Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Trip Report

The North Flats
On the gulf, in front of the hotel

Playing in the waves, doing a down-winder

Holly Beach - not closed after all.

The trip to South Padre was a lot of fun although the wind didn't exactly cooperate. Several of us stayed at a Holiday Inn right on the beach and although the hotel was a bit shabby and a bit pricey it was a good choice just because it was on the beach. There was still a Spring Break crowd on the island when we first arrived but after our first weekend ended the crowds left and the place really emptied out.

The North Flats turned out to be the place to run into everybody that we knew. It is an area especially good for beginners because there is so much space and the water stays shallow for half a mile out. You can kite with the wind from just about any direction and the water is flat. It does tend to get gusty at times.
We spent one day playing in the waves on the gulf side and did a long down-winder from in front of the hotel all the way down to a spot across from the flats. The wind wasn't really strong enough and we had to work the kites a bit but it was still fun to do. We suffered from a lack of wind the whole stay; struggling to keep upwind in 10 to 14 knots, sometimes less.
We had been warned that Holly Beach, which is on the mainland side of the bay, was closed. We asked at the South Padre Kiteboard Shop and he confirmed that they were still working on getting it reopened. He was lying. It was open. It gets the strongest and the cleanest wind of all the spots in the area and the locals seem to not want to advertise it. It is the only spot that I have encountered in my travels where you consistently run into unfriendly kiters. If you go there, don't let them discourage you. It is a great spot. We only got to go there once, on the last day, on the way to the airport. Smooth water and even smoother wind. Almost heaven.

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