Featured Location | That Perfect Windsurf / Foiling Spot

Wingfoil on sandy Northland beach


Featured Location

Did you ever play the game of dreaming up your perfect spot? We do it quite a bit, and the result is fascinating.

Let’s start with the rigging area and access to the water: Do you prefer a sandy or rocky entry? What about a grassy rigging area with some shade (so you can place your sails in the shade when you’re having a break)? And then a sandy entry without too much shorebreak. Sounds a bit like Kanaha / Maui, doesn’t it?

A big bay would be great: flat clear water, maybe waist to shoulder deep at the inside, a nice reef with some waves and sideshore wind on the outside. That should keep everyone happy.

What about wind strength and reliability? Do you want it 100% windy every day? I guess that depends how long you are going to be in this paradise we are about to dream up. And what else there is to do. If you imagine living there and being able to be there as long as you want to (I know, I’m a dreamer, but that’s what this article is all about), I’d be very happy with 15-25knots maybe 80-90% of the time. A lay-day here or there will be very welcome for my sore muscles. And if there is some interesting places to be explored by foot or mountainbike, I’m all in.

Another criteria for me would be how busy it is. I don’t mind sharing the water with a few friendly and welcoming people – it’s more fun than sailing by yourself. But if you do have to indicate before you can turn or queue to get in and out of the water, then it’s not for me. I guess we are just spoiled here in New Zealand 😉

I don’t mind if it is fresh water or salt water (other than that there is not much wave on fresh water), though I love a scenic backdrop and I definitely don’t mind good food after my session! I don’t need a party town, a campfire on the beach with a good crew of people is just as good.

And, of course, I don’t want to come off the water to find my car broken into (or gone altogether) or needing to worry about being robbed or mugged. A certain security and political stability makes life a lot easier.

Windsurfer on a wave in Taranaki, New Zealand
Ben Severne flying high in Pungarehu, Taranaki

So, where down that leave us? I’m sure there are a few spots in the world that fit the bill. I’m also sure that not everybody has exactly the same expectations of a dream spot – otherwise everyone would be at the same places! Hang on, but that’s what happens, isn’t it? Usually you have to sacrifice one or two of those features. If it’s warm, reliable, easy to access and has a good infrastructure, it is normally pretty crowded. If you want it empty, then take the warmth or the ease of accessibility out. It’s the same as you cannot have a board that’s light weight, durable and cheap.

Call me biased, but however I twist and turn the question, our Surfari locations cover a lot of those criterias here in New Zealand:

  • Good wind reliability (we organise our Surfari Trips around the windy season at the different locations)
  • A super scenic backdrop comes by default with most places in New Zealand, as long as you are out of the cities.
  • Depending on the style of trip, we have either waves (Taranaki), flat water (Northland) or stunning clear fresh water (Canterbury Lakes)
  • No crowds! Most of our trips are off the beaten track. The few locals we sometimes meet are super welcoming and keen to have company and share their spot with our group.
  • Excellent food! We partner with the best local caterers, as we cannot control the weather, but we can control the food we eat 😉

So what are your key features for a perfect spot and the perfect windsurf / wingfoil holiday? And where in the world do you find those conditions? Please let me know in the comments!

Looking to travel New Zealand? Check out Water Nomads for Watersports Rental and Surfari Trips!

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