Dec 5, 2007
Author: Trip Foreman
Cozumel is quickly gaining steam as one of the world’s top kiting destinations. What stands out when considering Cozumel as a riding destination is the variety of riding venues (flatwater, chop or waves); friendly and helpful locals; great accommodations, restaurants and nightlife; and plenty of sideline activities for non-kiters on no-wind days. If you’re traveling with a mix of kiters and non-kiters, you don’t want to travel to a place with nothing to do but kiteboard. Traveling to Cozumel has the perks of great riding and the bonus of everything else great as well.
The riding in Cozumel covers all aspects of the sport, from butter-flat slicks to open-water touring or freestyle, to side or side-onshore surf conditions, all within a short drive from the same accommodations. The best place for surf conditions is the Wave Ranch on the northeast side of the island. For flatwater, check out the Lagoon, which is accessible from the boat ramp to the north of the country-club neighborhood. The country-club beach is private to those staying in houses located in that neighbourhood and provides friendly open-water conditions, sideshore winds, white sand and cool vibes. There are also several all-inclusive resorts along this same stretch of coastline that provide access to these same conditions with decent launches and great amenities.
The restaurants and nightlife are world-class in Cozumel, with great food, great bars and parties as crazy as you want them to be. If sunrise is your last call, Cozumel will never let you down. —Trip Forman
Getting there: Most major airlines fly to Cozumel either directly or through a major U.S. hub. Don’t fly to Cancun and then take the ferry—this will add a day of travel each way to your trip. Good riding can be found 10 minutes from the airport, so expect to kite right off the plane.
Conditions: Water conditions range from flatwater to rolling swell with chop to breaking waves, depending on the riding spot. Temperatures range from trunks and a boardshirt to shorty or spring suit, depending on passing cold fronts.
Best time of year: December through May. Peak season is December through March. Locals hit the water year-round, only the fall being questionable for breeze.
Local knowledge: Check out all the riding spots, restaurants, bars, nightlife and talk to the locals, who are friendly and helpful. Don’t go to jail. It’s Mexico, remember? You can pay your way out of most infringements right on the spot. It’s far better to pay up front than pay in the behind. Also, don’t go kiting to the horizon while riding at the country club. There is an offshore current that will take you to Cuba if you break down.
Internet resources: http://cozumeltom.com