks. From there hop on a boat for a quick ten minute water taxi across to Harbour Island. Make sure you bring cash; the taxi and ferry ride will run you five dollars per person per ride & gratuity is expected. Also, drones are not welcome on Harbour Island – I got held up in customs for an hour and had to get special permission. Save yourself the hassle and leave it at home. I also highly recommend renting a golf cart for the duration of your stay. Dunmore Rental is located at the end of the public pier when you arrive. Best to reserve in advance and don’t forget to pack your tie-down straps; they’ll come in handy securing all your gear to the golf cart for getting around.
If you favor a hotel, check out Coral Sands Hotel or Valentines Resort & Marina. We were lucky enough to stay with friends who rented a house called Chatterbox located in middle of town that I highly recommend. If you’d like a more secluded rental, check out some houses in the South Bar Club on the southern end of the Island. If you want to rent a house our best advice is to talk to a local realty company like Dunmore that can connect you with the best places to stay.
Be sure to check out Gusty’s, Daddy D’s, Vic-Hum Night Club and Valentines Bar. The parties start late and linger into the early morning hours!
Stop by Bahamas Coffee Roasters in the morning for a fresh cup of joe and a freshly baked muffin. Dunmore Deli serves up one of the best sandwiches on the island. To top off the day, be sure to check out Queen Conch, Rock House, and Romora Bay.
Where to kite?
Pink Sands Beach
Head to the northern portion of the beach where you will find less people and more room to rig. This beach is one of the most beautiful in the Bahamas with sand that has a subtle pink glow. Use extreme caution when launching to avoid beach goers and stay clear of swimmers in the water. I scored a session on 12m Pivot and Lift foilboard with a 41” mast. The wind was coming from the SE which allowed me to make a 2 mile tack along the coast of Pink Sands Beach. It was an incredible feeling flying for miles up and down the beach.
Be extremely careful when riding to the outside – The reef is a minefield that gets shallow in spots and can damage your board. Depending on the lighting, it can be hard to see the paths to get through the reefs. There are bigger openings to the north so, if you are an advanced foiler and want to get to the outside, head north and shoot the gap! The water drops off about twenty yards out and you will not be able to touch the bottom. You can ride a twintip, hydrofoil and surfboard at this spot. The best wind directions are NE, E or SE. Any wind direction with W should be avoided as it has offshore exposure.
There is an outer reef that is exposed at certain spots during low tide. Use caution when foiling through the reef to get to the outside. Only advanced foilers should attempt shooting the gaps through the reef. Stay away from swimmers and respect beach goers with distance.
Drive your cart down Bay Street and park at the bottom of the hill on the side of the road. During high tide the rigging area is small so it is best to set your gear up on the small beach near the road and then walk your kite into the water past the wind shadow to launch. The water is extremely shallow for hundreds of yards out so you will only be able to ride a twin tip here. This is an extremely beginner friendly spot with minimal chop. The bottom is all sand and the best wind directions are N, NW, W, S or SW. Any wind direction with E should be avoided as it has offshore exposure.
This beach is stunning and is the site of numerous photo shoots from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to Land’s End catalogues and more. While we were there we watched numerous models running around in the middle of a photo shoot. When you get there and witness its beauty you will know why it is so famous
At high tide the launch can be very small. Best to rig on the beach by the road and walk out past the wind shadow to launch in clean wind
This is launch private and can only be accessed if you are renting or own a house in the South Bar Club. The beach has plenty of room to rig and boasts some of the most beautiful water that I have ever seen. The water near shore is shin deep and drops off to waist deep about a hundred yards out. You will not be able to ride a hydrofoil here unless it has a short mast. I scored a session on a 9m Pivot and Lift foilboard with a 41” mast, but had to ride the board upside-down for a quarter mile downwind until it was deep enough to get out. This is an extremely beginner friendly spot with minimal chop. Most of the bottom is clean sand with a few spots to the north that have seagrass on the bottom. The best wind directions for this spot are N, NW, W, S or SW. Any wind direction with E should be avoided as it has offshore exposure.
There is a channel cut through that feeds into the ocean on the south side. This is where the fishing boats enter and exit to the ocean. The water is very deep with a lot of current. Be sure to stay clear north this area so you don’t get caught in the tide.
- Don’t forget your tie down straps
- Rent a boat and take a day trip to kite Spanish Wells. However, a wise man once told us don’t spend the night on the island