Jan 11, 2008
Author: Adam Anton
Getting there: Antigua is the main hub of the Caribbean Islands, and its international airport services flights from Miami, New York (via Puerto Rico), Toronto and other major cities on a daily basis.
Conditions: Jabberwock is mainly flatwater on the inside and bumpy conditions on the outside of the reef. Warm tropical waters all year round. Other spots can be found with just a map and some help from a local, and can consist of purely flatwater or wave conditions.
Best time of year: The trades blow steadily from January through July. Winds are less consistent after summer, so plan your trips early in the year.
Local knowledge: Antigua is a friendly island with minimal or no crime. There is little to worry about as far as theft or localism. Visitors from all over the world should feel comfortable exploring the island and taking in the local scene.
If you’re looking for the perfect kiteboarding getaway in a tropical setting, Antigua offers some of the best conditions in the Caribbean for all levels of riders. Whether you want to learn from scratch or are looking to tighten up your Raleys to Blind, Antigua’s local kite beach, Jabberwock, is the perfect destination.
Only five minutes from the airport, Jabberwock offers steady northeast trades from January through July. The local school, Kite Antigua, is situated at the southern end of the beach, where there is ample space to rig up. Kite Antigua owner Nikolai is always happy to extend his courtesy and local knowledge of the area, which is always comforting for beginners. There is a small reef about 30 metres from the shore that provides a sheltered flatwater spot for learners to take off, or for more advanced riders to throw down tricks. Outside the reef, you will find bump-and-jump conditions, with the odd rolling swells coming through to provide some good ramps. Equipment should range from a 12 to 16-metre kite, but expect to be powered on your 12 most of the time, especially during the year’s early months.
Take another 10-minute drive from Jabberwock, and you will find yourself in the town of St. John’s, where you can help yourself to a variety of local shops, bars and restaurants. There are a few nightclubs in the area, but if you are there between March and May, you may want to venture farther south and check out English Harbour, where the annual Antigua Sailing Week Regatta is hosted, and nightlife is in abundance. In a nutshell, Antigua is a fun, safe and friendly Caribbean destination for riders of all levels. —Adam Anton
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Check out this video of Antigua's Andre Phillip in action in Antigua.